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Vacheron Constantin – Traditionnelle Tourbillon China Limited Edition

Vacheron Constantin – Traditionnelle Tourbillon China Limited Edition

  • Inspired by the Chinese Jade culture, the Traditionnelle tourbillon model is dedicated to China market, numbered and engraved in 30-piece limited edition.
  • A limited edition entirely dressed in Imperial Green, a color that represents the purest and highest grade of green jadeite.
  • Featuring the ultra-thin mechanical self-winding movement, calibre 2160/1.
Traditionnelle Tourbillon China Limited Edition

Traditionnelle Tourbillon China Limited Edition

Geneva, November 29th, 2021 – Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Vacheron Constantin presents a high complication limited-edition timepiece, exclusive to the China market.

A Gentleman of Jade

“A gentleman of jade” is a well-known phrase since ancient China to describe a man with noble character. The Chinese believe that a real gentleman is elegant and dignified just as the Jade, which gives inspiration to the creation of the first high complication wristwatch specially designed for the China market. Considered as a mirror of Chinese civilization, Jade has been a treasure of Chinese tradition for thousands of years. This gemstone has been a symbol of high morality throughout Chinese history.

“Imperial Green”

The color of green is described in Chinese poetry as gentle, soothing, and full of vigour and energy. Living in a green environment or adding touches of green to your surroundings can surprisingly bring sophistication, tranquillity and vitality to life.

The well-known Hongshan (Green) Jade Dragon from the Neolithic Period – the earliest known jade dragon carving in China – defines the imperial nature of Green jade carvings. In modern times, jadeite, a harder form of jade known by Chinese, is greatly appreciated for its gentle, translucent, luxurious, but not overstated color.

A jade’s quality is largely determined by the purity of its color. Imperial green, the color that Vacheron Constantin’s first high complication China Limited Edition wristwatch is dressed in, is known to represent the purest and most sophisticated shade of green jadeite, and has a sharp boldness while retaining being understated and warm.

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Traditionnelle Tourbillon China Limited Edition

This Traditionnelle tourbillon watch features an elegant 41 mm-diameter case in 18K 5N pink gold which houses a self-winding movement developed by Vacheron Constantin.

In addition to the refinement of its openworked tourbillon carriage shaped like a Maltese cross, the emblem of the Manufacture and entirely hand chamfered and finished, Caliber 2160 is distinguished by its incredible slimness: this ultra-thin 188-part movement endowed with an approximately 80-hour power reserve measures just 5.65 mm thick. Its relatively sedate frequency (2.5 Hz), along with its 22K gold sandblasted peripheral oscillating weight, provide a chance to admire the steady beating of its mechanism and the exceptional level of traditional Côtes de Genève finishing visible through the sapphire crystal caseback.

The new Traditionnelle tourbillon China Limited Edition timepiece displays the hours and minutes with central hands, while the small seconds appear at 6 o’clock on the tourbillon, framed by an Imperial green-toned dial graced with gold hour-markers and bi-facetted Dauphine-type hands.

As an old Chinese saying goes, like the Jade, those who accomplish great things are modest about their capabilities. As the epitome of radiance, balanced proportions, and subtle details, the new Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon China Limited Edition honors and interprets a Gentleman of Jade.

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Summary

Technical refinement meets aesthetic elegance in this model imbued with exquisite masculinity. It represents the epitome of radiance, balanced proportions, and subtle details. Faithful to the origins of Vacheron Constantin and dedicated to Chinese clients enamored of beautifully crafted watches that are both understated and distinguished. Issued in a 30-piece limited series exclusively for Mainland China, it asserts the style in the accordant shades of green: from the elegant Imperial green-toned sunburst finishing dial to the Mississippiensis alligator leather strap with 18K 5N pink gold buckle. Powered by the in-house self-winding Calibre 2160/1, this Traditionnelle tourbillon watch displays the hours and minutes with central hands, while the small seconds appear at 6 o’clock on the tourbillon.

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TECHNICAL DATA

Reference 6000T/000R-B972

Calibre
2160/1
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical, self-winding, peripheral rotor
31 mm (13½’’’) diameter, 5.65 mm thick
Approximately 80 hours of power reserve
2.5 Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
188 components
30 jewels
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Hours, minutes, small seconds on tourbillon carriage
Tourbillon

Case
18K 5N pink gold
41 mm diameter, 10.4 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 meters)

Dial
Imperial Green, sunburst finishing
18K 5N pink applied hour-markers and Maltese cross

Strap
Imperial Green Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales

Clasp
18K 5N pink gold folding clasp
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped

Limited edition of 30 pieces, individually numbered

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Vacheron Constantin – High Watchmaking: Astronomical watches

Vacheron Constantin

High Watchmaking: Astronomical watches

  • Horology stems from the observation and study of the stars dating right back to the earliest ancient civilisations
  • Twenty years after its foundation in 1755, the first watches with astronomical indications appeared at Vacheron Constantin.
  • The Manufacture has developed a rare breed of expertise in Grand Complication watches dedicated to the movement and influence of the moon, stars and planets.

