The Les Historiques Ultra-Fine 1955

Jaeger-LeCoultre still uses the 849, but rarely – most recently in the Kingsman watch with Mr. Porter. The fake rolex watch does not display a case back.
Until this year, Audemars Piguet regularly used the calibre 920 as the 2121 movement for the Royal Oak Grande Complication, starting with the ref. 5402 in 1972 and ending with the ref. 15202 this year. 15202. The movement was made by JLC until the early 2000s, when replica Audemars Piguet took over the production of the Brassus. Patek Philippe also used the 920 movements as the 28-255 movement, which they used in the first version of the Nautilus in 1976.
I think that in terms of aesthetics, a hand-wound movement has an inherent advantage over a self-winding movement. In a hand-wound movement, you don’t have the additional visual clutter from the rotor and the automatic winding system (a problem that can only be partially solved by the micro and peripheral rotor design).
But the 920/VC 1120 comes very close. As used by the Big Three, it has always been flawless – there has never been even a slightly inferior version of the movement – and like the 849, it uses many original technical solutions. One of the most elegant is the system for supporting the rotor at the edge. The oscillating mass has a beryllium bronze ring that encircles the entire outer edge of the movement, which rides on four ruby rollers on the movement plate.
On the aesthetics of the 920, Walt Odets wrote an article for in 2002, where, as usual, he said these words first.” Contemporary Swiss automatics, no matter how thin, do not exhibit the 920’s refined and expensive construction. And, without a doubt, the movement is one of the most beautiful copy watch movements ever made.”
Nonetheless, it is sad to see the sun start to set on these two movements. I don’t know how long the 849 will remain in production, or whether Vacheron Constantin will continue to use either movement. Anyway, the range of replica watches using these two movements has been small from the start, and I don’t know if I’m making something out of nothing. What is rare is becoming rarer and rarer, perhaps not the canary in the coal mine I thought it was, and Vacheron Constantin’s commitment to the 1120 seems pretty solid for now.
But I worry, as you do when visiting a beloved grandparent who seems hale and hearty but is approaching ninety. Extinction isn’t always heralded by earth-shattering explosions and fires in the sky. Sometimes it happens quietly, when no one is looking – as Joni Mitchell sang, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.