Vacheron Constantin (Part 1) Of Watches And Clocks Brand Decryption

With more and more friends patronizing the watch home, everyone’s desire for knowledge of the movement has become stronger and stronger. In order to meet this demand, we have decided to launch a watch brand machine Chipset’s decryption column. In the first column, the brand we prepared for was Vacheron Constantin. The reason why we chose this brand is that everyone has always disputed whether Vacheron Constantin’s movement is produced or not. We will get the answer in this article. In order to let you understand the charm of Vacheron Constantin’s movement more thoroughly, we have divided this article into three parts, which are the self-produced basic movement, out-of-factory modified movement and self-produced high-complexity machine. core.
   In today’s Swiss watchmaking industry, any watch brand that claims to have the ability to produce its own movement means that the brand must have at least two fully self-produced basic movements, one manual, one Paragraph is automatic. Because only with a good foundation can we move on to a better field. As the top watch brand of Vacheron Constantin, it is naturally impossible to have only two basic movements. At present, Vacheron Constantin produces 5 basic movements of its own production, including 3 manual movements and 2 automatic movements, and we need to pay attention to Yes, although Vacheron Constantin is not a brand that the entire line of mechanical movements have passed the Geneva Seal certification (formerly Patek Philippe), but its completely self-produced movement is of high quality, all engraved with the Geneva Seal, and in some places even surpass Patek Philippe Let us appreciate it together.

  The first thing we have to say is this 1003 manual winding movement, which is claimed to be the world’s thinnest. Its thickness is only 1.64 millimeters. Some friends may ask how this movement looks so familiar. This is not Jaeger-LeCoultre. Is it 849? Yes, it is very similar to the 849, but it is the grandfather of the 849. The 849 was produced in 1994, but it was available in 1003 and 1955. In 1952, the top Swiss watch brands began to jointly develop modern ultra-thin manual machines. R & D members include Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet and Jaeger-LeCoultre. In 1953, a Jaeger-LeCoultre movement 803 (the originator of the 849) with a thickness of only 1.64 mm was launched. Later, Vacheron Constantin modified this movement in three dimensions, making it reach or even surpass the Geneva mark Rigorous standards and officially launched on the 200th anniversary of the brand’s founding in 1955.

   This movement is not only thin, but all its splints are made of 18K gold, which is a veritable gold movement. In addition, Vacheron Constantin’s transformation on the escapement is at the expense of the original. The escapement was replaced with a very traditional screw balance and fine adjustment screw adjustment method, and the balance was also adjusted in five directions. Even the Kif shock absorber, which was very advanced at the time, was used, not only Taking the already exceptional accuracy to the next level and meeting the exacting standards of the Geneva mark. At present, this movement is only fitted on Vacheron Constantin’s latest men’s 1972 series and a retro series watch. Unfortunately, these three watches are not transparent, it seems that they want A glance at the 1003 Fang Rong can only buy its hollowed out version (1003SQ) except when maintaining it.
1003 movement
Reference 1003
Power: Manual winding
Thickness (mm): 1.64
Diameter (mm): 21.10 (9 ” ‘¼)
Number of parts: 117
Number of jewels: 18
Vibration frequency: 2.5 Hz (18’000 v.p.h.)
Power reserve (hours): around 31
Display: hours, minutes
Certification: Mark of Geneva

  1400 movement I personally think that it is not only the most beautiful manual basic machine of Vacheron Constantin, but also the most beautiful manual basic movement in the world. The most beautiful place is first of all the large steel wheel plywood. The edge of the plywood is made into a cloud-like outer edge. This shape is very classic and has the taste of a pocket watch. It can be said that the decoration of the movement is completely raised to the level of art. The second is its steel wheel structure. The movement hides the common small steel wheels under the wheel splint, and the large steel wheels are exposed outside and match the straight non-return. This unique expression makes this machine The core is full of personality.

   In grinding, the big steel wheel adopts the satin-brushed grinding method, so that the big steel wheel has a silky texture. In terms of travelling gear trains, in order to make installation more accurate and simple, the four wheels are perfectly separated from the escape wheel plywood. The Geneva mark is shining on the four-wheel plywood, which is very eye-catching. In addition, Vacheron Constantin is also equipped with shock absorbers on the escapement wheel splint. Although this does not have a significant shock absorption function, it is more beautiful, ensuring that oil does not spill out and reducing gear friction. This movement can be said to be a landmark movement of Vacheron Constantin, but unfortunately, the smaller size of 1400 is no longer transparent to the increasing case size.
calibre 1400
Ref. 1400 Power: Manual winding
Thickness (mm): 2.60
Diameter (mm): 20.65 (9 ” ‘)
Number of parts: 98
Number of jewels: 20
Vibration frequency: 4 Hz (28’800 v.p.h.)
Power reserve (hours): around 40
Display: hours, minutes
Certification: Mark of Geneva
Cal. 4400

  In order to cope with the big watch trend, Vacheron Constantin launched the successor to the 1400 movement in 2009. Compared with the 1400, the most obvious difference is that the diameter has increased by 8 mm. The subsequent change is the power reserve. Increased from 40 hours to 65 hours, but I would like to say that although this movement surpassed the predecessor in terms of practicality and inherited some legacy of the predecessor in the overall style, the overall style is more modern and technical, although we have no right to comment This style is good or bad, but it always feels less Vacheron Constantin’s unique tradition and softness.