Geneva, November 17th 2021 – Horology, the science of time measurement, was born from the observations of heavenly bodies and natural cycles. The mechanical instruments developed by horologists stem from these observations, reflecting an art that has continued to progress since the late Middle Ages. Founded in 1755, Vacheron Constantin developed a perfect mastery of astronomical indications at a very early stage, progressively enriching it over the two and a half centuries of the Manufacture’s existence. Today, the Maison produces watchmaking masterpieces of great astronomical complexity.

Astronomical watches remind us of the origins of watchmaking. Born of the observation of the great physical laws of Nature, the measurement of time is in fact a material extrapolation of the movement of the stars and cycles. This mechanically translated interpretation has given rise across the ages to timepieces capable of offering a wide variety of functions, and of varying degrees of complexity, linked to the singularities of the Gregorian calendar, to the various temporalities governing our universe, or to the motion of heavenly bodies and their impact on the Earth. Although many of these functions are not of practical use, they nonetheless testify to expertise that is all the rarer in that it lends a cosmological dimension to these watches forming a link between humankind and the universe. From its earliest days, Vacheron Constantin has shown great interest in watches with astronomical functions, including various types of calendar displays and indications of the phases and age of the Moon, often combined with other horological complications. Since the 2000s, this technical mastery has been illustrated in particular through its Les Cabinotiers department, whose astronomical watches are masterpieces of their kind.

Astronomical functions

The astronomical functions of a wristwatch include indications related to the particularities of the Gregorian calendar, as well as a wide variety of displays related to the movement of the stars. In addition to the main functions listed below, the most complex of them may offer a system for predicting lunar and solar eclipses, the position of the stars as seen from the Earth, displays of the ephemerides (solstices, equinoxes, seasons), the signs of the zodiac, a tideograph, sunrise and sunset, the duration of day and night, the annual deviation or angular movement of the Moon, etc. All this bearing in mind that a good number of these functions are valid exclusively for a given location. The most “common” astronomical watches include one or more of the following indications.

  • Calendars

A simple calendar watch is a watch that, in addition to the time, provides calendar information – usually the date – but whose mechanism does not automatically keep step with the irregularity of successive months. When such a calendar also provides indications including the day of the week, phases of the moon and even the year, it is called a complete calendar. This type of complication requires five adjustments per year. Unlike a simple calendar, an annual calendar automatically takes into account the irregularity of 30- or 31-day months, except for February, meaning that manual adjustment is required on March 1st each year. A perpetual calendar, on the other hand, indicates calendar functions such as the date, month and day of the week, taking into account months with 28, 30 or 31 days, as well as leap years.

  • Moon phases

The moon-phase indication is frequently associated with the perpetual calendar. It serves to reproduce the cycle of Earth’s satellite (new Moon, first quarter, full Moon, last quarter) on the watch dial. The phases of the Moon should not be confused with the age of the Moon which indicates the time (in days) elapsed since the last new Moon.

  • Equation of time

The equation of time is defined by the difference between solar time – or true time – and civil time – or mean time. The former is the time as shown on a sundial, while the latter is the time displayed on a watch. The difference between the two ranges from -16 minutes to +14 minutes and occurs during the course of the year, due to the Earth’s elliptical orbit and the tilt of its axis.

  • Sidereal time

The time it takes for the Earth to complete one full spin on its axis (360°) is 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4 seconds, and is called the sidereal day. Because of the Earth’s revolution around the Sun and its rotation on its own axis, the solar day – the time difference between two passages of the Sun through the zenith point (meridian) – lasts a few extra minutes. Using a fixed star in the sky instead of the Sun as a reference point, this sidereal time is used as a basis for astronomical observations.

  • Sky map

The sky chart is a planispherical representation on a disc or dial of the sky at a given location on the globe. This surface is rotated at a rate of one revolution per year – thereby offering a ‘snapshot’ of the sky at a given time – or of one revolution per sidereal day, which provides a view of the sky in real time.

Advanced mechanics

The perpetual calendar is often considered one of horology’s finest gems for its ability to display the exact date for an all but infinite duration (with the exception of secular years not divisible by 400), taking into account the variable length of the months and the leap-year cycle. To accomplish this mechanical feat, the movement must have a “memory” of 1,461 days, equivalent to four years. The essential component of these mechanisms is the month cam on which the different monthly durations are programmed. Equation of time mechanisms are also governed by a cam – which is in this case asymmetrical, performs one revolution in a year and features a shape derived from the analemma.

This results in a one-day discrepancy for this type of mechanism that must be corrected every 2 years and 7 months. Watches with a precision moon-phase display have a wheel with 135 teeth. With this system, the deviation from the lunar cycle is reduced to one day every 122 years. Another astral representation is the rotating sky chart, of which the visible part corresponding to the skyline is delimited by an ellipse, and which generally makes one revolution in one day in order to offer a vision of the sky in real time.

