A few months ago I was fortunate to receive a copy of a new book titled Vacheron Constantin CALIBRE 1731. Having had a chance to read it a couples times now, I am here to recommend it to Perpetuelle readers, and in particular Vacheron Constantin collectors. The 108-page book is focused around Vacheron Constantin’s new caliber 1731 which was introduced in early 2014. Named for the birth year of its founder Jean-Marc Vacheron, the Calibre 1731 measures only 3.90 mm and bears the prestigious Geneva Seal. It was unveiled as part of the new Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-Thin Calibre 1731, itself a svelte 8.09 mm thick, making it the thinnest minute repeater in production today.
However, the calibre 1731 is actually not addressed until page 51 of the book. Up front, the book starts off with a wonderful History of Vacheron Constantin Minute Repeaters, including profiles of some of the renowned manufacture’s most famous striking watches (both pocket- and wrist- ) such as the “Packard” (1919), the “King Farouk” (1935), the Tour de l’ile (2005) and more.
This section is followed by insightful background on the Genesis of Caliber 1731, including a look at the research & development process, the designers, and the watchmakers who helped bring the Calibre 1731 to life.
Lastly, there are approximately 20 pages dedicated to movement finish including a review of various techniques such as poli noir (black/mirror polish), anglage (hand-beveling/hand-chamfering), perlage (circular graining), and lastly cotes de Genve (Geneva striping).
a mirror polished minute repeater hammer, as presented in the book:
The book has a luxurious and silky-smooth book cover, and as seen above, it is filled with text and beautiful images — all on thick, high-gloss pages. The book measures 9.5 inches x 12.5 inches (24.5cm x 32.0cm) and is a great object to display on your coffee table or anywhere else you might want be looking to pique a friend’s curiosity or otherwise engage them in a conversation about your enthusiasm for fine watchmaking.
My commendations to all involved in the production of this book including Sebastien Knop and Adrienne Doriel (Publication Directors), Alain Lambercy (Technical Director), Elizabeth Doerr (Copyeditor), Nelly Riedel (Graphic Designer), and Denis Hayoun (Photographs).
And lastly a very special and personal thanks to Alexandre Ghotbi who provided the review copy.