In 2013, Vacheron Constantin released a minute repeater wristwatch with what, at the time, was the thinnest hand-wound repeating movement in the world. Though it’s no longer a world’s record holder, the caliber 1731 is still a movement of great elegance and very traditionally executed design and finish – at only 3.90mm thick, it’s just slightly thicker than Bulgari’s caliber BVL 362, which is 3.12mm thick. On the caliber 1731’s side, however, is a slightly longer power reserve, at 65 hours vs. 42 for the BVL 362, and the additional available energy offers the possibility of adding an additional complication. You wouldn’t want to do anything too crazy – a triple axis tourbillon, for instance, would probably be pushing your luck, to say nothing of being a kind of silly thing to add to an ultra-thin repeater movement – but a perpetual calendar would be the bee’s knees, as they say, offering the ability to make a very flat watch that’s also delightfully complex (and which is also two thirds of the way to fulfilling the traditional definition of a grand complication, which ain’t too shabby either).
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