This rotation is calculated according to sidereal time, which is 3 minutes and 56 seconds shorter than the average day. Technically, the simplest solution consists of integrating two kinetic chains in the movement, from the barrel to the regulating organ, the first beating at the mean solar time rate of one revolution in 24 hours and the second at the slightly faster sidereal time rate of one revolution in 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds.

Astronomical paternity

The appearance of megalithism around 5000 BC owes nothing to chance. These thousands of precisely oriented stone monuments – of which one of the best-known is the circle of menhirs at Stonehenge – are regarded as the first astronomical observatories. It was however not until around 4200 BC that these first observations took on a more scientific nature, when the birth of writing played a decisive role by making it possible to record events, perform calculations, establish chronologies and make forecasts. Writing appeared in Mesopotamia, and gradually became established in Egypt in the following century – and then some 2,000 years later in China and the Mayan Empire. Each great civilisation then set about developing its own calendar based on the visible movement of the Sun or the Moon, or both.

It was the Mesopotamians, around 2400 BC, who invented a common unit of measurement for calculating distances and time, which is still the basis of our sexagesimal system of degrees of angle and minutes today. This spatialisation of time was decisive when it came to sequencing it according to the course of the stars. The development of mechanical engineering, which already emerged at the time of Aristotle, was thus able to give shape to the counting of time and its astronomical dimension. As soon as the first clocks appeared in the 13th and 14th centuries, mechanical horologists set out to reproduce on dials the movements of the solar system’s main planets. The pocket watches of the Renaissance were direct heirs to these large astronomical clocks. Well before the invention of the minutes hand, these watches already indicated the time, the date, the days of the week, the months and their duration, the moon phases and the signs of the zodiac. These astronomical watches, which were very popular in the 17th century, are still considered to be models of their kind today.

From that time onwards, ingenious watchmakers redoubled their efforts to make their mechanisms more accurate – resulting in the appearance of minutes and then seconds hands – and more compact. This miniaturisation naturally made it difficult to depict certain astronomical functions, except for the date and its most sophisticated perpetual calendar interpretation, accompanied by a moon-phase display. As of the 19th century, any Grand Complication watch had to incorporate a mechanism capable of following the irregularities of the Gregorian calendar. At that time, some exceptional pocket watches also reproduced celestial mechanics by displaying the equation of time, sunrise and sunset times or sidereal time. These functions can be found in the highly complicated timepieces of the first half of the 20th century. The advent of the wristwatch, however, put a stop to these technical masterpieces – while nonetheless not provoking their complete disappearance. Since the revival of the mechanical watch at the end of the 1980s, the astronomical watch has enjoyed a clear resurgence in interest and currently represents a supreme demonstration of expertise.

 

Vacheron Constantin and calendar watches

The first mention of a pocket watch in Vacheron Constantin’s records dates back to a period prior to 1773, i.e. the early years of the workshop founded by Jean-Marc Vacheron in 1755. A decade later, the range of complications developed under the leadership of Jean-Marc’s son Abraham Vacheron, notably exemplified by the first complete calendar dating from 1785 and appearing on a brass dial with a floral motif. The archives of the Maison accurately retrace this progressive mastery of astronomical complications, beginning in 1829 with the first recorded order for a watch featuring a simple calendar and moon phases, and again in 1884 for a perpetual calendar integrated into a double-sided yellow gold pocket watch now belonging to Vacheron Constantin’s private collection. This achievement marked the beginning of an epic mechanical saga that was to take on greater significance at the turn of the century.

As early as 1900, the company set up a workshop exclusively dedicated to the assembly of watches with complications, and orders poured in for complicated and even very complicated watches. The perpetual calendar was thus combined with other technical feats, as in this 1901 pink gold pocket watch incorporating a minute repeater, chronograph and perpetual calendar with phases and age of the moon. This masterpiece of mechanical artistry typifying Grand Complication watches prefigures the historic golden age of complicated watches at Vacheron Constantin. An era that culminated in the 1920s and 1930s, notably with the astronomical pocket watch made in 1929 for King Fouad I of Egypt. This masterful timepiece combines a split-seconds chronograph, a perpetual calendar, a minute repeater and a Grande and Petite Sonnerie mechanism.

The heyday of the perpetual calendar

Throughout most of the 20th century, Vacheron Constantin remained faithful to its classic and elegant approach to horological complications, including the perpetual calendar in pocket watches until the 1960s. These decades were thus punctuated by a number of exceptional creations, including this gold pocket watch from 1946 with minute repeater, chronograph and perpetual calendar displaying the phases and age of the moon. Elegance was notably expressed by models featuring impressive slimness made possible by their thin movements. In 1955, Vacheron Constantin had already presented its manual-winding Calibre 1003, which was barely 1.64 mm thick, a real feat. Some 12 years later, the company achieved a new feat – this time in the field of self-winding movements – with its Calibre 1120 measuring 2.45 mm thick. It was this specific movement, skeletonised for the occasion, that served as the basis for the first perpetual calendar (Calibre 1120 QP) housed in an ultra-thin wristwatch introduced by Vacheron Constantin in 1983.

