An inside story that needs to be exposed...

I've spent the last couple of weeks browsing the Vacheron Constantin 1731 Calibre book. The 109 pages takes you on a journey of exploration, explanation and intrique all of which is cleverly woven between outstanding photographs, illustrations, graphics and excellent copy.

When the book arrived my expectations were high but never did I think my assumptions would be exceeded in such a crushing fashion. An early chapter introduces the history of Vacheron Constantin Minute Repeaters followed by a commendable section devoted to 'the genius of Calibre 1731'. The format and articulate approach employed ensures that nobody is 'left behind' as the story unfolds in a thoroughly, thought through system of learning and understanding.  There isn't a single page that disappoints, (book format 31.5 x 24.5cm) infact the only problem you're likely to come across is finding the time to put the book down!

As I hadn't heard too much about this publication I do wonder if  I'm the exception rather than the rule. Personally I think it is the former and if that is the case the situation should be adequately addressed. In the meantime, I would love to learn more about other VC publications coupled with recommendations and suggestions and how theyAn inside story that needs to be exposed... might compare with my latest acquisition.  Your advice and comments would be appreciated.    
Thank you
Re: An inside story that needs to be exposed...
02/07/2014 - 02:41
There are another 2 similar books (I think there are 3 of these in total, Alex, please correct me if I am wrong -and if I am not how come nobody sent me the others?!?!!).  One is the Calibre 2755 and the other is the Calibres 2253 & 2260.  Both are as good as yours.   There is also a thread (started by Doc I believe) which lists other VC publications that you may consider, such as Treasures of VC, Secrets of VC, The Quarter Millenium of VC auction catalogue by Antiquorum.....  There are more Happy Watching justindependent
Appreciate your response...
02/08/2014 - 15:41
I've taken your comments and observations onboard. Thank you again... Regards Tony
Re: An inside story that needs to be exposed...
02/07/2014 - 04:23
First, allow me to say what a pleasure it is to read your posts. You writing is always clear, eloquent, and elegantly phrased. Thank you for that! Second, on to your question. Along with the Vacheron Constantin publications listed by justindependent above, I can think of one other: "The Art of Vacheron Constantin," a 1994 auction catalogue. If you are a member of The Hour Club, you can purchase all these Vacheron Constantin books (except "The Quarter Millennium of Vacheron Constantin" and "The Art of Vacheron Constantin") from the website, under the heading "Library" and subheading "Vacheron Constantin Books." If you are interested in general horological publications as well, you can find several under the "Library" heading and "Recommended Books" subheading. If you are not a member of The Hour Lounge, these books are: "The Watch," by Gene Stone; "Movement," by Guido Mocafico; "Watches: History of a Century's Development," by Helmut Kahlert; "History of the Modern Wristwatch," by Peter Doensen; "The Mastery of Time," by Dominque Flechon; "Berner Watch Dictionary," by Berner; "Complete Price Guide to Watches, no. 32," by Gilbert, Engle, and Shugart; and "Watches International Vol. XIII" (periodical). I'm sure this list is far from comprehensive. Perhaps veterans and aficionados on this forum can make further suggestions. I myself have only three Vacheron Constantin books so far ("The Treasures of Vacheron Constantin;" "The Secrets of Vacheron Constantin;" and "The Quarter Millenium of Vacheron Constantin"), but I plan on acquiring "Calibre 1731, Vacheron Constantin" posthaste on the strength of your recommendation.
This calls for a word or two...
02/08/2014 - 16:42
Firstly, allow me to thank you for the very kind words expressed in your opening sentence. The detailed information you've provided is an enormous help towards my research. I am confident that you will enjoy the Calibre 1731 book. May I say that it is good to see you on THL - you've always got something to say that is worth listening to. Keep up the good work! Sincere thanks Tony
Re: This calls for a word or two...
02/08/2014 - 20:22
I cannot tell you how gratifying and encouraging it is for me, a new member to THL, to receive such an endorsement from you! I am humbled and much obliged. I can only hope to endeavour to be worthy of your remarks.
Dear Tony I am glad you enjoyed the book as these
02/07/2014 - 10:21
Calibre books (there are 2 others (Cal 2755 and 2253/2260) were a personal project of mine and I am in charge of both text and photos. The goal behind these books is to delve into VC's exceptional movements and show the immense amount of work that goes into them! Regarding recommended horological and VC reading : books You also have a list of suggestions in the library section of The Hour Club
Re: Dear Tony I am glad you enjoyed the book as these
02/07/2014 - 21:23
I wasn't aware of your deep involvement in the Calibre titles, Alex. All the more reason for me to get my hands (snug in THC gloves of course) on them! Reading takes on another dimension of enjoyment, I find, when one has some connection with the author.
Indeed, a personal achievement...
02/08/2014 - 18:21
Alex, your contribution towards the Calibre 1731 book, as Texts and Visual Director, adds a dynamic that flows through the 109 pages delivering eye-catching visuals coupled with majestic copy. The magic key to it's overall success is the applied balance to accommodate both the 'professional' and 'inquisitive' reader. Quite clearly, one soon understands, in an uncomplicated way, just how much work is involved to bring a model to market. I sincerely hope that everyone at THL has an opportunity to review the book and, at least, find out what they've been missing... Your link to further publications is also acknowledged. Tony 
Re: Dear Tony I am glad you enjoyed the book as these
02/08/2014 - 19:32
I just reread the "Recommended reading material" thread in the Recommended Threads section, and I wanted to thank you for gathering (back in 2008) for forum members' reference all these excellent suggestions. As tony chance has shown in this week's post, the utility of this thread is as great as ever, which I am confident will continue to be the case for the life of THL. With so many wonderful posts on this forum, the "Recommend reading material" thread had escaped my memory (it was one of the very first posts I had read when I registered to THL), so I was happy to see that you had linked to it here, and I am grateful for the reminder!
