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  • The Story of Vacheron Constantin

    1755 | A Tradition is Born
    In the middle of the 18th Century, in the city of Geneva, a young man called Jean-Marc Vacheron decided to open his own watch-making workshop. This exceptional craftsman founded a business that was to become, two and a half centuries later, one of the most renowned in the science of time.

    1770 | First Complication Watches
    15 years after its foundation, Vacheron Constantin creates its first 'complication' watches.

    1779 | Production of Engine-turned Dials
    First appearance of engine-turned dials at Vacheron Constantin.

    1810 | The Grandson
    The grandson of Jean-Marc Vacheron, Jaques-Barthélemy, takes the head of the family business and initiates the brand's first exports to France and Italy.

    1812 | First Quarter-repeater Watches
    Creation of a collection of watches of six quarter-repeater watches. These watches strike the hours and the quarters upon request.

    1819 | The Year of the Motto
    Jaques-Barthélemy, grandson of Jean-Marc Vacheron together with François Constantin creates the company name "Vacheron et Constantin". In this year on 5th July, François Constantin sends from Turin a letter to Jaques Barthélémy Vacheron containing the words that were to become the company motto: "Do better if possible and that is always possible".

    1839 | A New Era in Manufacturing
    Georges-Auguste Leschot is taken on as production engineer in 1839 and proceeds to revolutionize watch-making techniques by adapting the pantograph to the requirements of his industry. With the use of that instrument, certain watch components can be copied repeatedly by a machine, and no longer need to be hand-made as before, thus propelling Vacheron Constantin to the forefront of the industrial age.

    1872 | First Contest, First Prizes
    When the very demanding Geneva Observatory staged a precision contest for timepieces in 1872, Vacheron Constantin entered a number of its watches. The awards won proved to be the first in a long line of awards, records and prizes received.

    1880 | Appearance of the "Maltese Cross" Logo
    Appearance of the "Maltese Cross" symbol in the logo of Vacheron Constantin. This motif is taken from the shape of a component of the movement fixed to the barrel. Its use means that the number of wheels can be kept low.

    1896 | A Medal and a Distinction
    At the Swiss National Exhibition held in Geneva in 1896, a prestigious gold medal was awarded to Vacheron Constantin in recognition of a range of outstanding achievements.

    1906 | First Boutique Opens
    Inauguration of the very first Vacheron Constantin boutique, which is still in the same place today in Quai de l'Ile, in Geneva.

    1935 | Complexity
    Creation of one of the most complex pocket-watches ever sold by Vacheron Constantin. This masterpiece, commissioned by King Farouk of Egypt, takes five years to make.

    1955
    Record Thin Timepiece
    Precisely two hundred years after is foundation, Vacheron Constantin demonstrated that it had lost none of its creative verve and technical ingenuity. To mark the start of its third century of existence, the company's master watchmakers designed and built nothing less than one of the thinnest watches ever produced with a calibre only 1.64 mm deep!

    Watches Presented to Presidents
    In this year, the Big Four Summit Conference brings together in Geneva the heads of state N. A. Bulganin, Sir Anthony Eden, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Edgar Faure. At the request of some prominent Genevan citizens, Vacheron Constantin creates four wrist-watches as gifts to the Conference participants.

    1972 | International Recognition
    Vacheron Constantin presents a wristwatch with an astonishingly novel appearance, featuring an extremely daring design for the period. Paris awards the rare and highly coveted "Diplôme du Prestige de la France" for this aesthetic accomplishment.

    1994 | In Salute to a Scholar
    Gerhard Kremer (1512-1594), known as Mercator, was highly regarded as a mathematician and geographer due to his invention of the first navigational maps. Vacheron Constantin saluted the 400th anniversary of his death with the very limited production of a pair of watch designs. Their hand-enameled dial featured Mercator's own maps of the hemispheres as well as a pair of compass-like watch hands invented and built specially for these timepieces .

    1996 | Overseas
    Vacheron Constantin introduced its highly successful Overseas sports line. The Richemont group acquired the entire share capital of Vacheron Constantin.

    2003 | Egérie
    The Manufacture launches 'Egérie', Vacheron Constantin's first collection for women.

    2004 | Opening of New Headquarters
    The new headquarters and Manufacture Vacheron Constantin, located in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva - in the aptly-named chemin du Tourbillon. Renovation of the historical headquarters of the brand: "Vacheron Constantin House", containing an exclusive boutique, a patrimonial space and the workshop of the master watchmakers, dedicated to the various crafts of the watchmaker's art.

