Vacheron Constantin celebrates the opening of the new Parisian boutique with the launch of two new mens versions of the Vacheron Constantin 1972. One regular and one limited edition, both in white gold and both feature the iconic assymetric case.
Remember the beautiful black & white photos, dedicated to the new VC boutique, that we showed you in December of last year? If not, check ’em out here. Vacheron Constantin grabs back to days long gone by, and immediately shows how timeless the in 1972 designed timepieces actually are.
The above pictured version is the non-limited version, in white gold, with a grey satin-finished sunburst dial that features subtle chevron motifs accentuated by two 18K pink gold dauphine-style hands. The brown strap, the grey dial and the pink gold hands simply look stunning, very warm, very elegant.
The balanced asymmetry of the new 1972 Prestige houses a precious ultra-thin mechanical movement. Wrongfully we mentioned JLC as watch brand that holds the record for thinnest manual wind movement (check here), as it is actually Vacheron Constantin with the legandary caliber 1003, which is the world’s thinnest manual wind movement.
A legendary calibre
Caliber 1003 is made of gold (yes, indeed, golded bridges, main plate and other parts), something which sets it apart from most movements on the market.
Development of caliber 1003 started in 1952 and the movement was introduced in 1955, on Vacheron Constantin’s two-hundredth birthday. To this day, it remains the thinnest mechanical hand-wound movement on the market.
Making it is extremely complicated, and regulating it takes all the expertise of a fine Wwtchmaking firm, like Vacheron Constantin is. The movement measures only 1.64 mm in height. In comparisson to earlier examples of caliber 1003, its finishes are more sophisticated than in the early days, because now the bridges and plate are made of 18K gold. Its 117 components work at a frequency of 18,000 vph, and despite its minuscule size it has a power reserve of over 30 hours.
Of course it features the finishing that you might expect from Vachron: Côtes de Genève, circular graining and bevelling of the components, and drawing of the steel parts is all done entirely by hand. And it bears the Poinçon de Genève.
The 1972 Prestige, with its asymmetrical design, was daring for its time. It was made in an extremely limited series, and the back was engraved with the Prestige de la France coat of arms. Since then, Vacheron Constantin has continued to offer this asymmetrical shape in various sizes and proportions; the current collection mainly comprises of ladies’ watches and diamond-set models of the 1972.
The 1972 Prestige takes its strength and balance from the principles of the golden section. For example, the dimension of the longest side of the case, divided by the length of the sapphire crystal on the opposite side, equals 1.618 – the famous golden section that appears in several of the greatest successes in the history of art and architecture, from the facade of the Parthenon in Athens to Le Corbusier’s Modulor.
The 1972 Prestige comes in two version, both in white gold and measuring 25 mm by 47 mm and just 8.72 mm in height. This sleek silhouette is further enhanced by the polished white gold case. The natural reflections and cambered profile emphasise the curving lines and shapes of this elegant timepiece.
The non-limited version, is shown in the first two photos, features a grey dial with chevron motiv. The other version, unveiled for the opening of Vacheron Constantin’s new Paris shop at 2 Rue de la Paix, is offered in a limited edition of 40 pieces as a boutique exclusive. It features a silvered dial and comes on a glossy black strap. Engraved in the case back, just below the Prestige de la France coat of arms, is the limited edition number.
Technical data – 1972 Prestige
Movement: Caliber 1003, ultra-thin, 18K gold, hand-wound, developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
- Dimensions: diameter 21.10 mm (9’’’ ¼ ) – thickness 1.64 mm
- Jewels: 18
- Number of components: 117
- Frequency: 2.5Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
- Power reserve: approx. 31 hours
- Case 18K white gold – “Prestige de la France” engraved on caseback
- Dimensions: 25mm x 47mm – thickness: 8.72mm
- Water resistance: 3 bar (approx. 30 metres)
This article is written by Frank Geelen, executive editor for Monochrome Watches.