Thanks for looking. [nt]

Feb 15, 2020,06:17 AM

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Patrick’s Ponderings: How Thin Is Too Thin? Extra plate (aka Ultra Thin) Movements Explained

 By: patrick_y : February 13th, 2020-22:49
A Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Jubilee in Platinum. Photo Credit: Jaeger-LeCoultre A lot of people ask me what kind of watch they ought to buy; apparently someone wants me to talk about watches and cares about my opinion! I always suggest a lot of t...  

well written Patrick...

 By: mahesh : February 13th, 2020-23:21
it never crossed my mind that there are no accuracy claims in Ultra thin models... i happened to try few of them on wrist, esp. the JLC Jubilee & the VC Historique - within few minutes you've a doubt if the watch is still on the wrist (especially i like t... 


 By: patrick_y : February 13th, 2020-23:48
Thank you Mahesh for the kind words. I wouldn't say there are "no accuracy claims" as this really depends on the brand. For instance, JLC claims they have a very intensive 1000 hours test, but there is no accuracy standards claimed, even for thicker model... 

A collection is never complete without one axtra slim watch

 By: COUNT DE MONET : February 14th, 2020-01:04
I would say under 6 mm für the whole watch is already extra slim. Rolex 3135 caliber is alone 6 mm, just to give an orientation. Thank you for the enjoyable read!

Thank you Count!

 By: patrick_y : February 14th, 2020-08:29
I would agree with you on the 6mm, but I've been told by watchmakers at Piaget that it really starts to get supremely difficult when the movement is 2mm or under. That's when the case and movement team need to work heavily together to ensure the final pro... 

A 2 mm and under movement is unbelieveable thin

 By: COUNT DE MONET : February 14th, 2020-11:31
Regarding Patek 5119/5196: my Ellipse 3738 J with the cal 240 is even thinner as the afore mentioned. Like the current Ellipse it is the slimest watch Patek is offering. Patek calls the 240 extra flat.

Patek's 240 caliber is my favorite!

 By: patrick_y : February 14th, 2020-13:33
I fell in love with Patek Philippe back when I was a teenager because of the 240 caliber. It's sublime slimness and that micro rotor (admittedly my first time noticing a micro rotor) intrigued me and the high quality finishing finished me off. I always co... 

Thanks for a very informative read.

 By: halkcb : February 14th, 2020-03:16
I have always enjoyed an ultra thin watch for its elegance and silhouette. Not too sure of its accuracy ,as it lacks a second hand,but has been keeping time adequately for its purpose. An old vacheron with its cal 1003 like the slimness of the case An enj...  

1003! That is a nice watch with a superb movement!

 By: patrick_y : February 14th, 2020-08:31
The more I get to understand this watch, the more I realize how special it is. You have a very special watch on your wrist! Do you use yours daily or more for special occasions?

That's wonderful.

 By: patrick_y : February 14th, 2020-08:50
A wonderful watch. And I'm glad you enjoy it! Now I just have to find some special occasions to wear ultra thins!

O I like this one [nt]

 By: Jurry : February 15th, 2020-05:35

Thanks for looking. [nt]

 By: halkcb : February 15th, 2020-06:17

Good review

 By: Jurry : February 14th, 2020-03:17
Thanks for posting your review. It’s comprehensive, clear, and all in all nice summary. Obviously there are many manufacturers who claim they produce ultra plate pieces and some of them actually do produce ultra thin. Although I like it when such a watch ... 

Thank you Jurry!

 By: patrick_y : February 14th, 2020-08:33
I agree, I'm a little worried about the fragility. As a special occasion watch for dinner parties, I suppose I'll be okay. But as a daily then I'd be more concerned. For a daily, I'd step into a "slim" but not ultra-slim watch like a Vacheron Constantin 4... 

😀👍👍 [nt]

 By: Jurry : February 14th, 2020-13:38

I suppose weird things happen at formal events too...

 By: patrick_y : February 14th, 2020-13:42
I suppose when one is in their tuxedo weird things can happen... Runaway bride, wedding cake that rolls into a seated crowd creating panic stampede, dancing, and ice sculpture collapsing creating stampede and panic. These are all potential ways to damage ... 

Beautiful Watch Movement!

 By: patrick_y : February 14th, 2020-08:37
Similar movement as the Vacheron Constantin 1003 and Jaeger-leCoultre 849! That's a very realistic problem!

A few of my thin pieces

 By: cazalea : February 14th, 2020-05:29
A few are ultra, a few are thin. I think if the watch is thinner than the crown height OR thinner than its strap, it's ultra-thin. Thanks for the article. Mike I don't have one, but my favorite is the Piaget (photo from Nilo) So far I have resisted, but t...  

Those are some thin pieces!

 By: patrick_y : February 14th, 2020-08:40
I've always liked those gold bark finished bracelets on those Vacheron Constantin timepieces. Gorgeous timepieces, but I just can't stand how one has to "cut the bracelet" to fit their wrists. I fear I wouldn't be able to wear the watch if I gained girth ... 

”Please allow me to introduce myself”

 By: Pelle_thorstenson : February 14th, 2020-06:31
Being a newcomer on this site I must start buy saying how impressed I am by the great knowledge I have seen here. Many writers also bring their thoughts forward with an elegant sense of humour. When I read about slim watches to me it was an illustration o... 

Welcome Pelle!

 By: patrick_y : February 14th, 2020-08:43
Thank you for your kind words Pelle! You'll find many of the moderators and our members are extremely knowledgeable about the subject matter, its history, and the back stories of brands and their collaborations. A lot of the Swiss watch industry used to w... 