While complete calendars, triple calendars with moon phases and retrograde calendar indications are part of the grand traditions of the Maison, the perpetual calendar remains one of its preferred complications, currently interpreted in the Patrimony, Traditionnelle and Overseas collections. This inclination has notably been reflected in a major new model presented in 2019 with the Traditionnelle Twin Beat perpetual calendar . With its two going trains operating at different rhythms, the watch can be slowed down to a “resting position” ensuring at least 65 days of power reserve. In its “classic” version, the perpetual calendar also remains a basic function of grand complication mechanisms, an unchanging tradition at Vacheron Constantin. In recent years, the Manufacture has distinguished itself with timepieces whose complexity has become an art in itself, such as the Tour de l’île with its 16 watchmaking and astronomical complications, produced in 2005 for the 250th anniversary of the Maison. Ten years later, for its 260th anniversary, Vacheron Constantin presented another timepiece destined to make watchmaking history, the Reference 57260 and its 57 complications, making this one-of-a-kind model the most complicated watch in the world.

Astronomy at its peak

At Vacheron Constantin, mastery of astronomical functions is by no means confined to calendar functions. In the world of pocket watches, the Manufacture responded at an early stage to specific requests from customers and collectors who were particularly sensitive to this dimension of watchmaking. In 1890, for example, at the request of a Parisian client, the Manufacture created a watch indicating sidereal time. Some 20 years later, the company archives mention a movement blank designed to power a display of true solar time, associated with a simple calendar as well as sunrise and sunset indications. The year 1919 was also marked by the delivery of a perpetual calendar movement with moon phases, sunrise and sunset and retrograde equation of time, a true mechanical rarity. This tradition of astronomical indications based on the course of the stars – which been put on hold for a time due to the miniaturisation requirements of the wristwatch – has made a major comeback in the Maison’s collections since the powerful late 20th century craze for mechanical watches and has been further strengthened since the creation of the Les Cabinotiers department.

Responsible for special orders and exceptional creations for the Maison in the form of one-of-a-kind timepieces, this department has produced veritable masterpieces in the field of astronomical watches with highly sophisticated complications. Among these is the Celestia Astronomical grand complication 3600 (2017) and its 23 functions inspired by astronomy, including a reading of civil, solar and sidereal time. This same reading is found on the Astronomical striking grand complication – Ode to music (2020) and its 19 essentially astronomical functions coupled with a minute repeater. The theme chosen for the Les Cabinotiers watches introduced in 2021 was Le Temps Céleste (celestial time), masterfully expressed through three exceptional timepieces. Among them are the Armillary perpetual calendar – Planetaria watch, featuring a jumping retrograde perpetual calendar regulated by a double-axis tourbillon and complemented by a 3D depiction of the two hemispheres for the 24-hour and day/night indications. Expressed at this level, astronomical complications are undoubtedly both science and art.

A beautiful tribute

In the 19th century, Vacheron Constantin’s reputation was well established, particularly in the world of accuracy, which earned the company numerous prizes for excellence in chronometry (precision timekeeping) awarded by the Geneva Observatory, among others. The Manufacture’s customers therefore increasingly placed orders for timepieces meeting their needs, which were strictly formulated when it comes to astronomical observations. A letter addressed to Vacheron Constantin on February 24th 1853 by Count Hyppolite Salino, secretary of the Sardinian Legation in Paris, features a request for a thermometer and date watch: “(…) as I intend to use this watch for astronomical observations, I would like it to be a true chronometer, crafted with the perfection that the works emerging from your workshops come so close to attaining”. A glowing tribute to the watchmaking excellence of Vacheron Constantin.

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Watch selection

Double-sided yellow gold pocket watch with 48-month perpetual calendar and moon phases –1884

This is the first recorded Vacheron Constantin pocket watch to incorporate a perpetual calendar and features a double-sided display. The display of time including small seconds appears on the front enamel dial with Roman numerals and external minute-track, while the perpetual calendar is displayed on four counters visible through the transparent caseback. The vertical axis features the date and the day of the week, while the age and phases of the moon appear on the horizontal axis opposite the month display. This subdial divided into four quarters is staggered over 48 months with the leap year indicated by the same hand. This timepiece is all the more remarkable in that it won a First Prize for chronometry at the Geneva Observatory competition.

Grand Complication yellow gold pocket watch with tourbillon, perpetual calendar, moon phases and split-seconds chronograph – 1931

This extremely complicated watch is a collector’s item. A very rare model for its time, it displays a perpetual calendar with the age and phases of the moon, together with a split-seconds chronograph as well as a 32-hour power reserve indication. Regulated by a tourbillon, which can be seen by lifting the cover protecting the caseback, this watch won First Prize in the 1934 Geneva Observatory competition. Produced in 1931, it is a perfect example of the golden age that Vacheron Constantin experienced at that time in the production of pocket watches with multiple complications, perfect readability and infallible chronometry.

