Vacheron Constantin’s small but quite distinguished production of repeaters, both for the pocket and the wrist, includes some of the thinnest ever made; this is an example of one of the wristwatches and vintage Vacheron enthusiasts will probably recognize the reference immediately: the legendary 4261, which houses a 13 ligne movement only 3.1mm thick – one of the flattest, if not the flattest, repeater movements ever made. The watch overall is 36mm x 5.25mm; as far as mid-century classic watchmaking goes (this one was completed in 1951) this is about as good as it gets. With great beauty comes great responsibility, by the way; watches of this class are as gorgeous as they come, but they also have the water resistance of a colander and the shock resistance of a Ming Dynasty porcelain, so handle with care. $362,000, however a platinum 4261 went for $605,000 at Christie’s in 2016. It was, according to the catalog notes, probably the first platinum 4261 ever made, and hence commanded a premium, but still, it gives you an idea what sort of respect these watches command (and a gold case probably sounds better to boot). Oui, le prix is not cheap but m’sieurs dames, it probably sounds magnifique.
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