Thanks Patrick

 By: Pelle_thorstenson : February 14th, 2020-10:24
If I told you that this is your lucky day and you have won either one of the 3 I mention or the 5140 which one would you take - to keep and not to sell? When I hold a perpetual it gives me a feeling that is difficult to describe versus an annual watch. Ho... 

You have to go your own way...

 By: patrick_y : February 14th, 2020-11:11
I was once considering the Patek 5396G back when it had the sector dial. I ended up getting a different Patek Philippe timepiece instead. One that was thinner. The 5396G was too polished, had sharp edges, and was a little too thick. I like the 5205G but I... 

New thoughts

 By: Pelle_thorstenson : February 15th, 2020-00:28
Very interesting to read your reply Patrick. I am going to give some further thinking on how I like to see minutes shown on my watch. Not a thing to take as lightly as I have in the past. The 5140 has become a strong contender on my list. I do like PP mys... 

You're welcome!

 By: patrick_y : February 15th, 2020-09:34
If you like the 5140, check out the 3940. Same movement. 3940 has a slightly smaller case. I personally prefer the 5140 over the 3940, mainly because I'm starting to like bigger watches. I'd love to own a 5140J or 5140G someday.

My radar

 By: Pelle_thorstenson : February 15th, 2020-23:56
Interesting that you mentioned the 3940 since it is a watch I always thought was very elegant. However I have never seen it live and never worn it. Despite this I could consider take chance and buy it on chrono24 but in addition to never have seen it they... 

All very well said.

 By: LS : February 14th, 2020-07:03
As an owner of a vintage Vacheron & Constantin with the 1003 movement I will agree that the piece is delicate. However, I don't wear it when it would not be appropriate. As for winding.. I think it just takes a light touch. The winding is not differen...  

Gorgeous Vacheron Constantin...

 By: patrick_y : February 14th, 2020-08:46
I'm glad you have a good grasp on the crown. I'm finding some difficulty with my crowns, as it's getting quite difficult for me to feel the "end" of the winding period. Gorgeous watch, just an incredible timepiece!

Thank you!

 By: LS : February 14th, 2020-17:50
Your JLC is very nice, as well. The frosted/polished hands and dial are gorgeous.

Thank you for the post!

 By: Jim14 : February 14th, 2020-08:04
The JLC Jubilee was a grail piece that I wanted for wearing at my son's wedding in 2019 and I found it! One thing I particularly like is that it is a full 40mm in diameter whereas most ultra-thin are a little too small for me. Because of the memories and ...  

Very nice piece!

 By: patrick_y : February 14th, 2020-08:48
If you ever do decide to wear it more often, try it with the alternative matte navy blue strap that is in the photo above. The shiny strap is great for formal occasions, the matte blue is great for daily use!

Excellent article Patrick!

 By: sham1 : February 14th, 2020-10:31
I love ultra thin watches as they are light and easy to wear and tend not to catch too many objects unlike a more bulky watch. My only gripe would be the fact that should the movement be visible, it tends to not have great depth due to the thinness of the... 

The Jaeger really doesn't make sense sometimes...

 By: patrick_y : February 14th, 2020-11:12
The Master Ultra Thin 38 has a 38mm case and the Platinum Jubilee is 39mm! But the movements inside them are tiny and the cases are huge! Even the VC has a big border within the case! It really is an achievement that they got the movement so thin and smal... 


 By: sham1 : February 14th, 2020-12:03
the brands would not be faulted if they made a smaller sized case with their ultra thin movements. You might recall that Jaeger used to make the 38mm case in 34mm before it was discontinued. Such a pity, not to mention that the movement would look better ... 

The 34 is very nice!

 By: patrick_y : February 14th, 2020-13:34
I only mentioned the 38mm version because I still see those in stores sometimes. I think they made more of them. I haven't seen the 34mm version in a store for a long time. And if I did, I probably noticed more of the 38s.

A great Article, my dear Patrick. Ultra Thin watches deserve more attention, indeed.

 By: amanico : February 14th, 2020-23:30
And there is even more " Ultra Thin " watches... This Master Ultra Thin Blue enamel, for example, is only 3, 60 mm high. Here you have two challenges: Ultra Thin, of course, but also Skeleton. My favorite are those made by Jaeger Lecoultre. The MUT 34, th...  

If only they'd finish the 849 a little better...

 By: patrick_y : February 15th, 2020-09:31
That skeleton 849 is incredible! I've always loved JLC's Reverso ever since I was very young. But I never acquired one until now, as I was always hoping the finishing would improve. But sometimes one has to break their own rules... I'd love to get my hand... 

Here is another one for you...

 By: amanico : February 16th, 2020-00:05
MUT 34, White Gold, Skeleton, 75 pieces. ...  

;) [nt]

 By: amanico : February 16th, 2020-01:24

great post

 By: jml_watches : February 15th, 2020-08:20
ultra thin very much a case of less is more. I'm really struck by the earlier version of the JLC. The MUT 34 - lots of presence despite its size - the standout versions for me are the steel with the black dial and the white gold with the grey/anthracite d... 

Thank you JML!

 By: patrick_y : February 15th, 2020-09:32
That MUT 34 is definitely a cool piece!

This was awesome, Patrick!👏

 By: Brandon Skinner : February 15th, 2020-10:39
A few days back I opened up this story on my iPad and began to read. I got busy and closed the iPad, only to open it up two days later and have this post waiting for me upon return. I’m glad it was there otherwise I probably would have missed it. Thanks f... 

Thank you for commenting!

 By: patrick_y : February 15th, 2020-11:58
There's really no need for an Ultra Thin watch. But they're definitely something to appreciate! Thank you for commenting and I'm glad your iPad steered you back to my post!