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!
It all started innocently enough.