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Introducing The Best of The Hour Lounge: Vacheron & Constantin Repeater Watches

Tick Talk
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I have a confession to make to you, my fellow Vachonistas; I am a hoarder!  Thankfully not the kind who lives in a house jammed to the ceiling with mouldy newspapers and stinking of cat pee; I am an information hoarder.  When the The Hour Lounge, the official Vacheron Constantin discussion forum, was suddenly taken offline some four years ago I had, thanks to this small idiosyncrasy, copied many of the interesting and informative posts.  


Today I am pleased to launch the first in a series of repackaged articles from those ten lost years as The Best of The Hour Lounge.  I say “repackaged” because most of the official articles posted by Vacheron Constantin were preparatory to model launches or exhibitions that are no longer current.  The prose, therefore, is not as relevant today and has been omitted or greatly truncated.  Be assured the scholarly bits are still there; all the facts, figures and photos of interest to collectors.  Where new or additional details are known, they have also been added.




From 2007 to 2017, Vacheron Constantin hosted The Hour Lounge, an online forum where a treasure trove of historic photographs and technical details were shared with participants.  Although the forum is gone, some materials were saved.  I have endeavoured to curate this information, updated where possible and revised where necessary, for the benefit of connoisseurs and collectors alike. Photo credit Vacheron Constantin unless otherwise noted.  Tick Talk



The Best of The Hour Lounge

Vacheron & Constantin Repeater Watches Part I



1812

Quarter repeater, 55mm red gold case, enamel dial, 22’’’ movement with 4 jewels, 8.65mm thick.  Vacheron & Constantin’s first repeating watch.

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1812

Ladies quarter repeater, yellow gold case with inlaid pearls, movement 6.1mm thick.

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1816

Quarter repeater, pink gold case, movement 12.2mm thick.  Also plays a musical tune on demand and on the hour.

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1818

Quarter repeater, rose gold case, movement is 11.4mm thick.


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1820

Quarter repeater travel clock, alarm, grand and petite sonnerie.  Gilt metal case, dial in white enamel.


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1826

Quarter repeater, hunting case in rose gold, white enamel dial, movement 6mm thick.

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1827

Quarter repeater with jump hour and guilloche silver dial.

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1827

Alarm watch with gong striking mechanism, silver case.  Back engraved with Ethel Clifford poem circa 1903; 

Though we attain not, yet we shall have shared together for a space the bread and wine; have stood together on the peak of dreams and seen afar the mystic city shine.

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1827

Quarter repeater with grande and petite sonnerie.

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1830

Quarter repeater, rose gold case, guilloche silver dial, movement 4.1mm thick.


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1838

Quarter repeater pendant watch, silver dial, case with flower motif guillochage, movement 4.1mm thick.

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1897

Minute repeater, unique piece ordered with gilt brass case and repeating slide on right side of watch.


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1899

Minute repeater, day and date indicated via apertures in the enamel dial.


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1900

Minute repeater chronograph, minute counter, pulsometer, 51.5mm half-hunter case, calibre RA 18/19’’’, 31 jewels.  Watch owned by Prince Louis Napoleon, last of the dynasty.

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1901

Minute repeater chronograph, perpetual calendar and moon phases, calibre RA 19’’’, 33 jewels, 59.5mm red gold case.


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1901

Five-minute repeater chronograph in hunting case, perpetual calendar, movement 11.7mm thick.


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1904

Quarter repeater with date and guilloche dial, movement is 7mm thick.


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1905

Quarter repeater in rose gold case, white enamel dial, movement is 4.52mm thick.


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1905

Minute repeater,  perpetual calendar, split seconds chronograph, calibre RA 18’’’ II with 32 jewels, 50mm gold case.  A similar watch was produced in 1901 with a simple chronograph.


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1905 

Minute repeater with guilloche dial, movement is 5.05mm thick.


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1906

Minute repeater, hunting case, split seconds chronograph with minute counter. Movement is 9.25mm thick.

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1907

Quarter repeater chronograph, pink gold case, 9mm movement thickness.