King Farouk yellow gold Grand Complication pocket watch – 1934

One of the most complicated watches of its time. This imposing model – measuring 80 millimetres in diameter and which took more than five years to complete – is equipped with 13 hands. Its calibre incorporates 820 components that drive 14 complications. This double going-train watch in 18K yellow gold was presented to King Farouk of Egypt in 1946 and remained in his collection until 1954. It includes a chiming minute repeater and Grande and Petite Sonnerie equipped with three gongs and three hammers, a split-seconds chronograph with a 30-minute counter, a perpetual calendar, an indication of the phases and age of the moon, an alarm clock and two power-reserve indicators.

“Cioccolatone” yellow gold square curved wristwatch with triple calendar and moon phases – 1954

In the 1950s, post-war exuberance led to new forms of design that were both functional and unrestrained. Vacheron Constantin’s response to this new trend took the form of this large, organically square wristwatch with rounded lugs and bezel, as well as a slightly curved case. Nicknamed “Cioccolatone”, this watch has become an iconic symbol of the design typical of that period. Introduced at the beginning of the decade, it has been interpreted through several variations, including this most emblematic Reference 4764 with triple calendar and moon phases.

Ultra-thin platinum wristwatch with perpetual calendar and moon phases – 1988

At the height of the hegemony of quartz watches in the 1980s, Vacheron Constantin took a gamble on the mechanical watch by producing this complication watch, the first perpetual calendar with moon phases on a wristwatch from the Maison, which was also offered in an ultra-thin version. This model played an important role in the renewed interest in high-end watchmaking and its complicated mechanical watches. Presented in 1983, this reference –interpreted through several iterations including a skeleton version – remained in production until 2006. The watch is particularly elegant thanks to its movement measuring barely 4.05 mm thick: the ultra-thin Calibre 1120 QP complete with date module.

Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 – 2017

The unique double-sided Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 combines astronomy and the art of watchmaking in a “celestial” white gold composition. The watch incorporates 23 mainly astronomical horological complications appearing on both sides of the case, offering a reading of the time in three different modes – civil, solar and sidereal – each driven by its own gear train. Its new fully integrated calibre has nearly 514 components housed in a thickness of barely 8.7 mm, while six barrels guarantee it a three-week autonomy.

Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon armillary perpetual calendar – Planetaria – 2021

Equipped with the new manual-winding Calibre 1991, the result of four years of development, this one-of-a-kind timepiece features a perpetual calendar with a retrograde display of the date, day and month. It also features a rare 3D depiction representing the Earth’s Northern and Southern hemispheres. The two titanium globes perform a complete rotation in 24 hours complete with a day/night indication. The movement is regulated by a dual-axis tourbillon whose interlocking cages move at a speed of 60 seconds per rotation.

Vacheron Constantin - Client-First Service Expansion to Singapore and Australia
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Vacheron Constantin – Client-First Service Expansion to Singapore and Australia

Client-First Service Expansion to Singapore and Australia

• Vacheron Constantin meets client expectations in Hong Kong SAR, China, Singapore and Australia with the launch of customer advisor supported phone sales, starting July 2021.
• This comes after successful launches in the United States, Europe, Japan and China.

Geneva, July 2021 – Vacheron Constantin, the world’s longest continuously operating watch manufacture will now offer phone sales service to APAC region starting July 2021.

Clients from Hong Kong SAR, China, Singapore and Australia will now have the opportunity to select and purchase their timepiece of choice from those styles currently available on Vacheron Constantin’s website, www.vacheron-constantin.com. In a centralized effort, timepieces on the Maison’s website are available for sale over the phone, with a specific tab indicating the number to call to place orders.


Service-first customer advisors are now available to guide clients in their choices, answer questions, and facilitate a comfortable and easy purchasing journey. Once the phone order has been confirmed, c lients c an choose to pick up at a nearby boutique or complimentary shipping with turnaround times ranging between one and three days for Hong Kong and Singapore, and four to eight days for Australia.

Ever-focused on providing clients the services they deserve, Vacheron Constantin will also propose express delivery to clients in Singapore and Hong Kong. If the phone order is confirmed before noon on a weekday, the delivery will be scheduled on the same day, during the afternoon.

“It is part of Vacheron Constantin’s mission to offer a superior service to its clientele of connoisseurs, thanks to our concierge team and boutique sales associates who are now available over the phone or in-person. We are therefore delighted to be introducing new ways to purchase a Vacheron Constantin timepiece to APAC region”, says Laurent Perves, Vacheron Constantin Chief Marketing Officer.

