Vintage Watch Blog.
Is thin the newest or Oldest Trend?
The truth is, thin watches have been a consistently sought after complication since the late 1800s when ultra-thin pocket watches started to make their mark on horology. What most people don't know is that real ultra-thin watches (any movements under 3mm thick) is an extreme complication even if it just tells the time. The engineering talent needed to create these is on the same level as perpetual calendars or even minute repeaters. I believe it was Vacheron Constantin, in 1931, that made the thinnest pocket watch movement at .90mm thick. There were only three made because the movement was not too reliable due to it's paper thin profile. Unfortunately, the engineers over-accomplished in this case and failed to create a marketable watch. There were also in-house manufacturers such as Haas Neveux & Cie, that made extraordinary full bridge ultra thin pocket watches that had incredible reliability and put companies like Vacheron and Patek to shame. Seen on the left is a one-of-a-kind piece by Haas which houses an ultra-thin at approximately 1.7mm thick. Fast forward to today; and what we are seeing is the re-emergence of thin watches like the very popular lines from Nomos of Germany - although these are thin they are not ultra-thins. It's Vacheron Constantin that currently produces the thinnest full bridge wrist-watch in the industry, the Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra-Fine 1955. And it comes to no surprise that the watch uses the caliber 1003 at 1.64mm as it was back in 1955. Vacheron has made some modifications to the caliber since 1955; but the caliber is mostly the same as it's original. This watch is no small investment by the way, retailing at about $30,000 USD. Below is the stock photo of the watch. This caliber 1003 hold the title for the thinnest full bridge caliber still in production today.
Adam J. Dubilo, founder of Adam Vintage
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