30
August
2018
|
13:37
Europe/Amsterdam

Vacheron Constantin, a world of excellence

A world of Excellence

Founded in 1755, Vacheron Constantin is the world’s oldest watch Manufacture in continuous production for over 260 years, faithfully perpetuating a proud heritage of watchmaking excellence and stylistic sophistication through generations of master artisans.

At the pinnacle of high horology and understated elegance, the Maison creates timepieces with unique technical and aesthetic signatures, as well as an extremely high level of finishing touches.

Vacheron Constantin brings to life unparalleled heritage and a spirit of innovation through its key collections: Patrimony, Traditionnelle, Métiers d’Art, Overseas, Fiftysix® and Historiques. It also offers its discerning clientele of connoisseurs the rare opportunity to acquire unique and bespoke timepieces by means of its “Les Cabinotiers“ department.

“Do better if possible, and that is always possible.” Vacheron Constantin did not choose this motto by chance. Over the centuries, through skilfully interweaving tradition and innovation, it has acquired and nurtured the technical, aesthetic, artistic and human means required to express its vision of time. Whether setting off to conquer the skies or following in the footsteps of great travellers, the Maison takes up every challenge involved in telling its miniaturised stories on a dial or at the core of a mechanism. Human beings play the starring role in this epic saga. A love of fine craftsmanship and a deep-felt attachment to shared values motivate the teams and define the everyday life of the Manufacture.

Refined collectors enamoured of fine watchmaking

Vacheron Constantin has won over an ever-increasing circle of initiates and collectors who are passionate about Fine Watchmaking. They sense a natural kinship with this discreet elegance, with this thirst to know rather than show, this inherent sense of natural refinement. Having remained firmly attuned to – and often ahead of – its times, Vacheron Constantin is eager to meet the demands of these discerning individuals by creating timepieces tailored to modern life while remaining true to its identity and its exacting standards.

A Manufacture condive to interaction

The Manufacture located in Plan-les-Ouates near Geneva is Vacheron Constantin’s international headquarters. It encompasses the administration, design, R&D, Heritage, Customer Service and Restoration departments, as well as training. Production is organised around dedicated workshops: adjustment, casing-up, complications, chronograph-tourbillons, Grand Complications, Métiers d’Art (engraving, enamelling, gemsetting, guillochage), Les Cabinotiers, as well as testing and certification.

Created by French-Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, the building was completed in 2005 and then enlarged in 2015, two milestones corresponding to the 250th and 260th anniversaries of the Maison’s founding. These high-tech design-driven constructions comprising 17,000 sqm of metal, concrete, steel, wood and glass – naturally meeting today’s environment-friendly criteria – were designed in a spirit cherished by Vacheron Constantin: the pursuit of harmony. The noble materials are matched by the sustainable nature of the structure. Elegant lines reveal the quintessence of fine workmanship. The natural light flooding through the facility with its large bay windows conveys the authenticity and conviviality that are cultivated there, as the entire architecture was designed to foster creativity, natural flows and personal interaction.

The same vibrant dynamic, which is embedded in the DNA of the Maison, also pervades the Manufacture in the Vallée de Joux, where the watch components are made. The master artisans apply themselves to revealing the beauty of these parts by adding depth and light effects, from machining right the way through to the hand finishing which is the Vacheron Constantin signature. Their deft and expert touch leaves an indelible imprint on the bevelling, rounding off, smoothing, polishing and circular-graining operations. A palpable love of craftsmanship is the guiding thread telling the story of the human adventures played out within the Manufacture – such as the story of the circular-graining specialist who passed on her passion to her daughter by bringing her as a tiny child along to the workbench where the young woman now works in her turn.

Manual intelligence

Throughout the production areas, the technical and aesthetic Vacheron Constantin signature is expressed through the excellence of its expertise, implying a constant pursuit of precision. It is no coincidence that in 1860 it adopted as its logo the Maltese cross, shaped like a movement part dedicated to improving the accuracy of a watch. Well-mastered, smoothly executed operations are all guided by the human hand, which perpetuates ancestral skills that are handed down within the Manufacture from one generation to the next, from master watchmaker to apprentice. The expertise of each artisan is passed on like a relay baton and the quality of workmanship of each artisan thus depends on that of the others.