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Vacheron Constantin – New Flagship in New York City

Vacheron Constantin – New Flagship in New York City

  • Vacheron Constantin opens North American Flagship in New York City
  • The new two-story Boutique celebrates the long-standing relationship between the Maison and America since 1831
  • Client-first experiences include in-house watchmaker, strap customization, interactive digital archives, rotating exhibition space, and the first ever permanent “Les Collectionneurs” vintage offer.

New York, June 2021 – Vacheron Constantin, the luxury Swiss watchmaking Maison with over two hundred and sixty-five years of expertise, is delighted to announce the opening of its North American Flagship in the heart of New York City, at 28 East 57th Street. The boutique pays tribute to the Maison’s deep roots in the United States and commitment to outstanding client service.

The new Vacheron Constantin Flagship in North America celebrates the relationship between our Maison and America that has existed since 1831. Engaging with the creative spirit of America and its many diverse cultures, Vacheron Constantin is ready to make 28 E 57th Street its new North American home. This Flagship exemplifies Vacheron Constantin’s dedication to excellence and our motto, Do Better if Possible, and That is Always Possible.” – Louis Ferla, Chief Executive Officer, Vacheron Constantin

A 190 year love story with New York

The selection of New York for the location of Vacheron Constantin’s North American Flagship carries powerful symbolism for the Maison. In 1831, Jacques Barthélémi Vacheron wrote a letter stating his intent to expand business to the United States, and in 1832 the company established its first agent in New York. By the twentieth century, Vacheron Constantin timepieces could be found on the wrists of eminent Americans from members of the Rockefeller family, Henry and William James, automobile manufacture James Ward Packard, and actors Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor to name a few. Of the many innovative and historically important Vacheron Constantin timepieces, special references inspired by American clients include one of the first large wristwatches for aviators, a series of pocket watches for the U.S. Corps of Engineers during WWI, and just a few years later, the cushion-shaped “American 1921”, a classic yet daring tilted-dial design created for the American market. This iconic timepiece celebrates its 100th Anniversary in 2021 and is the focus of the New York Flagship opening exhibition.

Immersive experience

Located between Madison and Park Avenue, the new Vacheron Constantin Flagship spans over 4,500 square feet and covers two floors. A distinctive glass façade opens directly onto 57th Street and features a sleek brass-toned design in the shape of the Maison’s emblem, the Maltese Cross. The transparent glass invites collectors and visitors into a discovery of the Maison’s creativity and fine craftsmanship in a harmonious old-meets-new environment fitting the spirit of Vacheron Constantin’s contemporary watchmaking.

Upon entering, visitors are greeted by an atrium filled with natural light and a double floor height. A striking blue straw marquetry wall with Maltese cross motif creates a focal point that conveys Vacheron Constantin’s dedication to high watchmaking artistry. To the left, an open discovery table welcomes watch collectors and visitors alike to discover beautiful crafts and techniques amongst an assortment of Métiers d’art timepieces.

American 1921 Unique Piece Historique Restoration Restauration Calibre 1921 Making-of 100th anniversary

A large eye-catching screen offers an immersive tour through the history of Vacheron Constantin in the United States via an exclusive interactive experience: the “Chronogram”. Developed in partnership with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Chronogram is an innovative tool that uses emerging technologies to digitize Vacheron Constantin’s exceptional body of archives accumulated since 1755, shared with the public for live exploration of the Maison’s heritage.

In-house watchmaker, rotating exhibitions and family-friendly accommodations

A dedicated area within the first floor displays the restoration capabilities of the Maison and rotating exhibitions of historic timepieces from the Vacheron Constantin private heritage collection in Geneva. In a striking design, visitors are met with a sweeping staircase animated with bronze vertical columns inspired by 19th century architecture. As a demonstration of the Maison’s commitment to client-centered service, the second floor opens to an expansive watchmaking bench intended to encourage interaction with an in-house watchmaker as well as a custom strap station presenting both engraving and embossing customization options. A VIP Lounge encourages lingering and a family-friendly bar upstairs is equipped with games and refreshments that truly embody Vacheron Constantin’s dedication to clients.

A window into Vacheron Constantin’s collections

The new Flagship houses the complete Vacheron Constantin timepiece collection from simple to high complications, as well as boutique exclusive models, the first permanent “Les Collectionneurs” vintage watch offering, and a rotating Les Cabinotiers assortment. The newly unveiled American 1921 Pièce Unique re-creation timepiece will also be presented for the occasion of the Flagship opening.

“Les Collectionneurs”

Chosen with patience and talent by the Maison’s heritage department specialists, “Les Collectionneurs” curated collection of vintage Vacheron Constantin watches from the 20th century have been restored and are offered with the same warranty given to contemporary collections. Previously only available at dedicated annual events in Vacheron Constantin boutiques around the world, a rare assortment will be featured in the North American Flagship as the world’s first “Les Collectionneurs” permanent boutique offering.

