Just noticed its from 2002. The movement is reminiscent of the vintage Vacheron cushion calibre 457. Tres beau!
Most of V&C's modern tonneau watches use round movements. Another reason to go vintage.
Thanks Hayward. I had really fallen for this watch when I saw its photo from the SIHH show in a watch magazine. I really was impressed with their use of right angles and squares to create depth to the case by using the "stepped" lugs, and the shaped movement also helped distinguish it from square pieces from other companies. I guess I'm a sucker for -non-round cases. I only have 3 dress watches but none of them are round.
The ultra thin 1003 is very cool. I believe the only current VC to use it is their Patrimony Traditionelle Skeleton watch. I can appreciate an ultra thin movement, but that is not necessary to make me happy. Choosing an ultimate 2 or 3 hand dress watch is tough so I will go with 3 catagories.
For vintage it would be a Patek 3424 (in a white metal) designed by Gilbert Albert. I really like non round cases, and to me its asymmetric case a very fresh and unusal look for Patek. I think when it comes to dress watches most people hear the name Patek and they think Calatrava. The 3424 flies under the radar and would not really be noticed as a Patek except by Patek collectors.
One of my ultimate two hand dress watches, is in my collection already. It might not be everyone's choice but for me, its beautiful, interesting, and high quality. I really love my Louis Cartier Tank XL from the Privee Collection. It was made from 2007-2008. Only 200 were made in rose and 50 in platinum. It has a beautiful rectangular movement from Piaget and its visible through the saphire crystal back. Its a watch that is paired down to its essentials, simple case design, classic Roman numerals with blued sword shaped hands, and a design that is roughly 100 years old and still looks fresh and sophisticated with a suit or sport jacket.
For current favorite 2 hand dress watches, I would have to say I really like the JLC 1931 tribute watch, and the Piaget Altiplano (both their 2 hand manual and their 40mm manual with subdial for seconds at 10 o'clock). I like VC ref 43075/000R-9737, especially since its uses the famous 1120 (also used by Patek and AP), but their choice to only use gold for the outer part of the rotor bothers me a bit.
That watch is inspired by a design they made in the late 1930s. Their vintage watches had very cool watch cases and lugs. I find some of their modern watches a little bit uninspiring. My favorite watches in their current collection are generally from their Historique collection. I also have a VC from 2006, called the 1972. Its in rose gold, used an asymmetric case, and a manual wind movment where the crown recesses into the side of the case for a very sleek , clean look. Its another piece inspired by their past designs.
Yes, the 1955 escaped me and I never really liked the coin watch so its just not on my radar. I think our tastes and opinions (other than on the JLC 1931) may differ quite a bit. I am not really in love with most current VCs. I've tried the 1955 and the 1968, and thought both were very unimpressive and overpriced. One of the few of the Historique models I really like is the such as 1921 American (although I'm not sure how I feel about its movement). The Aronde is interesting but I don't think I like it enought that I would ever buy one. Overall, I'm just not in love with most modern VCs. These days their prices seem to overshadow and outweigh the quality of their items. As for the Toledo, I only like in its earlier handwound remake from the early 1990s when I believe it was just called the Carree. I don't care for the current version, I find it too clumsy and bulkie, and I don't care for its dial.
I think VC's vintage pieces are definitely under appreciated and under valued both in terms of quality and price. I also think many were more daring and beautiful in design, than what we see today. A friend of mine had a collection of more than 30 vintage VCs and each was really special, interesting in design, and incredibly high quality. My only issue with them is, although I'm not someone that feels I have to have a giant watch to follow the current watch market designs, some of the vintage models are a bit on the small side.
As for the Privee Cartiers, they are nothing like the standard models of the past 10 years. They are also more finely finished than their few higher quality non-ETA movment watches which were part of their mainstream collection. Each use incredibly high quality base movements from JLC, THA, F.Piguet, and Piaget, and then they are finished to Cartier's own standards. As for quality I would put them against any top brands. Lange and Patek are the only ones that are definitely still more finely finished. However, that still leaves them in very distinguished company. As for the cost of service on a basic time only piece, they are significantly less than Rolex or the high end brands. The few Cartier servicings on basic watches that my family has had done, ran about $450 (although the last was about 3 years ago). I don't think you can get a Rolex serviced for under $600.
Regarding Piaget, I think the 90s was a dark time for them. Clumsy designs that often were not memorable such as the Tanagra. I think the Polo of the 90s was interesting but I didn't see why it got that name as it had no relation to the original in terms of design. Although I don't own one, I do have a soft spot in my heart for some of their vintage dress watches with stone dials. Yes, there are some flashy and unwearable Piagets, but JLC, Zenith, Patek, VC, AP are not innocent of having produced some strange designs and/or goofy, blingy jeweled pieces. As for their quality, I think I disagree with you there. Again its another brand that from what I've seen produces pieces that are definitely on par with JLC, AP, VC. Patek may have finer finshing and IMHO, only Lange really finishes their pieces in a manor that is beautiful and well beyond the others. My friend who has had more than 30 VCs (most vintage), APs, a Lange Datograph, (not sure he has had a Patek) and currently has a tourbillion from and independent (and he has been to many of the watch factories) has a Piaget Altiplano with subdial for seconds at 10, on his short list. He is also of the opinion that they are every bit as good as any of the top Swiss brands. I'm not a watchmaker, but he practically could be. He can easily get into and explain some of the more technical issues about movements, that could easily put some seasoned collectors too sleep. He has also done quite a bit of writing about movements and watches.
As for the 1120, I am not that pleased with what VC has been doing with their versions. I think AP has done a much better job in terms of quality and finish of their version which is cal 2120. To be honest, although I am not really in love with AP's dress watches, I think their quality these days is a notch above many current VCs.
Well at least we can agree on the JLC 1931. Congrats on your latest acquisition! That's a watch that I think JLC really did an amazing job with. The strap doesn't matter to me, I could take it or leave it. The rest of the watch is ideal. I know some here find it small, but I find the Reverso case just loses some of its beauty and elegance, and becomes too thick and more sport watch when you get into the XGT cases. IMHO, at least on my wrist the 1931, looks and feels perfect. Congrats again, an excellent choice I hope that you will enjoy for many years.