VC books always a favorite subject Tony
02/07/2014 - 19:24
If I consider the short walk from computer to book shelf, the ones I most frequently reach for are the two Antiquorum VC-themed auction catalogs, followed by Cologni's Secrets of VC, then Coen & Lambelet's World of VC (almost exclusively for the reference photos).  However, a surprising treasure has been the aptly-named Treasures of VC, published to mark the Singapore exhibition of the same name in 2011.   The three Assouline "Calibre" series books are truly beautiful and for the vintage collector offer brief profiles of the showpiece Farouk, Boisrouvray, Packard, etc., to set the stage for the new creations. Interestingly, when I have company and the conversation turns to watch collecting, it is the Collector's Island books I pull out.  They present the human side of our hobby in a manner the non-WIS can relate to, as most people have a collecting bug for something.  And with these, the books themselves become part of the story, being works of great craftsmanship. For those looking for the context of place and time, the World of VC offers an interesting narrative of world events in parallel with VC's history of watchmaking; a format which was duplicated with an American flavor in Assouline's High Society: The History of America's Upper Class, less the reference material provided in the World of VC. These VC-published books are nonpareil for prose and graphic presentation, and I'm very proud to own them.  Lucky for us, there will be more opportunities for future publications as new calibres are introduced.  I also hope VC's pre-1900 heritage will receive some attention, with emphasis on movements and their technical specifications.
Re: VC books always a favorite subject Tony
02/07/2014 - 21:33
If I may thank you as an interloper of sorts regarding your reply to tony chance's question, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on books. Helpful in the extreme. ( I had completely forgotten about the "World of Vacheron Constantin" and Assouline's contribution to the history of America's elite.)
When the conversation turns to watch collecting...
02/08/2014 - 18:43
Dean, thank you for taking the short walk from your bookshelf to the computer and 'painting a picture' full of information pertinent to my request. Dare I say just another example, thankfully, of your no 'half measures' approach when help and advice is sought. Be assured your efforts will greatly assist me. Good wishes Tony
A return compliment
02/08/2014 - 20:12
Tony, while you are most often a giver of sincere compliments, may I turn tables this time and thank you for your always welcome comments, much like the finishing flourish of fine cursive script heart.  As my wife often reminds, especially when peaking over my shoulder while I'm tapping away and ranting at this mute computer, I can be brusque even argumentative angel but you always see past the inadequacies of our two-dimensional medium to realize the author's best intentions.  You are a pillar of our house, and I thank you!
Re: A return compliment
02/08/2014 - 20:32
that could not have been better phrased! I am new here, and have not experienced the brusqueness and argumentation of which you speak, but if you have ever come across in that manner on this forum, surely this post here and the eloquence with which you have created it, ensures that all would be forgiven? What I am certain of, aside from your spot-on characterisation of tony chance's contributions to THL, is that I have learned a great deal of information from you in an alarmingly brief period of time!
My dear friend...
02/09/2014 - 02:59
the most important information that I could ever hope to pass on to nascent collectors of V&C has nothing to do with facts or data.  Rather, it is the ethic behind collecting and the value of "things".  We are waiting for company to arrive, I have Sixto Rodrigues on the stereo and a lucious glass of Ealanta at my elbow, so please forgive me this brief missive. The ethic of collecting was brilliantly highlighted for me once again, for I need frequent reminding, by an expert in Inuit art this afternoon.  Mrs. TT and I attended an Antiques Roadshow-type event and I dragged along a rather heavy lump of carved stone that was my very first so-called "artsy" purchase when just out of highschool.  In fact,  he dismissed it quite out-of-hand as "commercial art" and I spent the remaining several hours watching and listening how he expressed with words and expressions his passionate belief in real art; that which pleases the artist and not the market! Accepting this definition inevitably leads to the histories behind watches; stories of the people that created and used these objects.  Without this human connection, I'm afraid the entire subject would seem lifeless (LOL, literally and figuratively).  Can a watch be art?  Of course, but not based only upon technical considerations; that is craftsmanship.  What inspired the people to collectively design, construct, market and acquire the watch is what constitutes the art of horology.  And so, in a very roundabout manner, we return to Tony's original post on the books of VC which so wonderfully communicates the art of Vacheron Constantin smiley
Re: My dear friend...
02/09/2014 - 04:22
Thank you for this advice, tick-talk. Of course, you are incontrovertibly correct regarding what is important in horology, and for collecting in general: the human factor and the motivations behind creativity. It is all too easy to lose sight of this human component when engrossed in discussions of minutiae such as particulars of movement components or the legitimacy of a certain watch, as interesting and fascinating as these details may be. I consider myself fortunate this early in my horology adventure to be reminded of what is important, and so I am very grateful to you for your insights, doubly so considering you were about to receive guests when you sent this off. It is generous of you to spare the time on what I would hardly consider an abbreviated message. On the contrary, it was full-bodied and satisfying, as I trust you found your esteemed single malt, if those adjectives may be deemed appropriate (I am and always have been entirely teetotal and woefully ignorant of, though intrigued by, matters of beverage). Last, but not least, I am honoured to be referred to so warmly in your opening sentence.