Les Cabinotiers

Les Cabinotiers, Vacheron Constantin’s approach to single-piece editions, showcases the Maison’s amazing wealth of creative and engineering talent. The department of Les Cabinotiers combines excellence and dedication with a group of master watchmaking professionals who use their wide-ranging scientific knowledge in the latest technical breakthroughs and 18th century watchmaking crafts to perpetuate Vacheron Constantin’s tradition of innovation. Creating both bespoke timepieces on demand from clients as well as timepieces conceived by Vacheron Constantin master watchmakers, Les Cabinotiers translate dreams into reality in mechanical and artistic terms and consistently push the boundaries of what is possible in watchmaking today.

A One of a Kind American 1921

To mark the 100th anniversary of the American 1921 watch, Vacheron Constantin has delved into its archives and its horological expertise to offer a faithful reproduction of the American 1921 original timepiece, emblematic of an era. Stemming from an impressive technical feat and epic human saga pushing the limits of fine craftsmanship, the creation of the American 1921 Pièce Unique watch mobilizes the remarkable expertise of the Maison’s Restoration workshop and Heritage department for an entire year. This approach might be a first in the watch industry, reflecting Vacheron Constantin’s commitment to the conservation, transmission and continuous enrichment of its heritage and skills.

Inspiration from American Art

In homage to great American art, display windows on 57th Street and the boutique’s first floor exhibition area will be fully encompassed during the opening by a dream-like bronze city including a car and track installation inspired by the masterpiece, Metropolis II (2010), by American artist Chris Burden (1946-2015). From his action-based works in the 1970s that focused on his own body and the relationship of the viewer to it, to the technical feats of his later sculptures that intervened in spaces, artist Chris Burden consistently challenged limitations. By doing so, he reflected on the surreal realities of contemporary life and invited the viewer to join in these contemplations. Vacheron Constantin and Chris Burden’s work share a commitment to craft, and an exploration of the beauty found in scientific exploration. The installation on view pays tribute to a cosmopolitan love of movement and “the idea of a city”. This is the Chris Burden Estate’s historic first ever brand collaboration.

Boutique Address:
Vacheron Constantin
28 East 57th Street
New York, NY 10022

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 10am to 6pm
Sunday: 12 to 6pm

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Vacheron Constantin | “Les Collectionneurs” London, 8th June – 8th August, 2021

Vacheron Constantin | “Les Collectionneurs” London, 8th June – 8th August, 2021

  • Eleven vintage watches spanning the 20th century; 
  • London, from 8th June to 8th August 2021
  • Models sourced by Vacheron Constantin’s experts, then restored and delivered with a digital certification of authenticity with Blockchain technology and a two-year guarantee.

Les Collectionneurs

Chosen with patience and talent by the Maison’s heritage department specialists, vintage watches covering the 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 digital certification of authenticity with Blockchain technology 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 265 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 timepiece 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 craftspeople of its restoration workshop to the historians of the Style & Heritage team, the experts at Vacheron Constantin possess all the necessary skills to best honour this vintage watchmaking service that now enjoys such an excellent reputation.

“Les Collectionneurs”
Vacheron Constantin wanted to unite connoisseurs and aficionados of the Maison around their passion for vintage timepieces, 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 timepiece, 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 digital 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 timepieces bearing the patina of age as a badge of honour are thus ready for a new life.

Watches highlight
18K yellow gold minute-repeater gentleman’s wristwatch (Inv. ref 11761) – 1951
Tear-drop lugs soldered to the middle. Silvered dial, circular guilloché hour-circle, 4/4 Roman numerals and 8 lapidated and pointed indexes, external pearled minute-circle. Yellow gold pointed baton hands.An exception grand complication, the reference 4261 combines an impressive thinness and superb aesthetics.The minute repeater mechanism was the third type of complication to be miniaturised enough to fit into the space of a wristwatch after the calendar and the chronograph mechanisms. It has been developed around 1930.The model 4261 was the first ultra-thin minute repeater produced by Vacheron Constantin. When it was launched in 1943 it was considered as one of the thinnest minute repeaters ever made. Less than 40 pieces were produced between 1944-1951, in yellow gold, pink gold and platinum. This watch is one of the last pieces produced.The reference 4261 is most probably the most sought-after Vacheron Constantin timepieces, from the collector’s perspective.

Les Collectionneurs

18K yellow gold open-face worldtime pocket watch (Inv. Ref 10394) – 1949
Silvered dial made in 3 parts. 24 hours disk divided in two zones, dark blue zone for the night hours and silvered for the daylight hours. external fixed disk graduated with the name of 41 cities and placesIn 1932 the Vacheron Constantin first World Time pocket watch displays the Cottier system capable of displaying the 24 time zones on the same dial, rotating with the movement. The Maison assigns model ref 3372 to this brand new watch. Watches indicating 24 time-zones were progressively named “Universal time, “international time” (ref. Vacheron Constantin archives) and then “World time” for most contemporary watches. In 1936 seeking to show that the complication was worth perfecting. Vacheron Constantin presented two new version of its international time model whose featured 31 international cities for reference 3650. In 1946 Vacheron Constantin assigned reference 4414 to the world time model with a dial comprising 41 cities. This reference was ordered by famous watches collectors as well as the Agnelli family in 1941. King Farouk of Egypt in 1946 or 52nd United States secretary of States John Foster Dulles who received a world time 4414 model from dramatist and diplomat Mrs Clare Booth Luce in 1955.Vacheron Constantin Worldtime watches are not indexed on political/state time zones but under the Meridian for each of 24 time zones (a kind of geographic hour). Following this concept, each time zone is spaced by 15° longitude.

