On the verge of joining the club!

It all started innocently enough.

I had never, ever looked into VC.  Yes, I know who they are; I see their ads on TV in Hong Kong from time to time; and when the 1921 came out, I was in love, but balked at the price tag.  Anyway, the brand was only ever faintly on my radar, and hardly registered. 

But then I came across a photo essay portraying a variety of VC lugs posted in another forum (note: I'm not including the link here, in case extneral links are frowned upon), and I thought to myself: I need to look into this.  Pronto.  What have I been missing all these years!

I don't know if my impression is off, but VC at first blush does not seem as accessible or as well covered as some of the other major brands with a rich heritage.  How does one find out more about their heritage?  What defines their DNA?  And if I wanted to get a piece of that DNA, what are the best models to start with, either vintage or contemporary?  It's all a bit overwhelming.

Thankfully, with the help of a well known collector, I got my hands on some print and internet resources, and started eagerly absorbing as much as I could. The more I read up, the more impressed I got.  250 years plus history?  Check.  Heritage of innovation in methods of production and complications?  Check.  Fascinating designs - be it exotic lugs, sweetly curved cases, ultra thin models, or perfectly proportioned triple calendars, amongst others?  Check.  They were at one point joined to the hip with Jaeger Lecoultre?  Didn't know that!  So much to pick up.

After looking through various designs and models ("drooling over" might be a more appropriate verb), I started having an idea of some of the timepieces that I might want:

- Four digits: 4178.  No need to further explain; or
- Something ultra thin sporting the legendary cal 1003; or
- One of the triple calendars.  The Cioccolatone looks especially intriguing - killer combo of sweet dial and sensuous case.

Any one of these would be worthy of a collection highlight. 

4178 is a grail-type piece both in terms of price and availability ... so I probably don't need to think about that for the moment.  The 47111 would have been a perfect way to get a taste of the design, except of course they get snapped up within hours whenever they pop up on the market.

For the ultra thin, there's the lovely 1955, which even sports the historical movement itself.  But for me, I couldn't stomach the price premium, and I also have this stubborn personal thing about small movement going into a lager case.  So that would be a longer term aspiration, again waiting for a vintage timepiece to become available as and when.  By the way I also took the opportunity of a chance two-day trip into NYC to pop by the boutique and checked out the ultra thin pocket watch from the Collectionneurs collection; I was so tempted, but just about maintained enough discipline to stay put - I told myself I shouldn't buy things that I can't get to regularly wear ...

And then there's the Ciocoolatone.  Well, that's a currently produced model which is extremely faithful to the original, and is also reasonably easy to find. 

Well well well ... the rest is history.

The watch should hopefully reach me by early next week and I will share with you all again then. In the meantime, a big thank you to any of you who read through all this!

