24
August
2021
|
12:04
Europe/Amsterdam

"Les Collectionneurs" exhibition in Hong Kong SAR, China: August 23rd to September 27th, 2021

  • A representative selection of vintage watches covering the entire 20th century
  • Models “hunted down” by Vacheron Constantin's experts, then restored and delivered with a certificate of authenticity and a two-year guarantee
  • August 23 to September 10 at Vacheron Constantin Landmark Prince's Boutique, Hong Kong SAR, China
  • September 11 to 27 at Vacheron Constantin Ocean Terminal Boutique, Hong Kong SAR, China

 

Hong Kong SAR, China, August 2021 - Chosen with patience and talent by the Maison’s heritage department specialists, vintage watches covering the entire 20th century are now part of the aptly named “Les Collectionneurs” collection. The latter continues to evolve over time and is regularly offered for sale to brand aficionados at dedicated events organised in Vacheron Constantin boutiques around the world. “Les Collectionneurs” models all come with a certificate of authenticity and a two-year guarantee – an offer unmatched in the watchmaking world.


When vintage is second nature

The notion of vintage is second nature to Vacheron Constantin. It is expressed through a strong attachment to everything relating to its heritage. In more than 260 years of existence, the Maison has accumulated a unique set of archives in the field of time measurement. Engaged in uninterrupted production since its origins, the Manufacture is also able to take care of – and restore if necessary – any watch from its workshops, whatever its age. A closer look at its archives and its private collection of more than 1,500 timepieces offers an excellent insight into this historical depth and the means used to nurture it. From the watchmakers and craftsmen of its restoration workshop to the historians of the Style & Heritage team, the experts at Vacheron Constantin possess all the necessary skills to best serve this vintage watchmaking that now enjoys such an excellent reputation.

“Les Collectionneurs”

Vacheron Constantin quickly felt the need to unite connoisseurs and aficionados of the Maison around this same passion, leading to the creation of “Les Collectionneurs”: an approach consisting in using the Manufacture’s considerable resources to gather and restore a series of historical Vacheron Constantin pieces, subsequently offered for sale at dedicated events in Vacheron Constantin boutiques around the world.

"Les Collectionneurs” represents another facet of Vacheron Constantin," comments Christian Selmoni, Style & Heritage Director. “The collection perpetuates this precious link between past and present, enabling our clientele of connoisseurs and collectors to acquire restored vintage pieces directly through the Maison, which is a real guarantee. As for the events organised around the world to unveil these pieces, they attract both seasoned collectors and young generations eager to delve more deeply into watchmaking history.”

Watches ready for a new life

The Vacheron Constantin Heritage team works to bring together these vintage watches, whether pocket or wristwatches. The objective is to create a representative range of timepieces offered by Vacheron Constantin over the years. All kinds of channels are used in order to locate them: auction rooms, personal contacts with private individuals – bearing in mind that an expert eye is decisive in the choice of these timepieces, be they simple or striking models, calendars or chronographs... Pocket watches mainly covering the years 1910 to 1930 and wristwatches prior to 1970 – with a preference for the period from 1940 to 1960 – are then subjected to a dual appraisal. First of all, a historical evaluation is undertaken in order to authenticate the piece with reference to the in-house archives, which have been listing cases and movements by serial number for a century and a half. Then comes the technical assessment aimed at determining which interventions may be necessary, from simply cleaning the watch to its restoration – the objective being to preserve these timepieces in a state as close as possible to that of their origins. If necessary, they are restored to working order using period components, of which Vacheron Constantin maintains a large stock, or else reproduced the old-fashioned way and in identical form within the Manufacture. Once the process is complete, each timepiece is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and a two-year guarantee, the latter being the same as that delivered with all models within the Maison’s standard collections.

Models unveiled at dedicated events

Throughout the year, Vacheron Constantin organises special events or exhibitions of historical models from its private collection in its boutiques. These are all special experiences that give connoisseurs an opportunity to discover this “Les Collectionneurs” collection; and Vacheron Constantin's experts a chance to share the history related to the "experience" of these models. Thanks to its extremely well documented archives, the Maison can retrace the destiny of these timepieces that have survived through the ages as testimony to their time and to its watchmaking expertise. Rare and doubtless unique for those who cherish them, these Vacheron Constantin watches bearing the patina of age as a badge of honour are thus ready for a new life.