    2005
    250 Years of Uninterrupted History
    Vacheron Constantin, the oldest watchmakers in the world in continuous activity since it was founded in 1755, prepares to celebrate its 250 years of existence and creates the Tour de l'Ile watch. It is the most complicated double-faced wristwatch in the world, with a unique combination of 16 complications and astronomical dials. Its exceptional calibre of 834 components involves Vacheron Constantin's designers, engineers, constructors and watchmakers in more than 10,000 hours of research and development. It bears the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva. Seven of these timepieces are produced.

    A World First
    The Saint Gervais brings together a permanent calendar, a tourbillon and more than 10 days of power reserve in the same timepiece. Vacheron Constantin's new 2250 calibre assembles a permanent calendar, which with its four barrels extends the power reserve to 250 hours, coupled with a tourbillon mechanism and a permanent calendar. It bears the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva. Fifty-five of these timepieces are produced.

    2006 | 100 Years of the Boutique
    The very first Vacheron Constantin boutique celebrates its 100th anniversary. Inaugurated in 1906, it is still located "en l'Ile", the brand's historic birthplace at the heart of Geneva, in the very same building that once housed the company's production workshops.

  • From apparent simplicity to the highest complications, Vacheron Constantin has long combined century-old craftsmanship with the latest in horological technology to produce ever-more sophisticated timepieces. With over 250 years of experience, the company's movement range runs from simple models with hour, minute and second hands, to models with complex constructions such as perpetual calendars, chronographs, moon-phase and jumping-hours. Other timepieces are equipped with a tourbillion regulator or feature complex mechanisms such as minute repeater. Both aesthetically and technically, Vacheron Constantin's master craftsmen enhance the value and uniqueness of every timepiece turned out in the company's workshop, following the motto, "do better if possible, and that is always possible." François Constantin - 1819

    Sheer Simplicity
    Within this impressive legacy, one particular hand-wound movement continues to attract the attention of specialists and collectors. The Caliber 1003, considered the most beautiful of its time, is 20.80 mm in diameter and 1.64 mm thick, making it the world's smallest mechanical manual-winding movement on the market. Its fascinating aesthetic features – the slender bezel; the distinctive lugs, each shaped like an arm of Vacheron Constantin's Maltese Cross emblem; its solid gold opaline silver-coloured dial adorned with baton hands marking the hours and minutes – combine to endow this watch with a rare breed of elegance stemming from the compelling strength of sheer simplicity.

    Unrivalled Complications
    An exceptional tourbillon and the absolute purity of a round, understated case housing a complication boasting unprecedented performances: the new Vacheron Constantin Calibre 2260 beating at the heart of the Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-day Tourbillon is simply unequalled. Moreover, the latest newcomer to the Patrimony Traditionnelle line is the first Vacheron Constantin watch to be approved according to the new Hallmark of Geneva criteria. All of which combines to make it a predestined collector's item.

  • Metiers d'Art

    The Métiers d'Art Collection embodies the quintessential know-how and masterful craftsmanship of Vacheron Constantin in the specialized world of decorative applied arts and creative horology. Enameling, gem-setting-jewellery, openworking of movements and hand engraving of their components—Vacheron Constantin craftsmen master the complete range of watch crafts, creating with these exceptional Métiers d'Art timepieces genuine works of art.

    Lacquer Artist

    La Sumbolique des Laques collection highlights a combination of talents, opening a new horizon to the alliance between technical watchmaking and decorative technique. Maki-e, a technique that dates back to the 8th century, is a unique art form of sprinkle gold powders on contour lines drawn with sticky Urushi lacquer to form elaborate artistic designs.

    Engraver

    During all of its history, Vacheron Constantin has proven its excellence in the exploration of styles and techniques. The engraver has at its disposal a wide range of techniques to reveal its "hand-made" art, the base of which is the drawing and creation of different styles. Vacheron Constantin watches have acquired an uncommonly personality due to these sculpted, decorated and worked movement, that offer an aesthetic aspect unknown elsewhere.

    Gem-Setter-Jeweller

    With the Kalla collection, Vacheron Constantin presents through each timepiece an extraordinary trilogy—high-tech horology married with the setting of great precious stones and the brightness of noble metal.
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