An exploration of the history of Vacheron Constantin is a voyage of discovery, revealing the excellence of age-old watchmaking.
5 key dates
- About Vacheron Constantin
Founded in Geneva in 1755, the Vacheron Constantin watchmaking manufacture is the oldest in the world, having been in business uninterrupted for over 250 years.
The firm has always adhered to three fundamental principles: excellent technique, inspired, harmonious aesthetics and the ultimate in finishes.This spirit of Fine Watchmaking first emerged in Geneva's Saint Gervais quarter, where Jean-Marc Vacheron, then 24, opened his watchmaking workshop.
Driven by the same passion, his grandson Jacques-Barthélémy contributed to the rise of the family firm from 1810 onwards by developing exports to Europe.
The early nineteenth century sealed the destiny of Jacques-Barthélémy Vacheron and François Constantin, a seasoned traveller. The manufacture was named after both of them.
On 5 July 1819, Constantin sent a letter to Vacheron which included what was to become the Firm's motto: “Do better if possible and that is always possible.”
In 1906, the Firm opened its first shop on Quai de l'Ile in Geneva – it is still there to this day. It has been owned by the Richemont Group since 1996; in 2005, it built a manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates – a fitting way to celebrate its 250th anniversary.
- Vacheron Constantin's philosophy
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.
Based on family values, the philosophy of Vacheron Constantin is focused on passing on knowhow for the long term.
The Manufacture is also a patron of artistic and cultural institutions, both in Geneva and abroad, thereby expressing its engagement with culture and education.
Vacheron Constantin has long had connections with the world of art and culture and is committed in favour of the Art and Craft professions that are genuine stakeholders in contemporary creativeness, as well as placing value on excellence – achieved through the combination of talents in both Design and Craftsmanship.
- Vacheron Constantin's 5 key dates
1755: founded by Jean-Marc Vacheron
1819: Jacques-Barthélémy Vacheron and François Constantin found the manufacture named after them
1839: Vacheron Constantin creates the pantograph, enabling the main watch components to be reproduced. This invention was to revolutionise watchmaking
1955: creation of slimmest manual wind caliber in the world for the Firm's bicentenary
2005: Vacheron Constantin celebrates its 250th anniversary with a set of exceptional timepieces, including two world firsts
- Vacheron Constantin's collections
Patrimony: The classic Patrimony collection is a contemporary expression of the Firm's stylistic elegance – and beats to the rhythm of everything from the simplest to the most sophisticated mechanisms.
Malte: The name is reminiscent of the Firm's emblem; its distinguishing features are its contemporary design and technical prowess. In honour of the one hundredth anniversary of the tonneau form at Vacheron Constantin, a new Malte collection was launched in 2012.
Quai de l'Ile: Quai de l'Ile has been the historic headquarters of Vacheron Constantin since the nineteenth century. Faithful to its philosophy of service, with Quai de l'Ile Vacheron Constantin has launched a fully customisable line offering several types of movements, all Geneva Seal certified, alongside a wide choice of materials and dials.
Overseas: The Overseas line is contemporary, sporty and technical, reflecting the modern world through its name, which is evocative of travel and exploration.
1972: The 1972 line draws its inspiration from the asymmetrical model that received the coveted “Diplôme du Prestige de la France” in 1972. These timepieces offer a clever blend of elegance and audacity.
Historiques: The Historiques bear witness to two hundred and fifty years' worth of history, drawing their inspiration from the icons of the Firm's heritage and reinterpreting them in keeping with watchmaking tradition.
Métiers D'Art: The Métiers d'Art family brings together the knowhow cultivated by Vacheron Constantin in the field of decorative arts and applied to watchmaking design. The craftsmen's talents are embodied in the enamelling, jewel setting, guilloche, skeleton framing and hand engraving of the movement components and the case.
Atelier Cabinotiers – special orders: For the Cabinotiers, there is no catalogue or collection: the vocation of the “Atelier Cabinotiers Special Order” department is to create unique, fully-customised bespoke timepieces. All requests, from the simplest to the most complicated, are studied by an ethics commi
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