Vacheron Constantin exhibits two centuries of feminine creations _ITALY_ Milan and Florence
MILAN, Oct. 25 Vacheron Constantin Boutique, Via Pietro Verri, 9 FLORENCE, October 31-November 7 Vacheron Constantin Boutique, Ponte
- The creative universe of Vacheron Constantin has been graced with feminine interpretations since the turn of the 18th century.
- To illustrate this rich horological legacy, faithfully mirroring various artistic currents, Vacheron Constantin presents a selection of feminine models from its private collection.
- Exhibited in Milan and Florence they pay tribute to the world of Haute Couture.
Vacheron Constantin is paying tribute to Haute Couture, a strictly codified, rigorously disciplined and imaginative universe with which it enjoys a close kinship. The selection of watches from the Maison’s private collection highlights this powerful connection. On show for one month in October, these pieces testify to the feminine creativity that the Manufacture has been cultivating for more than two centuries.
Haute Couture and Haute Horlogerie demonstrate a powerful connection highlighted in their very names. Since the mid-20th century, Haute Couture Maisons have been governed by a set of rules that codify their activities, from the making of garments in the atelier to fashion shows. This uncompromisingly rigorous discipline naturally stimulates the imagination of these Maisons forming a whole world of style, luxury and quality. In the same way, their Haute Horlogerie counterparts such as Vacheron Constantin adhere to a number of precepts that ensure that their timepieces stem from a blend of artistry and knowledge. Vacheron Constantin shares with Haute Couture a concern for irreproachable quality dedicated to creativity and an approach to artisanal work characteristic of the artistic crafts. Finally, one cannot evoke this closeness without mentioning the feminine universe, the privileged field of expression of Haute Couture and the embodiment of Vacheron Constantin's artistic sensitivity for over two centuries.
Feminine Haute Horlogerie
Women became interested in watchmaking at a very early stage of history, often in order to enhance their adornments with objects that were sometimes unusual but generally conceived as authentic jewellery. The practical aspects of these items were nonetheless not neglected, as evidenced by the many striking or calendar watches made for women. Moreover, women were the first to wear timepieces on their wrist, long before wristwatches became widespread in the first half of the 20th century. Vacheron Constantin has left its horological mark on all these periods, from the first ladies’ pocket watches made at the turn of the 18th century to elegant contemporary creations. Like the Haute Couture finery with which they are a perfect fit, they all evoke dreams and passion.
The Vacheron Constantin Heritage: a living and inspiring treasure
The Vacheron Constantin Heritage collections, comprising more than 1,300 pieces, bear witness to this formidable creative impetus in the field of ladies’ watches. With a first historical reference dating back to 1815, a yellow gold pocket watch featuring a caseband finely engraved with a floral motif enhanced with garnets, the Maison provided early demonstrations of the special attention it devoted to women. Whether functional or ceremonial timepieces, jewellery or sports watches, Vacheron Constantin's feminine creations have always been able to capture artistic trends and adapt them to the clothing trends of the moment, to women's changing social status, to their desires as well as their wildest whims. Since the 1800s, they have continuously influenced the Maison’s most accomplished creations.
Two centuries of creativity in one exhibition
To illustrate these two centuries of watchmaking in the feminine mode, Vacheron Constantin has selected a few pieces from its Heritage collections. In the manner of a great couturier who designs clothes for special events, the Maison has chosen these timepieces to be associated with an outfit worn at a gala, tea time, lunch or cocktail party, while not forgetting the accessory watch, an indispensable object for people of good taste.
The selected watches were using the most delicate setting techniques. It is also interesting to notice that when wristwatches were born, the Platinum and gold bracelets were flexible to avoid the grubbing out of the bracelet and to provide the best comfort to the wearer.
During the Art Deco period appeared a wide range of different extravagant shapes: oval, rectangular, square with either sharp or rounded corners. Often elongated and curved in order
to fit perfectly the wrist. Part of these creations became one of the esthetical signature of our Maison, which continued to imagine new shapes especially during the 70’s, a disrupting and highly creative era.
Lady’s brooch (Ref. Inv.11845): 1927
Lady's brooch watch in platinum, black champlevé enameled geometrical patterns, brillant and baguette-cut diamonds, pearls, suspended from a platinum chain
Lady’s wristwatch (Ref Inv: 11928): 1971
Lozange-shaped 18K white gold and diamonds set jewellery lady's wristwatch. Full set diamonds dial, white gold bracelet
Before attaching their watches to their wrist, women were happy to wear them as a pendant or a brooch.
Lady’s Brooch (Ref. Inv. 12020): 1902
Lady's brooch watch yellow gold, finely chiselled case-back set with an antique-cut diamond
Lady’s Pendant Watch (Ref-Inv:10184): 1910
Lady's pendant-watch in platinum, yellow gold enamel and antique-cut diamonds, with a chain
At first, during the roaring twenties, Vacheron Constantin followed the art deco tendency to structure and give some specific architecture to its creations with pure and sober lines. We then entered the so called Modern Era. Accessories were then vital components of an outfit, and secret timepieces became fashionable. From its first presentation at the Montres et bijoux exhibition in 1942, the Maison has always been notable for its design innovations, in response to the couture and women’s requirements. Indeed, during elegant and special events, to read the time could be considered as very impolite, especially for a lady.
Lady’s Lozange-shaped (Ref.Inv:11444):1919
Lady's lozange-shaped wristwatch in yellow gold with a polished yellow gold bracelet
Lady's secret wristwatch (Ref.Inv:12066): 1946
Lady's secret wristwatch in pink gold entirely engraved with a textured pattern, dome-shaped bracelet links
Worn on the wrist, early wristwaches calibers (miniaturized pocket watches calibers) faced new constraints due to the shocks, humidity and temperatures changes.
During the 20th century most of the innovations were driven to improve the reliability of those calibers. Due to the large demand of varied shaped watches, watchmakers prefer to develop miniaturized calibers more appropriated to smaller watch dimensions. In 1915, Vacheron Constantin presented an extremely small in-line caliber (21.5 x 6.5 mm) that was so-called baguette and mostly used in jewelery watch. Later, the so-called baguette, 7’’’ caliber used a patented system to protect the balance-wheel against the shocks.
Lady’s Secret Wristwatch (Ref.Inv.12027): 1971
Lady's secret wristwatch in yellow gold,bezel in white gold bead-set with brillant-cut diamonds, beehive-shaped bracelet links filled with lapis lazuli and white gold
“Sporty” Wristwatch (Ref.Inv. 10476): 1929
Platinum rectangle shape lady's "Sporty" wristwatch, relief handles and silvered dial with 12 Arabic numerals painted. Double leather cord strap.
In 1879, Ferdinand Verger became Vacheron Constantin exclusive agent in France, a collaboration which will continue when Ferdinand’s sons took over their father’s business in 1920. Vacheron Constantin and Verger Frères will then create a very close partnership until 1938. During this period, taking advantage of reduced baguette movements, our Maison created many models for which Georges or Albert Verger will file patents such as “jalousie” shutter watches, bag watches called “captives” or finally chatelaine-type brooch watches.
We then developed this art to create new ways of accessorizing the watches.
Shutter purse watch ( Ref.Inv. 10144 ): 1930
Purse watch in yellow gold with a polished yellow gold bracelet
«Shutter» purse watch in yellow gold, black champlevé engraved geometrical patterns and monogram LR
Retractable purse watch (Ref. Inv. 11273): 1930
Purse watch in yellow gold close-set jade cabochons, black champlevé enameled geometrical patterns