The History of Vacheron & Constantin
The History of Vacheron & Constantin
In 1755 Jean- Marc Vacheron gives birth, in Geneva Switzerland, to Vacheron Constantin . Apart from being a young businessman as a watch manufacturer, he was well known as a talented craftsman. In 1770 world enjoys the first complication created by his company and in 1779 he introduces the first engine-turned dials.
In 1785 Vacheron's son, Abrahan Vacheron, becomes the head of the family business making the company face the French Revolution. In 1810 it was his Vacheron's grandson who takes over the company being the first in exporting their watches to France and Italy.
By this moment, to be able to travel overseas and selling the company's products they realize that a partner is necessary to handle this business. So, in 1819 Francois Constantin associates with vacheron continues the company under the name of "Vacheron & Constantin".
"Do better if possible and that is always possible", this is the company's motto since Constantin becomes part of this business.. As the result of this fusion, the company is able to open new watches markets. Francois Constantin starts travelling around the world introducing the watches. The main market is North America.
In 1839 Georges-Auguste Leschot appears on scene hired by Vacheron and Constantin to supervise the manufacturing operations. Leschot is the first person who standardizes movements into calibres and with his inventions makes the company to succeed in the watchmaking industry.
In 1844 The Art Society of Geneva distinguishes his labour by awarding him with a gold medal. It is for the pantographic device that makes possible to generate specific watch parts. This set the company into a high level.
Unfortunately, after Constantin's death (1854), and Vacheron's death (1863), the company suffers some changes.
In 1862 Vacheron Constantin joins the Association for Research into non-magnetic materials. In 1885, the company introduces the first nonmagnetic timepiece which has a complete lever assortment made of materials able to withstand magnetic fields. Its construction consists of a balance wheel, balance spring and lever shaft that are made of palladium, the lever arms - in bronze and the escape wheel is in gold
The name of this company suffers some changes as the one in 1877 when the company's name become into "Vacheron & Constantin, Fabricants, Geneve" and three years later Vacheron & Constantin introduces its symbol, the Maltese cross ( based on the component of a barrel, it has a cross-shape that limits the tension within the main spring) ,until these days.
Ten years later, Vacheron & Constantin is awarded by a gold medal due to the improvements and succees as a stock company . It is held in Geneva at the Swiss National Exhibition.
Nowadays we can enjoy the the Boutique of Vacheron & Constantin on Quai de l'Ile. The first of these boutiques was opened in 1906.
In 1936 due to the Great Deperession Vacheron & Constantin is headed by Charles Constantin becaming Vacheron & Constantin President.
Once again Vacheron & Constantin's name suffers a change. The "&" is dropped in 1970.
On 1987 Vacheron constantin changes hands, the slaes improve and nowadays Nacjeron Constantin has a production of 20.000 timepieces per year. In 1996 Richemont Group buys the entire share capital.
Vacheron & Constantin Models
Vacheron & Constantin has been a leader in creating innovations in the watch- making industry. To highlight the beginning of the third century Vacheron & Constantin gives birth to Patrimony. Patrimony is a watch which has 5.25mm thickness. Patrimony is the world's thinnest watch.
Kallista is considered one of the most expensive wristwatches creations of Vacheron Constantin. Kallista is introduced in 1979 with an initial price of $5 millions, Nowadays, Kallista is valued aproximately at 11 million. Kallista is composed by 118 emerald -cut diamonds and has a work of about 6.000 hours for its creation and 20 months for the jewelers masters to enrich the watch.
At the beginning of the 21st Century a new sport line is introduced by Vacheron Constantin, Overseas.
The Overseas design by Vacheron Constantin makes the company remarkable by its distinction and it is soon recognized as one of the most sophisticated timepieces in its category. Overseas' crisp, stylish lines and functional efficiency make Vacheron Constantin reach the excellence. Overseas sophisticated construction and resistant to magnetic fields remark the powerful design of this creation.
Reaching the excellence - the second generation Overseas mixes discretion and beauty. The new Overseas generation shows a watch updated in significant features. Overseas means durability, elegance, dependence, and of course reassures the Overseas' sporting spirit. Overseas is a functional jewel combining superlative watchmaking and the spirit of the age. Also, the overseas new generation involves the technology and aesthetics appeared on 1996. Overseas second generation is characterized by smoothly lines and dimensions increased by a few millimetres for all three versions (chronograph, man's and woman's models).
Construction and Features - the case; made in the finest stainless steel.
The bezel; featuring a Maltese cross pattern derived from the make's long-standing symbol, and case back are screwed tightly to the frame, compressing numerous water tightness gaskets so as to provide efficient protection against moisture and the most minute particles of foreign matter.
Resistant to wate; full water resistance to 150 meters (approx. 500 feet) for the man's and chronograph models and 50 meters (nearly 165 feet) for the woman's.
External protection; Screw locked setting crowns and chronograph push- pieces complete the watches' external protection systems.
Movements; every Overseas movement is totally shielded by a soft-iron antimagnetic screen. The latter prevents today's innumerable magnetic fields from affecting the movement's rate and precision.
The Bracelet; It gives unprecedented suppleness and comfort on the wrist. Easy to adjust, Overseas bracelet comes with a newly designed three-ply invisible clasp with twin safety catch. The design of its links and its meticulous finish give the bracelet its arresting good appearance that enhance the play of light along its entire length.
The dials; with an exclusive decor, Overseas dials and hands are coated with a luminescent substance for optimum legibility at all times.
In 2003 is launched a new collection of Vacheron Constantin; Egérie.
In 2004 Vacheron Constantin opens its new headquarters and Manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva.
Tour de I'lle
In 2005 the Richemond Group heading Vacheron Constantin gives birth to one of the most complicated wristwatches, Tour de I'lle marking the 250 Anniversary of Vacheron Constantin. Tour de I'lle has 834 parts and 16 horological complications and is sold for more than $1 million.