Vacheron Constantin Ultra-fine 1968

Vacheron Constantin “Historiques” collection

 
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Published by 3792 on November 20 2009, 12:19.

The “Historique Ultra-fine 1968” watch and Calibre 1120

Vacheron Constantin has chosen to make 2010 a tribute year to its ultra-thin timepieces by reissuing, again within its “Historiques” collection, a square-shaped model dating from 1968 and equipped with the famous ultra-thin self-winding Calibre 1120.

In revisiting this watch, the Manufacture has adopted an extremely distinctive style: that of the 1960s. This 4N 18-carat rose gold timepiece creates a striking contrast between the strict square dial opening and the slightly curving case flanks. The resulting design exudes an impression of elegant understatement, further accentuated by a vertical-brushed silver-coloured dial adorned with simple and geometrical hour-markers.

The pared-down lugs lend a pleasingly strict touch to the overall effect, while the sapphire crystal that is bevelled all around further underscores the ties between this watch and the non-conformist period when it was first launched. Everything about the design echoes the legendary Swinging Sixties through an original model that has in time become a great classic.

Compared with the original 1968 watch (reference 7614), the watch now presented features updated technical characteristics in tune with modern times: water resistance to 3 bar, equivalent to around 30 metres; a sapphire crystal, and a clipped-down solid case-back exactly like the original model.

Despite such improvements, which generally tend to increase bulk, this watch measuring 35.2 mm along its sides is even thinner than its historical predecessor: 5.5 mm compared with 6.52 mm, making it one of the thinnest watches in its category.

Like the 1968 model, the contemporary version is equipped with the ultra-thin self-winding Calibre 1120. This exceptional movement driving hour and minute hands has powered some of the most prestigious ultra-thin self-winding watches in horological history.

Despite its apparent simplicity, it features a sophisticated construction that called for some unusual technical solutions. For this re-edition, the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin has rebuilt the calibre: although its dimensions – 28 mm in diameter and 2.45 thick – remain unchanged, it is now equipped with an 18-carat gold oscillating weight bearing the Maltese Cross system. It offers an approximately 40-hour power reserve. Stamped with the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, its exceptional finishing features Côtes de Genève, bevelling and chamfering on all parts, and hand-drawn flanks.

By way of conclusion, Vacheron Constantin has chosen in 2010 re-issue two ultra-thin watches that have made their mark on its history, duly christened “Historique Ultra-fine 1955” and “Historique Ultra-fine 1968”. By choosing to equip them with the same legendary vintage calibres – the 1003 and 1020 rebuilt for the occasion and now bearing the independent and sovereign Hallmark of Geneva certification – the Manufacture is showcasing its peerless creativity in the field of exceptional classic watches. And in the process, it is also demonstrating its complete mastery of extreme slenderness by treating it as a full-fledged complication in its own right.

Vacheron Constantin and Pisa Orologeria
Vacheron Constantin Ultra-fine 1955

 
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