   This time the 4400 hides the large steel wheel and exposes the small steel wheel, but the small steel wheel is not polished with a more textured satin surface, but is commonly polished. The wheel train is no longer divided and becomes a whole plywood. And there is no pallet fork shock absorber. Although some people may say that these places are irrelevant, I believe that the essence of high-end watches is to see how a brand handles those irrelevant places, because high-end watches are best at no cost. For everything.
4400 movement
Reference 4400
Power: Manual winding
Thickness (mm): 2.80
Diameter (mm): 28.60 (12 ” ‘½)
Number of parts: 127
Number of jewels: 21
Vibration frequency: 4 Hz (28’800 v.p.h.)
Power reserve (hours): around 65
Display: hours, minutes
Certification: Mark of Geneva

   After talking about Vacheron Constantin’s manual basic movement, let’s take a look at its automatic movement. Like the 1003 movement, the 1120 movement is also a jointly developed ultra-thin automatic basis movement. It is known as the history of high-end watches. One of the most prominent ultra-thin self-winding watches. Although other brands of this movement have also used it, only Vacheron Constantin has used this movement to the extreme, so many senior watch collectors have a special interest in this movement.
   This movement can be said to be extremely sophisticated. Although it is thin, it is very rich in texture. Every detail can withstand scrutiny. The rotor has a 21K gold edge on the hollow side of the main body, so that you can enjoy the splint. Grinding has increased winding efficiency, and a more traditional pin bearing is used in the center of the oscillating weight. Although ball bearings are more common now, in fact, pin rotation is more efficient.

   In terms of large and small steel wheels, two types of grinding methods are used, namely radial wire drawing and polishing, which collide with each other to create an excellent decorative effect. As for the travelling wheel train, the four wheels and the escape wheel independently share a plywood. The escape wheel is also equipped with a separate shock absorber. Of course, this movement is even more special. It is Vacheron Constantin’s only movement that uses a weight balance and has a double Geneva mark. The double mark means that the movement has reached the observatory standard. Now it seems that this movement is impeccable. Of course, it also has the most powerful version called 1120QPSQ. We will talk about the ultimate version of this skeleton perpetual calendar in the next episode.
1120 movement
Reference 1120
Power: Automatic winding
Thickness (mm): 2.45
Diameter (mm): 28.40 (12 ” ‘½)
Number of parts: 144
Number of jewels: 36
Vibration frequency: 2.75 Hz (19’800 v.p.h.)
Power reserve (hours): around 40
Display: hours, minutes
Certification: Mark of Geneva

   At the 250th birthday of Vacheron Constantin in 2005, Vacheron Constantin launched a series of movements, including this new self-produced automatic basic movement. This movement was originally mounted on its four seasons models of the Master of Arts series. The display is all in the form of a window. After that, Vacheron Constantin gradually began to use this movement on its ordinary watches, and derived a number of simple functional versions.

   Among its many versions, the most common are 2460SC and 2450SC (2450 is the calendar version of 2460). I think maybe because of the more complicated production of 1120, the thickness of 2460 has increased to 3.6 mm, and the rotation mechanism of the oscillating weight is also It becomes a more common ceramic ball bearing, without the need to add lubricant to the bearing. But I would like to say a few words about the oscillating weight. Although the movement’s oscillating weight is very solid, using a whole piece of 22K gold and decorated with machine-engraved patterns, I always feel that this oscillating weight is too sloppy, and the lines at the edges are so. Straight, relatively speaking, I feel that the version of the Royal Observatory of this movement is more beautiful.
2460 SC movement
Reference 2460 SC
Power: Automatic winding
Thickness (mm): 3.60
Diameter (mm): 26.20 (11 ” ‘¼)
Number of parts: 182
Number of jewels: 27
Vibration frequency: 4 Hz (28’800 v.p.h.)
Power reserve (hours): around 40
Display: hours, minutes, central seconds
Certification: Mark of Geneva
   In this episode, we have sorted out Vacheron Constantin’s self-produced basic movement for everyone. In the next episode, we will introduce Vacheron Constantin’s out-of-factory-remodeled movement, so stay tuned! (Text / picture / watch home Mao Zhuang)