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Vacheron Constantin - An interview with Julien Marchenoir

Vacheron Constantin An interview with Julien Marchenoir

Vacheron Constantin: heading towards 260 more years?

Vacheron Constantin presents one or two exhibitions per year in its historical building on the Quai de l’Ile, at the heart of Geneva. The latest one, titled “Elegance in motion”, retraces the influence that travel has exercised on the field of watchmaking, as well as on the way in which the materials and mechanisms of timepieces have been adapted through the years. Open to all upon prior reservation, the exhibition is on show until April 29th.

WorldTempus had the opportunity to view the exhibition, presented by Julien Marchenoir, Heritage and Strategy Director of Vacheron Constantin, who shared some fascinating insights with us.

What a wonderful idea to present exhibitions here, at the heart of Geneva, in such a stunning building!
This building is indeed historical and what could be better than to stage exhibits here?

Could you tell us more about the theme of the “Elegance in motion” exhibition?
The exhibition retraces the spirit of travel. Geneva is at the heart of Europe; it’s a geo-strategic location. When people began increasingly travelling to lands both near and far, they wanted to take time with them. To achieve this, watchmakers had to adapt timepieces in terms of both materials and mechanisms. They needed to consider the effects of magnetism, humidity and dust. They endeavoured to guarantee reliable readings of time despite the constraints implied by the travel involved in conquering the world. 

Vacheron Constantin Élégance en mouvement

Of the 1,300 objects composing the private heritage of the Maison, only 57 Vacheron Constantin watches are shown in this context. Why were these particular ones chosen?
We specifically selected watches that had undergone major adaptations for the purposes of travel. We are presenting several versions of the Overseas, the iconic model from the Maison, inspired by a 1933 wristwatch that was indeed resistant to both water and pressure. Overseas is a model radiating a particularly appreciable form of relaxed elegance that easily adapts to our lifestyles.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas

Vacheron Constantin celebrated its 260th anniversary last year, notably with the presentation of Reference 57260. How would you sum up this jubilee year in a few words?
It was a year full of history and activities. We opened several boutiques around the world, including in Paris, Macau, Dubai and Moscow. This was a response to growing demand from our customers. In addition to Reference 57260, we also unveiled ARCA, a crystal table clock, as well as the first seven models in the Harmony collection. 

How are things looking for the year 2016?
Promising. As well as the new models introduced at the SIHH in January and those that will be unveiled as the year goes one, we will be participating in and strongly supporting the European Artistic Crafts Days that take place during April. We wish to demonstrate the relevance of these artistic crafts in watchmaking, as well to encourage young generations to take up these professions and learn these skills.

Vacheron Constantin turns 261 this year…
It is indeed a fine accomplishment to reach such an age, one that naturally makes us both humble and proud, as well as instilling in us a strong sense of duty to pass on our knowledge. We must perpetuate our history and our expertise by transmitting it to future generations, so as to ensure Vacheron Constantin lives on for another 260 years. This implies a relentless quest for excellence and constant improvement, doing more and doing it better, working on products to ensure they are built to last…

 

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An exploration of the history of Vacheron Constantin is a voyage of discovery, revealing the excellence of age-old watchmaking. Each timepiece is the result of the creative inspiration of the watchmaker or craftsman, dedicating their knowhow to the birth of outstanding watches. The Manufacture also works within a social and environmental code of ethics, and has had Responsible Jewellery Council certification since 2012.

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