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1909

Minute repeater chronograph with alarm, 15-minute counter, calendar with day/ date/moon phases.  Calibre RA 22’’’, 32 jewels, Observatory bulletins from Geneva and Teddington.  One of four pocket watches ever made by Vacheron & Constantin with alarm function, this watch belonged to Bhupindra Singh, the Maharajah of Patiala.

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1910

Quarter repeater chronograph, hunting case, perpetual calendar with moon phase. Movement is 8.36mm thick.


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1913

Minute repeater chronograph with pulsometer scale, calibre RA 19’’’ 20/12, 35 jewels, 55mm case is 5.64 mm thick.

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1918

Minute repeater chronograph with 7 1/2 minute grande and petite sonnerie, 20k chiseled gold case.  Commissioned by James Ward Packard.

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1923

Minute repeater, platinum case.  4.2mm movement thickness.

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1925

Minute repeater with perpetual calendar and moonphase, movement is 7.75mm thick.


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1928  The Boisrouvray

Minute repeater, carillon with 3 hammers, split seconds chronograph, perpetual calendar with day/date/month/leap year indication, moon phases and alarm.


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1929  The King Fouad

Minute repeater, carillon with 3 hammers, grande and petite sonnerie, split seconds chronograph, perpetual calendar with day/date/month/leap year indication and moon phases.  Calibre RA 21’’’ with 46 jewels.


In 1927 Vacheron & Constantin were working on the piece, destined to be their most complicated watch up to then, when a delegation from the Swiss colony in Egypt purchased it as a gift for King Fouad, a well-known watch collector.  In 1929, the completed watch was presented to the King.

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1930

Minute repeater, split seconds chronograph, perpetual calendar and moon phases. Movement is 8.46mm thick.

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1934  The King Farouk

Minute repeater, grande and petite sonnerie, split seconds chronograph, perpetual calendar with day/date/month/leap year indication, moon phases, alarm, and power reserve indication for going train and sonnerie.


Manufactured from 1930 to 1935, 80mm gold case contains 820 components and features 13 hands.  Purchased as a gift to King Farouk of Egypt.


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The Best of The Hour Lounge: Vacheron & Constantin Repeater Watches Part II will continue with a gorgeous cushion-shaped minute repeater wrist watch from 1930 up to the Patrimony Contemporaine Calibre 1731 of 2013.

References

  • Voice of the Angel: History of Vacheron Constantin Minute Repeaters by Alex Ghotbi, Vacheron Constantin Community & Social Media Manager, The Hour Lounge internet forum, 31 October 2010.
  • Massive Attack: Vacheron Constantin’s Most Complicated timepieces by Alex Ghotbi, Vacheron Constantin Community & Social Media Manager, The Hour Lounge internet forum, 16 July 2013.
  • Treasures of Vacheron Constantin, Éditions Hazan, 2011.

Comments:
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patrickh May 9th, 2021-20:59
What an IMPRESSIVE and illustrative post Thanks ++++++ Dean for this review of the very Best VC repeater pocket watches. A festival for our eyes and also to be signed up for the next new generation of VC aficionados. You are a PERFECT VC moderator.
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Tick Talk May 10th, 2021-15:32
Yes, I love the detailed images :-) &
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Brandon Skinner May 10th, 2021-00:54
Too much to process but I'm thankful! 
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Tick Talk May 10th, 2021-15:32
Take your time and enjoy! &
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walidk May 10th, 2021-01:07
YES!!! So happy someone saved some of those amazing posts and that the knowledge shared was not all lost! Thank you Dean! Great write-up and looking to read more of these and your other invaluable insights here! All the best, Walid
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Tick Talk May 10th, 2021-15:33
Hopefully every week or so will have a new edition
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walidk May 10th, 2021-23:58
Can’t wait! Thanks for being a hoarder 😉! All the best, Walid
quattro98 May 10th, 2021-03:15
This is amazing! Glad to see this information. I hope VC archived the website when they took it down. 
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Tick Talk May 10th, 2021-16:49
I recall the panic when everyone realized the old Hour Lounge was taken offline. For a short while one could find some text using the internet archive wayback machine, but images had been scrubbed away. I now understand it was so they could appear "fresh" on IG later.
chintu May 10th, 2021-03:36
Excellent initiative Please keep them coming.
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