an exhibition that celebrates the know-how of Vacheron Constatin since its origins

"Héritage" : une exposition qui célèbre le savoir-faire de Vacheron Constatin depuis ses origines

For a few days and until the end of the month (November 26), this small exhibition presented at the Vacheron Constantin boutique on rue de la Paix, allows you to discover the universe of the brand through a selection of its emblematic watches which bear witness to its watchmaking expertise over time.

"Legacy" : an exhibition that celebrates the know-how of Vacheron Constatin since its origins

Founded in 1755, Vacheron Constantin claims to be “the oldest watch manufacturer with uninterrupted activity” since its creation.

Throughout these decades, the house has nurtured its vocation for Haute Horlogerie, leaving over the years, like witnesses to its history, timepieces that tell a style and a certain vision of the measurement of time.

This exhibition allows you to discover the universe of the brand through a selection of its emblematic watches which testify to its watchmaking expertise over time. All these pieces tell stories. All speak of watchmaking at the crossroads of arts and techniques. All, finally, embody the maxim of the house: ” Do better if possible, which is always possible “.

To illustrate this watchmaking heritage, VC presents in its boutique at number 2 rue de la Paix in Paris, emblematic timepieces from the brand’s private collection, which have marked different periods in the history of the house in terms of innovations, techniques and aesthetics.

"Legacy" : an exhibition that celebrates the know-how of Vacheron Constatin since its origins
Silver pocket watch, enamel dial – 1755
There are few examples of the work of Jean-Marc Vacheron, founder of the house in the 18th century, a time when watchmakers produced hardly more than ten one-off pieces a year.

This watch signed “JM Vacheron à Genève” on the movement is the only one known to date bearing the trace of his first name. A “founding” piece dated 1755, it is not radically different from the Geneva watchmaking production of the years 1750 to 1760. It nevertheless testifies to the care given to watchmaking aesthetics.

Fitted with an escapement wheel, it is adorned with finely chiselled gold hands, just like the cock or balance bridge, the most visible part of the movement once the case is open, delicately crafted in elegant arabesques.

This refined decoration was repeated in 2005 on the calibers of the watches created on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of Vacheron Constantin in homage to its founder.

With its silver case and its enamel dial with Roman numerals through which winding is carried out using a key.

"Legacy" : an exhibition that celebrates the know-how of Vacheron Constatin since its origins

Pocket watch in 18K yellow gold, barleycorn guilloché case, enamel dial – 1825
The date of 1819 should be remembered as a decisive stage in the history of Vacheron Constantin. That year, Jacques Barthélémy Vacheron (1788-1854), grandson of the founder, indeed sealed an agreement with François Constantin, then in charge of the commercial development of the house.

This association brings together two men who share the same passion for technical and precious watches, complicated and elegant at the same time. It is moreover to François Constantin that we owe the
motto of the house that has survived the centuries.

An indefatigable traveler, on July 5, 1819 he wrote a missive to his new partner encouraging him to ” Do better if possible, which is always possiblee “. Determined to give Vacheron Constantin all the international aura it deserves, François Constantin will constantly open up new markets, from Russia to Sweden, from Austria to Brazil via Poland, China, Mexico…

This yellow gold pocket watch manufactured in 1825 thus bears the inscription “Vacheron & Constantin” on the dial, a house nourished by the spirit of enlightenment now endowed with a real
entrepreneurial dynamics.

"Legacy" : an exhibition that celebrates the know-how of Vacheron Constatin since its origins

“Corps of Engineers” chronograph pocket watch in silver, enamel dial – 1919
The reputation of Vacheron Constantin has always been forged in the world of horological complications. His perfect mastery of chronometry, the calculation of short times, enabled chronographs to conquer numerous market shares from the beginning of the 19th century.

The oldest chronograph with a minute counter dates back to 1874. Sold in the United States on a highly competitive market, this pocket model shows how Vacheron Constantin chronometry had proven itself.

