Remarkably enough, despite the longevity of the caliber 1003 its record for thinness still stands today: at 1.64 mm it is the world’s thinnest traditionally constructed watch movement. In the Historiques Ultra-Fine 1955, it is a beautiful thing: the plate and bridges are in pink gold (as are the case and hands) and it’s a wonderfully ornate, archaic counterpoint to the impassive, almost marmoreal splendor of the dial. At nearly $30,000 this isn’t an inexpensive investment, but it is not only a record-holder – and a record holder, in 2015, for 60 years – but it is in addition, and probably more importantly, a gorgeous example of a very demanding and very particular kind of watchmaking. Records come and go, and they may briefly make history – but the Vacheron Historiques Ultra-Fine 1955 is history.
The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra-Fine: pink gold case and baton hands, 4.1 mm x 36 mm with transparent caseback. Movement, Vacheron Constantin caliber 1003, 1.64 mm x 21 mm, 31-hour power reserve, running in 18 jewels; adjusted to temperature, isochronism, and positions; bridges and mainplate in 18k gold. $29,600; More info from Vacheron Constantin right here.