Vacheron Constantin

Several watchmaking manufactures were born in Switzerland in the 18th century. However, only one of them has had uninterrupted operation since 1755: Vacheron Constantin. The brand’s elegant and enduring timepieces for men and women continue to fascinate collectors and enthusiasts around the world to this day. Vacheron Constantin has always been able to awe its admirers, be it with its youthful Fiftysix collection, launched several years ago and featuring stainless steel models, or the sporty Overseas collection, greatly appreciated by contemporary nomads.

Where to buy?

Boutique Carollinum
Pařížská 11, 110 11 Praha 1
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Tradition
Tradition
Vacheron Constantin proudly describes itself as “one of not too many”. And indeed, few watchmaking houses can boast over 260 years of history…
Throughout the 20th century Vacheron Constantin manufactured unique timepieces for many crowned heads of the European royal courts, including Queen Marie of Romania and the royal family of Serbia. Moreover, the brand opened its boutique on the ground floor of one of the houses on the Quai de l’Ile in Geneva as early as 1906. Then, just six years later, it brought out its barrel-shaped “tonneau” case, which has since become one of the brand’s emblems of quality and uniqueness, as well as serving as inspiration for the contemporary Malte collection.
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The Geneva Seal
The Geneva Seal
Vacheron Constantin timepieces are stamped with the Geneva Seal, a hallmark of watchmaking excellence, both in terms of technology and aesthetics, attributed to pieces complying to a number of extremely stringent criteria.
Strict demands are placed on the movement’s precision and the durability of the case. Most components must be manufactured in Geneva or the Geneva canton. The Geneva Seal was introduced as early as 1886 by the Geneva cantonal parliament to protect the skills of watchmakers in Geneva and its surroundings. The first Vacheron Constantin calibre to receive the Seal was in 1901. The Swiss maison d’horlogerie is thus the eldest watchmaking company entitled to use the certification.
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Royal complications
Royal complications
Unique haute horlogerie timepieces with functions such as a tourbillion, minute repeater or a perpetual calendar are created in the Geneva Manufacture’s Department of Grand Complications.
Extremely complicated pieces i.e. watches sporting several grand complications are the tell-tale sign of Vacheron Constantin; custom made pocket-watches created in the first half of the 20th century for American billionaires – automobile engineer James Ward Packard in 1918 and New York banker Henry Graves Jr. in 1928 – stirred awe and gained fame. In 2015, the most complicated timepiece of all time, the Reference 57260 pocket-watch, was manufactured for an anonymous client.
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Exclusivity
Exclusivity
Any Vacheron Constantin watch, even the simplest one, takes dozens of hours of painstaking manual work to create. Due to limited production capacity only some twenty thousand of these extraordinary watches are manufactured per year.
Vacheron Constantin knows no limit in its effort to attain uniqueness and exceptionality. In its Atelier Cabinotier Special Orders service, launched in 2006, the brand offers its customers made-to-order watches: from a unique movement and complications upon request to rare decorating techniques for the dial and case, here the client is at liberty to employ their fantasy, limited only by the company’s ethical commission, which must approve of the customers’ wishes.
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Art techniques
Art techniques
The Vacheron Constantin manufacture takes pride in the technical excellence of its movements and the artistic perfection of its cases and dials. For the many art afficionados among the brand’s customers, there is the option to choose from the limited series of the Métiers d’Art collection.
Five master-artists work in the Métiers d’Art department which is a homage to ancient crafts and techniques. It is they, in collaboration with Christian Selmoni, the Manufacture’s art director, who create limited editions of themed pieces. Such themes include wonderfully depicted ancient masks, balloons and animals. Each limited edition takes the master-artists two to three years to complete.
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Elegance
Elegance
For those looking for a classical suit watch, a Vacheron Constantin timepiece may be the perfect choice. Clients appreciate the watches’ timeless elegance and simplicity along with the cases that are often made of precious metals, including platinum and gold.
Vacheron Constantin is one of the handful of brands to have kept its tradition of ultra-thin watches alive for decades. These are timepieces with exceptionally thin movements, timepieces that can be placed in equally thin cases. Such a watch is not only a pleasure to wear on the wrist, it also fits perfectly under the cuff of the shirt sleeve. In 1955, the brand presented its thinnest ever mechanically wound movement, the calibre 1003. With a height of just 1.64 mm it has become the pinnacle of ultra-thin movements.
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More about Vacheron Constantin

Since 1901 timepieces with the VC initials have been stamped with the Geneva Seal guaranteeing top quality in terms of technical execution and aesthetics. Another specific Vacheron Constantin symbol is the Maltese Cross logo, registered with the Swiss Office fédéral de la propriété industrielle in 1880. The logo was taken from the design of a former movement component, a stopwork, mounted on the barrel cover to ensure a very constant force from the spring, thus achieving a better rate.

Despite launching several new models every year, they must all comply with the non-written rule that their look must adhere to the brand’s design codes, often decades old. Despite this restriction, all Vacheron Constantin timepieces manage to have a perfectly contemporary look. A Vacheron Constantin watch is synonymous with an elite status and worn by those who appreciate the magic of the art of haute horlogerie watchmaking.
 

The brand’s history 

On 17 September 1755, twenty-four-year old watchmaker Jean-Marc Vacheron signed up his first apprentice. This date is considered to be the official birth date of today’s famous manufacture which has never interrupted the production of its elegant timepieces.

Sixty-four years later, in 1819, Jacques Barthélemy Vacheron, the founder’s grandson who took over the business in 1810, joined forces with François Constantin, an experienced businessman who succeeded in opening new markets for the Vacheron et Constantin brand, including North America. François Constantin is also the author of the quote “Do better if possible and that is always possible” that has remained the Maison’s credo until the present day.



The brand’s founder Jean-Marc Vacheron and all his successors had one thing in common: a burning passion for beautiful and complicated timepieces. What is more, they have never rested on their laurels and have always aimed further and higher. In 1916, the manufacture created a wristwatch featuring a miniature movement acquired by the Maharaja of Patiala, a great lover of luxury.

In the first half of the 20th century, the manufacture counted American billionaires as well as royals, including King Farouk of Egypt, among its customers. In the Geneva manufacture master watchmakers have created some of the most complicated pocket watches for these customers, many of which have become an inherent part of the history of watchmaking.



At the beginning of the new millennium, Vacheron Constantin opened a new manufacture in the Vallée de Joux. Alongside sublime art editions and dazzling new collections, the brand presented a true masterpiece in 2015 – the Reference 57260, the most complicated pocket-watch ever made.

Over the course of its long and richly imbued history the brand has created over 1,500 models of varying types of watches.
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