When it came to equipping its engineer battalions with a reliable, readable and resistant watch, the American army therefore naturally turned to Vacheron Constantin. In 1917, the famous Corps of Engineers, an institution founded in 1775 at the start of the American War of Independence, was indeed to be engaged in reconstruction work in Europe.

After submitting two pocket chronograph prototypes housed in silver cases that were perfectly legible thanks to innovative radium luminescence, Vacheron Constantin was ordered by the US Navy to deliver several thousand pieces until 1919.

Fitted with 19” movements, some of which are in rhodium silver, they are engraved on the back with the inscriptions ” Corps of Engineers. USA ” and ” Vacheron & Constantin Geneva “.

"Legacy" : an exhibition that celebrates the know-how of Vacheron Constatin since its origins
Chronograph watch in 18k pink gold, silver dial, ref. 4178 – 1942
The advent of the wristwatch was to confirm the reputation of the house in chronograph watches at a time when instrument watches were to take on increasing importance.

Reference 4178, well known to collectors, is still considered a model of its kind today.

Buoyed by its success thanks to the technicality of its complication, this 18k gold chronograph with a 30-minute counter remained in production until the 1970s, equipped alternately with calibers V492 and V434, as in this version with a 30-minute counter and double scale of speed (tachymeter base 1000) and heartbeats (pulsometer 30 beats).

Technical and functional, these watches were nonetheless to meet the criteria of elegance dear to the Maison. Vacheron Constantin has thus paid particular attention to the aesthetics of these pieces. Stylistic research that can be seen from the 1940s in the architecture of the cases and the original lines of the welded lugs, here in the shape of a fan.

"Legacy" : an exhibition that celebrates the know-how of Vacheron Constatin since its origins
“Les Quatre Grands” watch in 18K yellow gold, silver dial, ref. 6032 – 1954
On July 18, 1955, the “Big Four” conference began in Geneva, bringing together the heads of the governments of the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France, all accompanied by their ministers of foreign affairs and of their delegation.

In the midst of the Cold War, the objective was to initiate discussions with a view to a policy of detente in the international relations of the time. No concrete result was obtained at the end of the summit whose “spirit of Geneva” nevertheless constituted a reason for hope.

Each of the eight heads of state and ministers, however, left with a gift offered by a group of Geneva citizens in the form of a Vacheron Constantin watch engraved on the back of the case, accompanied by these words: “…May this watch always mark happy hours for yourself, for your people and for the peace of the world. “.

This yellow gold reference 6032 model is powered by the 12”1/2 caliber P453/3B. With its diameter of
34 mm, it presents a style with a refined elegance characteristic of its time.

"Legacy" : an exhibition that celebrates the know-how of Vacheron Constatin since its origins
“Jubilee 1755” calendar watch in 18K yellow gold, silvered guilloché gimbal, ref. 85250 – 2005
Founded in 1755, Vacheron Constantin celebrated its quarter century of existence in 2005. To celebrate this extraordinary event, the house has created a series of anniversary pieces including this Jubilee 1755 wristwatch, reference 85250, produced in a limited series of 1755 pieces in yellow gold (500), red (500), gray (500) and platinum (250), to which are added 5 non-marketed pieces. This yellow gold model, engraved “Museum”, is one of them.

From the outset reserved for the private collection of Vacheron Constantin, this signature watch of the house presents a timeless classic aesthetic, enhanced by its subtly guilloché dial.

Calendar watch with date, day and power reserve display, powered by caliber 2475, an iteration of 2450, the first automatic movement entirely designed and produced within the Manufacture.

Stamped Poinçon de Genève, one of the most demanding certifications in the profession, this model bears the emblem on the dial.

Given the importance of this jubilee for a company created on Geneva soil, the authorities of the canton of Geneva have indeed granted an exemption to Vacheron Constantin allowing it to display the Poinçon de Genève crest on the face side of the dial. A favor that had never been granted before. | Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2022 | Read 43 times

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