help sorting through models

I decided to get my first nice watch. Previously knowing nothing about fine watches, I've been shopping around and doing my research. I decided that I want something characterized by the following (no particular order, all mandatory):

Circular case (preferably small-ish, but up to 40 mm is okay)
Black leather strap
Manual wind
Sapphire caseback
No complications (second hand optional, subsecond dial okay)
Relatively thin
Clean appearance
New, or no more than a few years old (new old stock or gently used)

Apparently, my tastes run counter to many of today's fashions. A local dealer suggested that I consider VC (among other brands), and a coworker of mine who happens to be a watch fanatic independently and emphatically made the same suggestion. Furthermore, in doing my research, I've decided that I'd love to have a VC eventually. So although I have yet to see one in person, I decided to go ahead and treat myself to a VC if I can find the right one for me. I was wondering what models there are for me to consider. I can find current models on the VC website, but am having a bit of trouble finding lots of info on recently discontinued models. So far, the following models are on my list to consider:

Patrimony Ultra Flat (33093) <-- my current preference
Patrimony Historique Ultrafine 1955 (33155) <-- a touch more expensive than I'd like to spend, and I think I want white gold
Patrimony Traditionelle (82172)
Malte Grande Classique (81000)

I currently lean toward the Patrimony Ultra Flat because it fits with the modest size that I set out looking for but have so much trouble finding in the offerings at the retail stores (except in preowned watches). And at least from the pictures, I prefer the look of the calibre 1003 over the 1400 and the 4400 since the bridges don't cover up as much. Are there other models that I've overlooked and should be considering? Thank you for any advice you can provide.
you really can't go wrong with a VC, you seem to be considering the
07/13/2010 - 12:08
discountinued models so they may be hard to find new. I believe the Patrimony ultra flat is 33mm which could be an issue since its much smaller than the ones you like. The Historique 1955 looks great but so similar to the vontage watches with cal 1003 that you may want to consider vintage for a fraction of the price. Another choice would be the Patrimony Contemporaine but its 40mm so maybe above your size limit What ever yuou choose you can't go wrong
hi and welcome Jason, you probably summed up the watches available
07/13/2010 - 14:24
to what you are looking for and if you really want a thin watch with no seconds then the cal 1003 models are for you however they are usually rather small in size (31-33mm). Vintage won't have the saphire case back. The Patrimony Contemporaine manual is a gorgeous watch but doesn't have a saphire back either. It does seem however that the watches which could satisfy you are either discontinued (Patrimony extra thin or Malte Grand Classique) or not yet available (Historiques 1855) There is one watch which you may have overlooked (but which is alo discontinued) its the ref 81160 with cal 1400 (36mm case) and also comes in a white gold case.
Re: help sorting through models
07/13/2010 - 14:44
I think you done your homework well. If it is really the legendary cal. 1003 that you are after, then either the discontinued ultra thin or the soon to be available historiques 1955 should fit the bill (both have display casebacks as well).  On the negative side, the old ultra-thin is quite small by today's standards (but that is all a matter of balance because it should work well with a smaller wrist) and may be hard to find, the historiques should be perfect except for the price and the color of metal (maybe VC will come out with WG in the future). If you are okay with the classical VC in-house caliber 1400, then the malte grande classique and the patrimony that Alex showed earlier should be nice choices.  I have the patrimony contemporaine which is IMHO very chic but it does not have a display caseback (and rightfully so!) and it is rather large at 40mm (as long as it is not physically to big for your wrist, you get used to the size rather quickly). If you are okay with the more robust design of the cal. 4400, then the Traditionelle is the watch for you.  Simple with good all-around proportions. Vintage or pre-owned watches should offer very good value...if you can trust the seller. Good luck! Kazumi  
Thank you!
07/14/2010 - 08:04
Thank you, gentlemen, for your helpful input.
keep us posted on what you choose (nt)
07/14/2010 - 11:28