seriously conflicted, advice needed

Guys,  I am down to three choices for my current grail watch.  I say current because you just never know what the future holds.  Anyways, I am really conflicted and any advice would be greatly appreicated.  Bear in mind that Vacheron is still my favorite brand.  The three watches I am looking at are all minute repeaters. They are :


1.  Vacheron Patrimony Ultra-thin Caliber 1731, ref : 30110/000R-9793

2.  Patek 5078R-001

3.  JLC Hybris Mechanica 11

I will list below what I like about each one.


1.  Vacheron is just my favorite brand, and I happen to like the way this one looks the most out of the three.

2.  I like Patek's exclusivity and its higher resale value if I ever have to part with it to raise some money,  that is not the plan but you never know.

3.  I am just amazed at all the new tech. that JLC was able to pack into this gem.  Not only is it the thinnest repeater ever (so I read), it also comes with a flying tourbillon

     and it is also automatic.


Any input is appreciated, I am a fairly new to watch collecting.  I am expecting most people on this board to favor the Vacheron, but please be as objective as you can possibly be.



Thanks, John

my 2 cents
09/09/2016 - 03:18

Hi John,  you are considering some serious watch hardware!cool

All three watches are wonderful, but when making this type of decision, you must try on and listen to all three watches first (if you haven't done it already).

It sounds like you like each of these watches for different reasons and only you can decide what is most important, or simply stated...which one makes you smile the most, gives you the most satisfaction when put on your wrist and when listening to the time.  Every minute repeater watch will sound differently, even when its the same model from the same it's important to listen to the one you are actually buying.


The Patek is a classic and wonderful watch. 

  • My only issue with it is I don't like the roman numerals, to me it is inelegant but that is only my personal aesthetic. 
  • It is not as thin as the VC and JLC, so it depends on how important this is...putting one on your wrist is the only way for you to tell how important the feel of Ultra-Thin will or will not be
  • It is 38mm in diameter vs. 41mm for both the JLC and VC.  Depending on the size of your wrist, this may be a factor.
  • No argument about the historic price retention that PPs can sustain in the auction/secondary markets.  Though even modern PPs are not doing very well right now (classic, vintage, PP pieces are another story).  What the future would say I can't tell, but I would not bet against PP in regards to resale value.
  • Exclusivity:  if I define this as purely the number of watches made/in existence...PP is less exclusive than VC. 
    • Even though VC is 96 years older, the total number of PPs produced is much higher than VC (although much of the PP volume is their quartz Twenty-Four collection for women). 
    • Today, PP produces roughly twice the volume of VC (again, due to the Twenty-Four collection). 
    • As a rough estimate and this rate PP will have made as many watches in about 15 years as VC has in its entire 261 year history to date.


The JLC Hybris Mechanica 11 is a truly technical tour-de-force!

  • JLC has always been the technological leader in Swiss movement design!  This watch has a significant amount of technical bells & whistles to make any watch lover drool.
  • Even with the flying tourbillon and peripheral rotor, it is a thinner watch (7.9mm) than the VC 1731 (8.1mm)!
  • The mechanism to initiate the repeater is simpler to use (push button vs. slide mechanism. 
  • Again, it all comes down to what is important you to personally.  Do you like automatics vs. manual more?  Does it matter to you? 
    • I have to admit if I had a watch like this, I don't think I would wear it every day.  So I'd have to manually wind it anyway, even though it has a rotor.
  • The aesthetic is, again, not elegant IMO.  Elegance is not JLC's forte (I think JLC's forte is advanced technical movement design). 
    • I don't like the hole in the dial of modern tourbillons. 
    • The slits in the dial that allow you to see the rotor in action are cool, but not elegant.  This is all just aesthetics and personal taste.
  • (as a side note:  if I wanted a tourbillon and minute repeater in one watch...I'd add in a perpetual calendar and choose the PP 5207P winkcheeky)


