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.
No worries about a difference in opinion or taste. We can all agree to disagree, especially on a topic as subjective as watches. Actually from much of what you've written I actually think we have pretty similar aesthetic tastes, but differ only on opinions on technical issues. For example, like you, I prefer tank or tonneau shaped watches for dress as well, as they are more interesting.
Likewise with you, I find myself unimpressed by the majority of current VCs, even the Metier d'Árt collection. For enamel dials from European watch brands, I prefer Van Cleef watches which are made by Agenhor. The 1955 left me feeling the vintage cal 1003 watches were made much better, and the 1962 is quite ugly imho.
The Toledo dial is also a little busy, but the case is just so voluptuous, rekindling the image of the old Cioccolatone.
If you think vintage VCs were daring (which they were!), look at Rolex's vintage output. It makes their current models look utterly staid and unadventurous.
Oh no, I understand that the Privee Collection is finished to a higher standard and was marketed as their marquee pieces. I checked out a friend's mono-poussoir with the THA movement and thought it was nice, but that I would rather have other watches for the money. I have a Cartier with the Piguet movement (though not CPC) and it is, suffice to say, badly made and finished. I think there are still several brands apart from Lange and Patek that could exceed Cartier.
As for Cartier servicing, seems it is a lot cheaper in the States. In Asia, it can run 2 to 3 times the amount you mentioned. I was quoted the price you mentioned to change the battery on my Cartier quartz travel clock!
I handled the Altiplano with the subdial at 4 o clock, but disliked it for the huge 43mm case and some imperfections on the dial printing. I find the latter unacceptable on a watch of this price level. Also played with the Double Jeu and some of their öne-off piece uniques, but just find their designs a little gauche. I agree with you that several other brands produce gaudy designs. But Piaget just seems to only produce ugly watches. Of course this is my opinion. I think their movement finishing is fine for the price but when I buy a watch, the dial matters just as much.
Of course, the AP 2120 was a special product made just for the ref 15202, so I figured they would put in more effort. It is also more "in-house" now, if that matters.
Thank you! I love the Reverso 1931 and it is one of the watches I wear quite regularly. I commissioned a bespoke light tan gator strap a few days back for it so the Casa Fag strap is no issue. It is not small at all, in fact I find it a tad long. But I have always preferred vintage watch sizes even though I have a large wrist. The Tribute case is even thinner than the original Reverso.