Watches highlight

18K Two-Tone Gold "Tonneau" Shape Wristwatch, 1927
Tonneau-shaped 18K white and yellow gold wristwatch. Silvered dial with 12 Arabic numerals in gold, external minute-track.

Inspired by the proportions and straight geometry lines from Art Deco era, watch designs from late 1920's to 1940's combined precision, functionality, discretion and ergonomics. To consolidate the aesthetic break with conventions, watch cases with flat and/or arched shapes to match with the curve of the wrist were introduced in square or rectangular versions. These watches were stylistic feats that also demonstrated technical watchmaking prowess, since they provided long-awaited proof of success in miniaturizing calibres and understanding the new constraints involved in wrist wear such as shocks, movements, temperature and humidity.

Case: 18K two-tone gold, 25 x 37mm

Dial: Silvered dial, twelve Arabic numerals in gold applied, external railway minute circle enamelled

Hands: Gold “Cathedral” type hours and minutes hands

Movement: Calibre 9" 15/12, manual-winding, 18 jewels, 40-hour power reserve

Craftsmanship: Cut bimetallic balance, balance-spring with terminal curve, rhodium-plated German silver movement with satin and graining finish


18K Pink Gold Wristwatch - Model 4334, 1947
18K pink gold wristwatch. Silvered dial, 5 Arabic numerals and 6 cabochon indexes in pink gold, small seconds at 6 o'clock, externe minute-track.

The Reference 4334 bears an original design thanks to its so-called "claw" lugs. Such distinctive lugs were characteristics from the Maison's creations of 1940's and 1950's. It demonstrates the innovative and creative spirit of Vacheron Constantin, combining the finest watchmaking with design excellence. The dial of Reference 4334 is an example of classicism, with gold applied pointed markers and "baton"-shaped hands, crafted in gold.

Case: 18K pink gold, diameter 34mm

Dial: Silvered dial, gold Arabic numerals applied

Hands: Pointed baton shaped hands in gold

Movement: Calibre 12" 1/2 453/3C, manual-winding, 17 jewels, 40-hour power reserve

Craftsmanship: Rhodium-plated brass movement, annular beryllium balance, hairspring with a terminal curve, “Côtes de Genève” and circular graining decoration


18K Yellow Gold Wristwatch - Model 4050, 1942
18K yellow gold wristwatch. Silvered vertical satined dial, 5 Roman numerals and indexes in gold, black enameled external "railroad" minute-track, small seconds at 6 o'clock.

Elegance and refined designs during 1940's and 1950's are perfectly shown with this Reference 4050 timepiece, with its taught lines and clean dial displaying five classical Roman numerals in yellow gold. The reference houses the calibre 453, considered as one of the best designs of this period.

Case: 18K yellow gold, diameter 33mm

Dial: Silvered dial with five Roman numerals in gold and 6 straight baton markers applied

Hands: Gold pointed baton type hands

Movement: Calibre 12" 1/2 453, manual-winding, 17 jewels, 40-hour power reserve

Craftsmanship: Rhodium-plated brass movement, annular beryllium balance, hairspring with a terminal curve, “Côtes de Genève” and circular graining decoration


18K Yellow Gold Jubile 1935 Model, 1935
18k yellow gold wristwatch. Silver dial, small seconds at 6 o'clock. Crown at 12 o'clock.

One of the two models created for the 150th anniversary of Vacheron Constantin, which, back then, was believed to have been established in 1785. Only decades later that a letter showing Jean-Marc Vacheron had hired an apprentice in his workshops enabled the brand to date its founding to 1755. This 18K yellow gold timepiece is fitted with a 11-ligne Lepine-type pocket watch movement: the crown and the second sub dial are on the same axis. The 12 o'clock crown confers to the "Jubile" model with a unique character and aesthetics.

Case: 18K yellow gold, diameter 30mm

Dial: Silvered vertical satin-finished, “Sandwich” type dial

Hands: Sword-shaped gold hands

Movement: Calibre RA 11" 62N, manual-winding, 15 jewels, 40-hour power reserve

Craftsmanship: Gilt brass movement, bimetallic balance and hairspring with terminal curve