VC 1731

  • I love this watch for it's simple elegance, yet it has my favorite complication.  With a simple watch, every aspect of its design must be just right because there is nothing to distract/hide a design element that wasn't thought out clearly.  For my personal aesthetic, this is what VC does more consistently and better than any other Brand.  An example of this attention to detail is:
    • I love how the protruding end of the slide mechanism lines up directly with the center of the small-seconds dial and the main dial.  This is something you don't immediately think of, but it just looks right without you consciously realizing why. 
  • It's an ultra-thin movement 3.9mm, even thinner than the JLC movement 4.8mm (but it does not have a flying tourbillon or peripheral rotor).
  • I have a couple of minute repeate pocket watches, so I appreciate the silent regulator in this watch (no dstracting "buzz" while listening to the tones)


You can't go wrong with any of these three watches, but which one is best for you...only you will know!  If you get one, please let us know and show us pictures.  I will live my watch dreams through your wristshots.  angel


Re: my 2 cents
09/09/2016 - 05:31

That was a lot more than 2 cents. Thank you so much Dan, you are awesome. I will definitely keep you guys informed of my choice.  In the mean time, as mentioned before, I shall be unveiling my next pc. in a couple of weeks here. 



Re: my 2 cents
09/09/2016 - 05:57

By exclusivity, I meant that it is probably going to be harder to get the Patek than the Vacheron.  My AD is telling me that Patek might not even sell me one because I dont have enough of a history with them. And if they are willing to, it would take more than a year to get one.

OK, I get what you're saying.
09/09/2016 - 06:11

Now if you were in HK, I wouldn't be surprised if you could find several of them  immediately (both new and used)...and get them into a very small bidding war.  :-)

Re: OK, I get what you're saying.
09/09/2016 - 06:35

Really? But would I get a factory warranty with the dealers in Hong Kong? Aren't most of them grey dealers over there?  With this watch, I would think I should probably get the factory warranty with an authorized dealer.

You are correct for the most part. But there may be a dealer or two under pressure
09/09/2016 - 07:54

As you can find many high-end watches that are still factory sealed in HK.  A real excess supply situation for the past year.  But as always, it is buyer beware and knowledge is king!

difficult to add anything meaningful to what Dan wrote, no matter what you
09/09/2016 - 09:21

choose it will be amazing.

Keep us posted

Re: difficult to add anything meaningful to what Dan wrote, no matter what you
09/09/2016 - 14:38

Thank you, Alex.  You guys are making me wish that I can get all three watches at once. I agree with Dan that I should listen to each one of them before I make my decision, but that is easier said than done.  Maybe I do need to take a trip to Hong Kong.


Dan's response is superb. Cannot add to that. Each is a winner and each
09/10/2016 - 14:00

has its own target audience.

I have had the privelege to handle the VC 1731. I have seen Patek and JLC minute repeaters as well.

I would go for the VC. Maybe the version in Platinum with black dial. I think VC is the most classicial of them all, and there is something about it which gets me. JLC for all its tech does not excite me, and PP with its application policy and grey market angle etc puts me off. 

For me VC is the clear winner.

Re: Dan's response is superb. Cannot add to that. Each is a winner and each
09/10/2016 - 17:32

Thanks kk. I agree with you that the VC looks the best. The black dial does not do it for me though.  I heard somewhere that it sounds better in rose gold than in platinum. Can anyone confirm?

My AD just got back to me regarding the JLC Hybris Mechanica 11.
09/10/2016 - 17:27

JLC told him that the pc. has not come out of production yet, late next year the earliest.  And the first few pcs. are already spoken for.  So it is at least two years before I can even think about getting one. On top of that, they couldnt even give me a price.  So I guess JLC is out for now.


Re: My AD just got back to me regarding the JLC Hybris Mechanica 11.
09/11/2016 - 08:46

Well, I'm sure VC's LA Boutique and Vincent Bruns (VC's President for North America, and a great guy) will be very happy if you go with the 1731!cheeky

it was my least favorite so now you have the choice between two absolute killers :-)
09/12/2016 - 10:06