Vacheron Constantin heritage

The ultra-thin

 
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Published by 3800 on November 19 2009, 11:50.

Vacheron Constantin has chosen today to revive some of the finest moments in the quest for ultra-thinness. The Geneva-based manufacturer has indeed been closely involved in the epic milestones of this distinctive form of expertise, such as in the 1950s and 1960s when Vacheron Constantin introduced the world’s thinnest wristwatches.

Today, Vacheron Constantin is enriching its “Historiques” collection with two new creations directly inspired by its heritage, each lending a new and distinctively modern touch to one of two legendary calibres.

“Historique Ultra-fine 1955”
currently the world’s thinnest mechanical hand-wound watch
measuring just 4.10 mm thick

It is equipped with the mechanical hand-wound 1003 movement
the thinnest in the world at just 1.64 mm thick
rebuilt in 2010 – for its 55th anniversary – in 18-carat gold, and bearing the Hallmark of Geneva

&

“Historique Ultra-fine 1968”
equipped with the ultra-thin mechanical self-winding 1120 movement
featuring a new decorated oscillating weight, and bearing the Hallmark of Geneva

Vacheron Constantin was founded in 1755 and can legitimately claim to be the world’s oldest watch manufacturer still in activity, with over 250 years of continuous expertise and production behind it. A truly unique status within the watch industry.

This proud heritage cultivated over a quarter of a millennium is punctuated with timepieces and movements that have each in their own way left an indelible imprint on their era. This stunning and inestimably valuable patrimony, through which the brand’s history is inextricably bound up with that of the watch industry, eloquently testifies to the brand’s consistent technical and aesthetic creativity.

Evolving in step with new inventions, techniques and of course with the tastes of horological enthusiasts, Vacheron Constantin has explored all fields of the watchmaking art, including pocket-watches and wristwatches, as well as ring-watches, pendant-watches, and brooch-watches. Its range encompasses highly complicated models, automatons, sophisticated clocks, as well as an area which is less conspicuous yet requires an incredible wealth of expertise, experience and talent: that of ultra-thin mechanical movements.

Extreme slenderness is traditionally not considered as a horological complication, in that it does not itself contribute an additional watch function in the same way as a date or a chronograph. It would nonetheless be entirely legitimate to describe it as such, due to its highly complex nature that often pushes micromechanical boundaries to the limit. Although many try their hand in this field, few are successful.

While the first ultra-thin Vacheron Constantin calibres were produced in the 19th century, the manufacturer became most prolific in this speciality during the 20th century, which is generally considered as the ultra-thin “golden age”. It was indeed in the early 20th century that wristwatches began to gain popularity, and weight and thickness thus became crucial factors in ensuring the wearer comfort of such models.

 
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