The vintage minute repeater – who made them? Patek Philippe? Sure, but not many. Vacheron Constantin? Yup, but even less. In fact, Vacheron only made 36 watches in the early to mid 20th century that were minute repeaters, and all of them (as far as we know) bore the reference 4261. And, out of those 36 minute repeaters, only ten used a 13mm diameter movement, inside an oversized case. All 36 minute repeaters were in fact ultra-slim, with a movement of just 3.1mm thick and were typically made from yellow or pink gold, sometimes platinum.
And then we have the watch we saw yesterday at Christie’s, which will be coming up in their May Geneva sale. This is indeed a vintage Vacheron repeater, and indeed it uses a wide (13mm ligne diameter) but ultra-slim (3.1mm) movement in an oversized case (36mm, but it feels more like 38mm), but it is not a reference 4261 like all the others. And it’s not in yellow or rose gold, or platinum like all the others.