At each stage of production, the watch components – be they in gold or steel, visible or invisible, major organs or micro-screws – are individually crafted, decorated and tested with the same meticulous care. There is no room for compromises or mistakes here, but instead considerable humility. As one of the master watchmakers of the Manufacture loves to say: “If we forget to be humble, the watch reminds us where the balance of power lies”. Calm, patient and holding themselves to extremely high standards, watchmakers perpetually set themselves new challenges and the more daring among them even reinvent their profession. “You have to keep moving ahead. My favourite model is always the next one.” Sharpened tools, finely honed cuts, polished angles, circular finishing… “We play with light, alternating between matt and brilliant surfaces so as instil a sense of vibrancy into the motifs”.

Excellence comes at a cost and conveys profound meaning. It is perpetuated within the Manufacture, where the human hand steers the ongoing alliance between tradition and innovation, creating the cutting-edge machinery required for modern-day production in accordance with the distinctive Vacheron Constantin quality criteria. Precision reaches its ultimate expression in bespoke workmanship. And even in shaping models forming a series, the intervention of the human hand manages to make them unique. Precision and personalisation are the ultimate forms of perfection.

Vacheron Constantin collections, more than 260 years of technical and aesthetic excellence

Flagship collections:

  • Patrimony: Finely balanced proportions, taut curves, pure lines and a slender case. A minimalist aesthetic inspired by 1950s Vacheron Constantin models.
     
  • Traditionnelle: A tribute to craftsmanship and to the Genevan art of watchmaking passed on from generation to generation.
     
  • Overseas: Launched in 1996 and reinvented in 2016, Overseas asserts its modern, chic & sporty, practical & comfortable style, complete with interchangeable bracelet/straps and buckles. This automatic watch is dedicated to traveling and openness to the world.
     
  • Fiftysix®: Unveiled in 2018, Fiftysix is attuned to the cosmopolitan spirit of casual elegance, suited to modern living and designed to be worn in every circumstance. Inspired by certain aesthetic codes of a 1956 model, it comes in gold or steel versions equipped with simple or complicated movements. Visible through a transparent sapphire crystal caseback, its original oscillating weight in openworked gold is adorned with the emblem of the Maison, the Maltese cross.

Specialities:

  • Historiques: Contemporary reinterpretations of archetypal Vacheron Constantin models paying homage to the technical and aesthetic expertise of the Manufacture.
     
  • Métiers d’Art: Exceptional models highlighting the traditional decorative techniques passed on between generations of master artisans: enamelling, engraving, gemsetting, guilloché. Various themes are explored across the years: Aérostiers, Mécaniques ajourées, Villes Lumières, Sphères célestes… Playing on materials and colours serves to create spectacular effects.
     
  • Harmony: Vacheron Constantin’s technical and aesthetic excellence embodied in a reinvented cushion shape. Its curved caseband, square bezel and round crystal a reminiscent of a 1928 chronograph. A collection equipped with original and innovative calibres.
     
  • Malte: Recognisable by its tonneau shape and inspired by the Maltese cross, it illustrates the profuse and multi-facetted creativity of Vacheron Constantin in designing its timepieces.
     
  • Heures Créatives: Time in the feminine mode: precious, glamorous, daring and adorned with diamonds, these creations are reminiscent of certain iconic models from the Maison dating back to the 1920s, 1930s and 1970s.
     
  • Quai de l’Île: Named after the Maison’s historical birthplace in Geneva, it perpetuates the tradition of horological excellence cultivated by the 18th century master cabinotiers by personalising watches at customers’ request.
     
  • 1972: These asymmetrical, offbeat collection models flaunt a fanciful, alternately jewellery-oriented or dandy-style personality.
     
  • Les Cabinotiers: This collection is consistently enriched with one-of-a-kind models offered to the Maison’s clientele of connoisseurs, or bespoke watches made to order, all endowed with a rare degree of technical and aesthetic complexity. Pure Vacheron Constantin virtuosity.