Cheers, Jeff

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09/22/2012 - 02:00
Re: On the verge of joining the club!
09/20/2012 - 11:07
Look forward to the pic of what you have so eagerly bought. Could you or someone else put a pic of the 4178? Be curious to know what it is. Also, what is this ultra-thin pocket watch you saw in NY?
09/20/2012 - 11:19
Wow, Alex, wow!
09/20/2012 - 17:01
Those three make for quite an impressive photo. surprise Best, Robert
09/21/2012 - 13:16
so beautiful, have to change my keyboard :) Francois
ref. 6345, "Knife's Edge" pocket watch
09/20/2012 - 11:37
Hi kk. Here's a picture of the pocket watch from the 1960's (ref. 6345) I was talking about, courtesy of Paul Boutros's article in Timezone. The movement inside is the 1003, which is the same one found in the Ultrafine 1955  within Les Historiques line today.  Cheers, Jeff
Jeff thank you for taking us through your journey, it all sounded so
09/20/2012 - 11:14
familiar wink I think funnily one of the things that drew me sp much to VC when I got interested in the brand close to 15 years ago was the fact that they were less talked about than the other big Swiss brands. All the watches you stated are fantastic and have their place in a collection. One note on the Toledo 1952...it will soon be discontinued... Really curious as what you chose and looking forward in your write up yes PS no problem putting links from TimeZone or The Purists here, Paul and Bill are great guys and friends
I choose door number three
09/20/2012 - 11:43
Alex, thanks for your message.  I am so sorry I left out the most important part ... I picked the Toledo in rose gold.  I will definitely share more with you when the watch arrives, though I have to warn you I am terrible at write-ups about watches; the best I can do is take as many pictures as possible, and hopefully let the watch itself do all the talking. Cheers, Jeff P.S. I am going to have to avert my eyes from that picture of the 4178. :p
ah thus your avatar :-) I had a WG Toledo 1952 for a few
09/20/2012 - 12:00
years and loved it! Have been thinking about getting a RG recently as well!
09/20/2012 - 17:27
An excellent choice, indeed! Mine is WG. It's a superb nd beautiful watch. Wear it in good health. Joseph
Thank you Joseph ...
09/21/2012 - 06:11
from one Canadian and (now) Toledo owner to another ... I hailed from Vancouver prior to relocating back to Hong Kong.  Cheers, Jeff
a good club to be part of :-)
09/20/2012 - 16:18
Indeed it is! Thank you.
09/21/2012 - 06:11
That will be a good intro to the world of Vacheron
09/20/2012 - 17:00
I have been wondering what you would get first, Jeff...yes, it was only a matter of time before you got your first VC.  wink The 1952 Toledo is an amazing piece with which to begin.  I am excited for you and can't wait to see your photos. Congratulations! Robert
If you think you are excited about my watch ...
09/21/2012 - 06:16
... you have no idea how excited I am about yours!  Your collection was a real inspiration to me as I was lurking in this forum.  Your 47111 in salmon in particular was something that I repeatedly admired, and your review of the 1955 was also fantastic; if it were more affordable I would have probably srpung for it even before the Toledo!  Thanks again, Jeff
Congratulations and welcome to the club!
09/20/2012 - 19:48
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your journey to VC.  You have the gift of writing and I hope you use it often here. After buying a Jubilee 1755 in 2005, my AD gave me a copy of "The Secrets of VC" which included a DVD starring the Toledo...and, as you said, the rest is history.  I've had my WG Toledo for more than 6 years now and it still gets its share of praises.  I look forward to wearing mine more often now that the humid Japanese Summer is finally gone. Cheers, Kazumidevil 
Thank you Kazumi
09/21/2012 - 06:18
I have the same book and DVD ... yes I did see the watch profiled in there, and that was part of what "pushed me over the edge".  The humid HK summer is now also on its way out as well, so both of our Toledos shall see more wrist time!  Cheers, Jeff
09/20/2012 - 20:38
I'll hold off congrats until you post a review of your soon-to-arrive timepiece devil
Go climb a mountain, Mr, Buzzkill! :-)
09/20/2012 - 20:49
I will offer a proper congratulations on his new purchase! Bill
09/20/2012 - 21:16
The Toledo is a beautiful watch! @Alex: Epic collection of 4178's, those lugs are someting else yes
09/21/2012 - 06:22
And indeed that was an amazing photo of 4178's ... methinks that guy's monopolizing too many and should leave one or two to some of us.  cool
09/21/2012 - 06:21
Dear Bill, thanks.  I have learned a lot from your posts at Purists as well ... very nice to meet you.  Cheers, Jeff
Wow ...
09/21/2012 - 06:20
... this is a hard crowd .. crying Jokes aside, look forward to sharing more with you guys shortly!  Cheers, Jeff
I've got something for you...
09/21/2012 - 17:59
A big fat hug....
Warm welcome to the Vacheron club, Jeff
09/20/2012 - 21:34
Thanks so much for sharing your discovery and learning experience - you're a gifted story teller! Looking very forward to seeing it on your wrist. Congratulations! Paul
Thanks again Paul ...
09/21/2012 - 06:23
... I know I've said this numerous times in multiple places already, but I couldn't have reached this point with VC without your support throughout.  Cheers, Jeff
Jeff, I've read through all of this!...
09/20/2012 - 23:18
You're obviously into 'count-down' for the big day and that comes as no surprisesmiley It's always good to welcome new Loungers so be assured that you will receive a  warm reception. We're anxiously awaiting a sighting of the new arrivalyes - don't keep us waiting a second longer than necessary! Tony
Thanks Tony!
09/21/2012 - 06:25
I will indeed share asap.  All I've been thinking about over the past few hours is with my limited skills, how I can properly photograph the watch to bring out the right details!  You will definitely hear from me again soon.  Cheers, Jeff
Hi Jeff, been there, done that
09/21/2012 - 00:22
Entertaining read. We have all been there and shared the same excitement. It is an amazing feeling. To me the best part of watch collecting is the hunt or as we have been saying here lately 'fishing' for a new timepiece. Equally important is the people that you encounter along the way. All those wonderful passionate individuals you can share your watch-owning joy and high with. Yep, you've come to the right place and will be welcomed and taken care of by all the considerate and thoughtful Loungers here. From one Toledo owner to the other: welcome to the club! One of the best VCs to start your adventure with. An iconic design in a modern interpretation.
Yes indeed Radek ...
09/21/2012 - 06:27
... having wonderful people to share this with makes the experience so much better.  Thank you again for your warm wishes!  P.S. Yes, fishing of the respo-47111 kind is definitely a lot of fun ... especially when it culminates in actually a catch!  :)
Very interesting insight!
09/21/2012 - 13:10
I agree on all the points you shared. Special lugs, the 4178 and the triple calendars or different are pure Vacheron DNA. And calibers, so beautiful calibers ! I would add somm guilloche dial which are fantastic at Vacheron, skeleton work which is the best possible. But the history is also writing today with the one of a kind Quai de l'ile for example. I am also interested to see your future write up. cheers Francois
Thanks Francois!
09/22/2012 - 02:00
Indeed some of the other elements are mentioned are fantastic as well - in fact there are definitely many more things to explore!  Cheers, Jeff