Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Holy Toledo - the Sh*t that Killed Elvis!

When I was working and living in Finland, I loved to drop in on antique stores and hunt for treasure at flea markets for watches that might be less expensive.  I remember seeing Vacheron Constantin watches and not understanding why they cost so much.  I do understand now - they are singularly magnificent.  And as any long-time reader will know, my buddy Francis - watch seller extraordinaire in San Francisco coined this phrase.  And yes, this is the sh*t that killed Elvis!
Courtesy of Vacheron Constantin

This is Vacheron Constantin's latest iteration of the Toledo, and it is really something special.  

This is known as the 1951model.  here are the details, straight from the source -

More than a mere stylistic composition, the new Toledo 1951 revives an entire era, masterfully living up to its stature as an emblematic model within the Historiques collection by Vacheron Constantin.

The creative exuberance of the 1950s
Collectors well remember the delicious anecdote regarding the new ‘form’ watch presented by 1951 and featuring the remarkable asset of an astonishing square case. It was an immediate hit, winning over a broad audience including the Italians who nicknamed it “cioccolatone” in reference to the shape of its case that reminded them of a famous chocolate sweet.

The very fact that this watch with its non-conformist design elicited such enthusiasm lay in its ability to take the pulse of an effervescent period. Throughout a decade characterised by outstanding vitality and optimism, designers in all fields were eagerly exploring new avenues, including occasionally confronting each other so as to boost creative momentum.

At Vacheron Constantin, aesthetic trends were actively cultivated so as to nurture a design dynamic, as vividly embodied in the “Toledo” model.

A welcome addition to the Historiques collection
A keen sense of its duty to pass on traditions and to share its passion inspired the Historiques collection, which is intended to reinterpret emblematic models. This approach provides an opportunity to highlight Vacheron Constantin’s distinctive aesthetic design codes and choices. The Historiques collection thus revives a wide range of very different, innovative and successful designs within which the Toledo 1951 watch finds a natural place.

In 2003, the Toledo model had already been revisited and introduced with a complete calendar. This year, the new Toledo 1951 has opted for closer similarities with the original 1951 model through a form watch with a three-hand display that preserves the warm signature mood of this timepiece imbued with a touch of Latin charm. 

Courtesy of Vacheron Constantin


Historiques Toledo 1951
Reference 86300/000R-9826
Timepiece certified by the Hallmark of Geneva

Calibre 2460 SC, developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin Mechanical self-winding
26.20 mm (11’’’ 1⁄4) diameter
3.60 mm thick
22K gold rotor
Approximately 40-hour power reserve
4Hz (28’800 vibrations/hour)
182 components 27 jewels
Indications Hours Minutes
Central seconds
Case 18K 5N pink gold
33.30 mm x 42.30 mm, 8.93 mm thick

Water resistance tested at a pressure equivalent to 3 bar (approx. 30 meters)
Dial 18K gold, silvered opaline Hand-guilloché center
18K 5N pink gold applied Arabic numerals and “pearl” minute-track
Bracelet Brown Mississippiensis alligator leather strap, hand-stitched, saddle- finish, large square scales
Clasp 18K 5N pink gold buckle
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped 

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