Vacheron K1001, K1002 & K1003 Movements were the best.

Just read an interesting article on Timezone about the "Decay of the Angel". It outlines of fall of Vacheron from its peak in the 1950s/1960s. The article argues that the best manual wind movements were the K1001, K1002 and K1003 Movements. These movements used a base Jaeger-LeCoultre movement and were used by Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet.

As a premier maker of gentlemen's wristwatches, the foundation of its line has ever been the simple hand-wind, typically with subsidiary seconds, and it is here where I think the saddest decline occurred. Since the 1930s at least, most Vacheron & Constantin wristwatch calibres were essentially more refined variants of movements used by Jaeger-LeCoultre for its own watches. The gap in quality grew over time, until the raw ebauches supplied to Vacheron & Constantin could be seen to have only a little in common with their Jaeger-LeCoultre counterparts, and with the finished movements being a world apart. Such a case were the calibres 1001 and 1002, which were provided exclusively to Vacheron & Constantin and Audemars Piguet.

Other high-grade calibres like the 1003, 1171, and 1120, had no in-house counterparts at Jaeger-LeCoultre, which served only as a supplier of the raw ebauches. An elegant calibre in five bridges, the sub-seconds 1001 and the center-seconds 1002 had formed the basis of Vacheron & Constantin's reputation in the 1950s and 60s. They were matched only by the peak 10 and 12 ligne handwinds of Patek Philippe, and I would not hesitate to classify the 1002/2 as one of the very finest indirect center-seconds handwinds ever produced. The contemporary counterparts to these movements used by Jaeger-LeCoultre and LeCoultre were the calibres 818 and 819. Sharing the same basic "footprint" as the 1001, the 818 was a simplified economy design never intended for use in fine watches.

It might be most appropriately compared to the present ETA calibre 7001, a solid and reliable extra-flat hand-wind used in inexpensive watches. The elegant curve and sweep of five bridges in the 1001 as largely destroyed by the crude joining of the center and third-wheel bridges in the 818. With the addition of a freesprung Gyromax balance in the 1001/1 and 1002/2, full Genevois finishing, adjustments, and the Geneva hallmark, there could really be no comparison. Alas it appears that in the late 1970s (or early '80s) that Vacheron Constantin either elected, or was forced to give up the 1001 and 1002, and take up the inferior 818 which it redubbed calibre 1014. This movement did not feature the option of a freesprung escapement, and it does not appear that Vacheron Constantin would often elect to brand it with the Geneva hallmark, if ever. It was of course finished to the high Genevois standard in all other regards. Calibre 1014 has formed the backbone of Vacheron Constantin's production of handwound wristwatches (as shown above) for nigh on a quarter-century, a movement which in recent years it has had to share with Chopard, Breguet, and perhaps others, though Jaeger-LeCoultre itself elected to stop using it several years ago. The shift from the 1001 to the 1014 is akin to the technical and aesthetic decline of Patek Philippe's 23-300 PM to their present 215 PS, if only steeper.
its hard to say what best is. Best compared to what? cal 1001 and
08/11/2011 - 18:02
the others were certainly great but the article lacks argumentation as to why they were the best. Cal 454 click here wasn't all that bad either! If duration of use of a caliber is something to go by cal 1003 would be best because the brand has been using it for over 55 years
I'm with Alex in this!
08/11/2011 - 21:30

It's impossible to compare.

The movement depends on the watch and the opposite.

Of course the most famous of them all, is Cal.1003, and will so be,

it couldn't never have been replaced with another in this ultra thin dress watch!

OTH, isn't Cal.1002 just as beautiful in this Vacheron&Constantin ref. 6454?

Each movement has it's own charm,

and suits certain watches.

I wouldn't grade them, just love them heart



Amazing Cotes de Geneve on cal. 1002, Mats... perfect V&C finish (nt)
08/12/2011 - 02:11
Re: its hard to say what best is. Best compared to what? cal 1001 and
08/12/2011 - 04:51
After the K1001, K1002 and K1003 movements the next movement was a compromise. VC used a lower grade JLC movement that was never meant for fine luxury watches.... VC used a much lower grade machine. I am sorry to say this - but the K1001 and K1003 were the best manual wind movements by far. I understand this is a VC paid for site - but I can't stand the lies that constantly appear here..... Lassale made the smallest 1.1mm movement - this movement worked fine in Lassale watches. If VC could not make this movement work in VC pieces that is not the fault of Lassale. This is the honest truth. Just because you do not want to accept it does not make it any less true.
Dude you need to chill. Give a decent argument and you will be
08/12/2011 - 12:14
heard, continue with aggressive behavior and I will ban you like you have been already on PuristsPro and TimeZone
BTW if the Lassale was such a great movement Lemania
08/12/2011 - 19:28
now Manufacture Breguet would have continued making them instead of droping the whole thing rapidly
That is completely unfair....
08/15/2011 - 03:38
The Lassale movement was adopted by many greats including Vacheron (what could be better than that!). The real reason for the commercial failure of this is the market place itself. AKA QUARTZ! The demand for ultra thin movements relies on consumers to want the product... unfortunately by the time the Lassale movement has available the quartz monster had destroyed the market for this fine piece of engineering. It is completely unfair to say the movement was not amazing/revolutionary. I suspect sour grapes here... The Lassale was an amazing piece of engineering... the commerical failure has limited reason for justifying sour grapes.
"I can't stand the lies that constantly appear here"
08/12/2011 - 15:16
then why the hell do you keep coming back and gracing us with your knowledge?
Please hang on to this forum, you might learn :-) nt
08/13/2011 - 21:18


From someone who praises Audemars Piaget
08/13/2011 - 23:22
watches and describes JLC Reverso as a dress watch I would expect more self constraint.
Hey Archie... Did you ever read my "favourite quote"...?
08/14/2011 - 00:36
...I'd say it's too late for you!
Hey, Gary! I keep repeating your favorite quote to my girls...
08/14/2011 - 14:50
but they still act and say silly thingswink it's just childhood!