The most beautiful movement I have seen. Still is.

Vacheron&Constantin from 1919.

The most beautiful movement I have seen. Still is.

The most beautiful movement I have seen. Still is.

The most beautiful movement I have seen. Still is.

Cheers The most beautiful movement I have seen. Still is.

Doc
that brushed finish looks indeed very nice! (nt)
10/09/2009 - 03:07
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indeed, and it did not change since day one for V&Cs......
10/09/2009 - 08:29
impressive the condition it has kept. many have been tampered with by wrong hands, which is sad and made yrs so valuable. new ones are the alternatives, but till they re-instate the "&", right?
Gilt finish is sooooo difficult to make! (nt)
10/09/2009 - 11:40
e
I will never forget, when Philippe Dufour saw the othe one :-)
10/09/2009 - 18:06
He said : "No one can do this now fortunately, but it's magnificent!". Meaning that the young men who did the gilt, died very young, because the mercury gas, that developed when they made those magnificent pieces... Doc
Gilt finish process...
10/09/2009 - 18:10
According to Wikipedia:   Fire-gilding or Wash-gilding is a process by which an amalgam of gold is applied to metallic surfaces, the mercury being subsequently volatilized, leaving a film of gold or an amalgam containing from 13 to 16% of mercury. In the preparation of the amalgam the gold must first be reduced to thin plates or grains, which are heated red hot, and thrown into previously heated mercury, until it begins to smoke. Upon stirring the mercury with an iron rod, the gold totally disappears. The proportion of mercury to gold is generally six or eight to one. When the amalgam is cold it is squeezed through chamois leather to separate the superfluous mercury; the gold, with about twice its weight of mercury, remains behind, forming a yellowish silvery mass with the consistency of butter. When the metal to be gilded is wrought or chased, it ought to be covered with mercury before the amalgam is applied, that this may be more easily spread; but when the surface of the metal is plain, the amalgam may be applied to it directly. When no such preparation is applied, the surface to be gilded is simply bitten and cleaned with nitric acid. A deposit of mercury is obtained on a metallic surface by means of quicksilver water, a solution of mercury(II) nitrate, the nitric acid attacking the metal to which it is applied, and thus leaving a film of free metallic mercury. The amalgam being equally spread over the prepared surface of the metal, the mercury is then sublimed by a heat just sufficient for that purpose; for, if it is too great, part of the gold may be driven off, or it may run together and leave some of the surface of the metal bare. When the mercury has evaporated, which is known by the surface having entirely become of a dull yellow color, the metal must undergo other operations, by which the fine gold color is given to it. First, the gilded surface is rubbed with a scratch brush of brass wire, until its surface is smooth. It is then covered with gilding wax, and again exposed to fire until the wax is burnt off. Gilding wax is composed of beeswax mixed with some of the following substances: red ochre, verdigris, copper scales, alum, vitriol, and borax. By this operation the color of the gilding is heightened, and the effect seems to be produced by a perfect dissipation of some mercury remaining after the former operation. The dissipation is well effected by this equable application of heat. The gilt surface is then covered over with potassium nitrate, alum or other salts, ground together, and mixed into a paste with water or weak ammonia. The piece of metal thus covered is exposed to heat, and then quenched in water. By this method its color is further improved and brought nearer to that of gold, probably by removing any particles of copper that may have been on the gilt surface. This process, when skillfully carried out, produces gilding of great solidity and beauty, but owing to the exposure of the workmen to mercurial fumes, it is very unhealthy. There is also much loss of mercury to the atmosphere, which brings extremely serious environmental concerns as well. This method of gilding metallic objects was formerly widespread, but fell into disuse as the dangers of mercury toxicity became known. Since fire-gilding requires that the mercury be volatilized to drive off the mercury and leave the gold behind on the surface, it is extremely dangerous. Breathing the fumes generated by this process can quickly result in serious health problems, such as neurological damage and endocrine disorders, since inhalation is a very efficient route for mercuric compounds to enter the body. This process has generally been supplanted by the electroplating of gold over a nickel substrate, which is more economical and less dangerous.
to the best of my knowledge the only ones who still use this finish
10/09/2009 - 18:27
areRoger SmithLange & Heyne Volker Vyskocil's future movement should also have a similar finish but we'le still waiting for the finalised version
Yes they looks like the real thing,
10/11/2009 - 02:16
but it's forbidden nowadays. I asked Philippe and he said it wasn't possible to do it the 'right' way, anylonger because it is to dangerous. I also know it's forbidden by law, because I have and old clock from the 18th century, that have lost all the gilt and I asked a jewler if it was possible. It wasn't And if you compare these new movements 'live' , with an old one, you see the big difference. BTW PD said he would never do one of these not authentic versions! But on a picture you can belive they are really genuine... Cheers Doc
I believe Gruebel Forsey also applies a gilt finish as well (nt)
10/13/2009 - 18:50
vc
very true! (nt)
10/13/2009 - 19:29
r