Timeless Luxury Watches is very excited to announce our newest brand partner, the legendary Vacheron Constantin. As most of you will already know, Vacheron is one of the oldest and most respected watch brands in the world, with a history so long and and impressive that several books have been written about it.
I’ll save a more complete historical recounting for another article, but a brief synopsis to bring you up to speed might be warranted. Vacheron Constantin begins as simply Vacheron, way back in 1755, when Jean-Marc Vacheron starts his company by hiring his first apprentice. This resulted in the fledgling brand’s first timepiece, a beautiful white-dialed pocket watch. The brand would be passed down to his son, Abraham Vacheron, and from there to his grandson, before finally adopting the famous Constantin name.
That was in 1819, when Jacques Barthélémi Vacheron partnered with François Constantin, creating the first incarnation of the modern name, Vacheron et Constantin. While the Vacheron lineage contained great watchmaking expertise, it was the Constantin line that brought high-level business acumen to the company. From François Constantin we first get the company motto: “Do better if possible and that is always possible.”
The iconic Maltese Cross logo didn’t come until much later. In 1880, the symbol was adopted to symbolize the brand’s quest for precision. More interestingly, the Maltese Cross emblem was inspired by a watch component that, owing to its function rather than artistry, resembles a Maltese Cross.
Of course, Vacheron Constantin is not a brand held captive by the past, but rather is a contemporary brand that is informed by it. Modern watches, like the runaway success Overseas, have allowed the brand to remain extremely relevant today, more than two centuries after the company’s founding. Currently, the brand has an expansive 10 collections, ranging from the traditional to the avant-garde.
The Patrimony line is one of the most iconic from the brand. It primarily focuses on restrained dress watches with applied indices and thin hands. While the collection trends towards minimalism, there are quite a few interesting executions here, like the Retrograde Day-Date.
The Traditionnelle collection contains a wide assortment of dress watches, like Patrimony, but it tends to focus on amazing complications, including grand complication watches. Among these you’ll find one of my favorite models, the new Excellence Platine.
Easily one of the most popular collections is the Overseas, Vacheron’s sports watch. It features an iconic bezel and bracelet, both inspired by the brand’s Maltese Cross logo.
The Harmony line, conversely, uses the cushion case to set itself apart from the rest of the brand. The Harmony collection is more than just its case, however. It relies on complex dials and large Arabic numerals to give it an avant-garde quality.
The Historiques line attempts to create modern re-imaginings of classic models from Vacheron’s past. In this collection you’ll find the wild, and sought-after, American 1921 and its fascinating rotated dial.
The Métiers D’Art is an extremely impressive, as well as interesting, collection that treats watchmaking more as an artistic endeavor than a technical one. Within Métiers D’Art, you’ll find some of the most impressive dials ever put in a watch.
The Quai De I’Ile collection is quite intriguing, with a relatively sporty case and complex dial. It is most easily recognized by the date ring that is the central focus of the dial in most of its models, while the overall design gives me an art deco feel.
The Fiftysix is a based on, well, a model from 1956. As a result, the Fiftysix collection is one of the most every-day wearable watches in the entire brand, good for every occasion. They feature prominent Arabic numerals and relatively large hands (by Vacheron standards), in addition to a smooth, slightly elongated case, making them somewhere between sporty and dressy.
Malte is a collection unified by its tonneau case shape. Malte’s designs tend to be bold, with strong 6:00 and 12:00 Roman numerals and elongated hour markers.
We last arrive at Heures Créatives, a collection aimed at women who seek the highest levels of craftsmanship. Their designs can be quite exotic, but all prominently feature diamonds and usually feature black accents for a bold contrast.
And thus ends our brief introduction to Vacheron Constantin, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Please stop by our store and see them in person, the only way they can be truly appreciated. We’ll have much more comprehensive articles about particular models in the future, so keep visiting us to learn more.