Early Thoughts on WatchTime Vacheron Issue

Firstly, I wish to join the chorus of thanks to Alex and VC for providing a copy of this outstanding issue Early Thoughts on WatchTime Vacheron Issue.  It is a great reference that will join the permanent collection on my book shelves.

While I've only cruised through the pages a couple of times and read in-depth a few articles, I look forward to many more hours of reading and re-reading the magazine from cover to cover.

One thing that struck me immediately was the underlying support for the Geneva Hallmark that was intertwined throughout the issue.  Perhaps it was, even more strongly stated, a defense of the Seal following Patek's desertion?  Vacheron has certainly made it clear they intend to support and strengthen their ties to the Seal's criteria.  Although the advertisement that asserted, among its many qualities, the Hallmark of Geneva was a guarantee of precision must be accepted as a boast rather than a fact.  Lets hope that timing standards are indeed part of the Seal's future plans.

A slight error appeared in an otherwise thorough introduction; Where Past Is Prologue.  While giving just acknowledgement to Jaeger LeCoultre's place in the history of VC movement design and production, the assertion that the ultra-flat automatic caliber 1120 was exclusively provided to Vacheron and Audemars neglects the brief appearance of Patek's caliber 28-255.  Perhaps, further to my earlier thoughts, PP is persona non grata in this issue Early Thoughts on WatchTime Vacheron Issue.

Up to this moment, however, the biggest revelation has been the preface by Juan-Carlos Torres where he mentions "our Romanesque style of aesthetic".  Of course Early Thoughts on WatchTime Vacheron Issue  The Romanesque style of architecture is strongly characterized by rounded arches, heavy pillars and thick walls.  I clearly see this influence on the Quai de L'Ile and most other contemporary VC designs.  Another relevant characteristic of the Romanesque aesthetic is its treatment of illustrations, which are curved and shaped to fit within the arches.  Again, this can be seen with Vacheron's treatment of dial design and and most especially with their high-art enamel and cloisonne dials.  Thank-you Mr. Torres for providing this insight Early Thoughts on WatchTime Vacheron Issue.
Hey that was your 1000th post :-) and a great and thorough
12/02/2009 - 18:30
one as well...as usual The piece on cal 1120 was 1st piblished about 2 years ago and think that it is an error onthe author's part and not a deliberate attempt. On the other hand PP doesn't really communicate on this eaither
Thanks for noticing Alex...
12/03/2009 - 04:11
I hope to continue contributing to this wonderful site for another 1,000 .
Re: Early Thoughts on WatchTime Vacheron Issue - reply !
12/02/2009 - 22:42
Hi tick-talk - what an insightful review you have provided and many of the points you picked up on I also felt strongly about.Like you I was particularly encooraged by VC continued committment to the Geneva Seal and some of the developements  and possible future direction and evolution for this highly regarded seal.I think that VC committment is bold and will send out a clear and concise statement to its customer base and add kudos to those of us whom have vintage watches with the seal - well done VC ! Like many members,I am curious to see what comes out of the VC stable in terms of in-house calibers in the future and once again,I can see the commercial sense these days in any prestige watch company wanting independance here - as the future supply of parts has become a contentious issue as of late and Omega et al seem to have a monopoly here - that said,do not knock movements like the now iconic and proven AP owned Caliber 1003 at your peril - it will be a tough act to follow,as will the Caliber 1120 and I wait with bated breath to see how VC respond to this - but once again,I can see VC's logic in been independant here. Dr S
Anticipate a new cal 1121 soon!
12/03/2009 - 03:57

Especially since seeing the superb way the re-design of the cal. 1003 was handled...actually improved over the original from 1955!  Torres states that VC is at 70% in-house production already so not far to go.

The Cal 1003 is not AP owned but VC owned and
12/03/2009 - 10:58
manufactured, a new redesigned cal 1120 will be found in the new Historiques 1968
Re: The Cal 1003 is not AP owned but VC -Question ?
12/03/2009 - 21:24
Hi Alex, Please can you clarify this.I was led to believe that whilst VC were indeed involved in the putting up the majority of the developement cost when JLC developed the 1003 caliber - but that now Audemars Piguet had purchased all the original manufacturing equipment to re-start production at some future date ? - I was not aware that VC were making the caliber from scratch - Alex can you clarify this understanding. Dr S
Biggest VC News of SIHH 2010
12/04/2009 - 00:49
 You missed the news about VC's in-house production of the "new" caliber 1003/3 in delicious gold: click here to see the post
Re: Re: The Cal 1003 is not AP owned but VC -Question ?
12/21/2009 - 13:36
which manufacturer owns the rights to the cal.VC1003/AP2003 doesn´t change the fact, that this movement was first introduced by AP in 1953, two years before VC. The reason for this is that with the help from JLC (and probably also financed by VC) the original AP cal. ml9-ligne was redesigned into the cal.AP2003. To even say that the cal.2003 is based on cal.803 would certainly make an odd statement, they are the same movement just two different reference names by two involved parties.The original AP cal.ml9-ligne was produced from 1946-1953. A short movieclip of the making of this calibre housed in a coinwatch can be found on AP´s homepage. As you might have noticed the productiondate 1946 is more or less immediately after WWII, so it is likely that the cal.ML9-ligne was developed even before the war began. I have an unmarked 9-ligne movement of fraqtually slimmer proportions than the 1.64mm seen in Cal.VC1003/AP2003(most likely an AP movement). It has the maltesecross on the barrel to prevent overwinding (typical of the PW-era) and the detent-spring lay-out of PW as well. The winding bridge is even slimmer at 1.32 mm which certainly leads thoughts to the World record ultra thin PW from AP introduced in 1925. On top of that I have the original AP ultra thin with the ML9-ligne and the resembences are remarkable between these two movements.
Re: Early Thoughts on WatchTime Vacheron Issue
12/02/2009 - 22:59
Very well put post. A point regarding the Geneva seal, if I may: although not directly conneted to the movement in terms of accuracy, it does have however an influence by proxy, so to speak. Simply put, the effort going into meeting the aesthetic demands can only be carried by manufactures that are top notch in terms of quality and are, simply put, haute horlogerie. Thus, the Seal just makes sure the movement is pleasing, and that certification is clear. Patek's decison to replace it has hardly hurt the Seal, I believe. It is a continuation of their well-established go-it-alone policy, which has served them well. VC is a grande manufacture which carries the Seal well. It certainly doesn't need to asert itself in comparison. Again, a pleasure to talk watches...
COSC certificates to come?
12/03/2009 - 04:08
With many VC's being fully adjusted and already meeting chronometer standards, it would just be a matter of paperwork to include the rate deviation data with the owner's documents and thus prove their superb time-keeping abilities. OTOH, the magazine's interview with J-C Torres reveals that a committtee has been established between COSC, the Geneva Hallmark organization, and manufacturers to talk about future changes, including expanding the Seal criteria to include case finish.  Regarding timing tests, Torres indicated that COSC standards will not be part of the Seal criteria but in addition to, which means we may see that coveted certificate in the box yet .