During the past few weeks, there had been quite a few novelties from Vacheron Constantin, with for example, one that was quite interesting, THE most complicated watch in the world. At the 2015 Edition of Watches & Wonders, Vacheron Constantin also renew one of their long-time tradition: bespoke and unique watches, with the release of their Cabinotier collection. Alongside these exciting novelties, there’s also quite an understated and discreet one, that hides however a superb watch – that can also argue to be a technical prowess – the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater, that comes now in platinum.
Everything in this watch is discretion and understatement, starting from its introduction to its actual look. Except for the target used to actuate the minute repeater mechanism on the left side of the case, the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Calibre 1731 is simply traditional and classical, making it impossible to imagine the superb movement that is hidden into its case. When first introduced in 2013 – in rose gold with an opaline off-white dial – it was breaking two records (and it still does), as being the world’s thinnest minute repeater wristwatch, featuring the world’s thinnest minute repeater movement. The Calibre 1731 itself measures 3.90mm and the watch 8.09mm, two dimensions that are already interesting for a normal watch – dimensions that clearly set a watch in the ultra-thin category. Of course, we’re far from the 3.65mm of a Piaget Altiplano 900P or the 3.60mm of the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Squelette. True… but the reason is simple: it has a minute repeater, a mechanism that requires many parts (creating thick movements) and a large case to amplify noise (making cases thick and massive). Not here.
The Calibre 1731 is quite impressive, to say the least. Not only it’s thin (at 3.90mm) but its also innovative, with an almost silent flying strike governor (something that Vacheron Constantin developed in 2007 for the ultra-complicated caliber 2755), with no less than 65 hours of power reserve (and in the case of an ultra-thin watch with an additional repeater function, that’s a lot) and the traditional (and superb) finishing of Vacheron Constantin: the mainplate is circular-grained, the hammers are black-polished, the bridges are decorated with a delicate Côtes de Genève pattern with beveled and polished edges. There are seven bridges adorned with this superb hand-finishing, including some with interior angles (a time-consuming work that is rewarded by the Hallmark of Geneva).
For 2015, the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater sees its collection enlarged. Only available before in rose gold with an opaline off-white dial, it is now possible to have it with the most precious material possible – and certainly the purest, as composed of 95% of precious metal – with new dials. The platinum editions of the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater are available with a white or a dark skate grey dial, making this watch even more discreet and understated than the gold edition – because of the platinum’s coldness and the very soft colors of the dials. As said, except for the target at 9 to actuate the chime, nothing on this timepiece really states for its complexity. The dial simply shows the hours, minutes and the seconds in an off-centered dial at 7 and no inscriptions can help to imagine what’s inside. Could this be the real proof of elegance? Certainly yes.
More details about this watch can be found on the dedicated page on www.vacheron-constantin.com and on the page dedicated to the Watches & Wonders 2015 novelties, on the Hour-Lounge.
- Hallmark of Geneva certified timepieces
- ref. 1731
- Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
- Mechanical, manual-winding
- 32.8 mm (14’’’1/4) diameter, 3.9 mm thick
- Approximately 65 hours of power reserve
- 3Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)
- 265 components
- 36 jewels
- Hours, minutes
- Small seconds at 8 o’clcok
- Minute repeater
- Platinum 950
- 41 mm diameter, 8.1 mm thick
- Transparent sapphire crystal caseback – Not water-resistant
- Slate-colored / silvered opaline, convex external zone 18K white gold hour-markers and “pearl” minute-track
- Black Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
- Platinum 950 buckle
- Polished half Maltese cross-shaped
- Delivered with a magnifying glass and the resonator of sound “La Musique du Temps” enhancing the sound and the harmony notes of Vacheron Constantin