American 1921 Pièce unique: The iconic American 1921 watch faithfully recreated as if in 1921
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Vacheron Constantin | American 1921 Pièce unique: The iconic American 1921 watch faithfully recreated as if in 1921

Vacheron Constantin | American 1921 Pièce unique: The iconic American 1921 watch faithfully recreated as if in 1921

  • To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American 1921, Vacheron Constantin has faithfully created this emblematic model from the Roaring Twenties while safeguarding its original attributes.
  • This exceptional one-of-a-kind creation symbolises the Manufacture’s commitment to the transmission and enhancement of traditional skills.

Geneva, May 25th 2021 – To mark the 100th anniversary of the American 1921 watch, Vacheron Constantin has delved into its archives and its horological expertise to offer a faithful reproduction of the timepiece emblematic of an era. Stemming from an impressive technical and human epic saga pushing the limits of fine craftsmanship excellence, the creation of the American 1921 Pièce unique watch mobilised the remarkable expertises of the Maison’s Restoration workshop and the Heritage department for an entire year. This approach might be a first in the watch industry, reflecting Vacheron Constantin’s commitment to the conservation, transmission and continuous enrichment of its heritage and of traditional skills.

Only 24 pieces of the reference dated 1921 were originally manufactured. Today only one of them is part of Vacheron Constantin’s private collection, making it an extremely rare and sought-after timepiece for collectors and watch connoisseurs. Some watches tell stories, inviting us to travel back in time, to retrace origins and immerse oneself in bygone eras. Faithfully recreated as if in 1921, the American 1921 Pièce unique watch presented this year is a case in point, offering a journey into the creativity of the Roaring Twenties and reviving the beauty of artisanal skills as practiced a century ago. More than a jubilee watch, it is the fruit of a fascinating odyssey into the heart of the artisanal know-how cultivated by Vacheron Constantin for over 265 years.

American 1921 Pièce unique: The iconic American 1921 watch faithfully recreated as if in 1921

American 1921 Pièce unique: The iconic American 1921 watch faithfully recreated as if in 1921

Heritage and Restoration departments’ commitment to perpetuate the art of high watchmaking

When the idea of faithfully recreating an American 1921 model from the Vacheron Constantin private collection first took shape, the project looked set to be both exciting and ambitious.

A bridge between the past and future of the Maison, the Vacheron Constantin Heritage department has a place of its own within the Manufacture. Spanning an exceptional timeline that began in 1755, and overseeing a unique collection, it is anything but a dusty museum. The research and expertise of the teams working there on a daily basis are an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the creation of new collections and a masterful reference for the Restoration workshop. The department preserves 800 machine tools, workbenches and sets of watchmaking tools, along with substantial documentary and iconographic archives. No less than 420 linear metres are taken up by an infinite wealth of production and accounting registers comprising foreign sales, correspondence between associates, suppliers and clients, various documents and photographs. All contribute to shedding both historical and artistic light on Vacheron Constantin’s activity through the years and centuries. They represent a sum of written instruments serving to ensure the traceability of a creation since its origins, given that all the models produced are systematically referenced in the production registers. This unprecedent heritage helped retrace the history of the creation of the American 1921 and provided a solid basis for the Restoration workshop teams. The latter thus took up the authentic challenge of reviving some forgotten skills and combining today’s techniques with yesterday’s know-how.

Few Manufactures are able to restore all the watches that have come out of their workshops for centuries. That is why Vacheron Constantin makes it a point of honor to pass on this watchmaking know-how and to ensure that the great history of each of its timepieces continues. The skill and style of the Restoration artisans thus consists in showing respect for ethical considerations in their work. To achieve this, they can draw upon a substantial stock of components, adjust component blanks or entirely remake them – the latter being the most delicate task of all and calling for particularly complex size calculations. Experts in the art of maintaining Vacheron Constantin’s oldest timepieces without altering their nature, the Restoration workshop’s seasoned watchmakers are thus accustomed to combining a historian’s perspective with scientific analysis, but until now they had never undertaken to reproduce an antique watch in its entirety. This unprecedented work of reconstitution, respectful of ethics because it is faithful and precise down to the smallest detail, called upon the multiple competencies of these artisans, who pursued an empirical approach throughout this year-long project.

American 1921 Pièce unique: The iconic American 1921 watch faithfully recreated as if in 1921

American 1921 Pièce unique: The iconic American 1921 watch faithfully recreated as if in 1921

Several months of research in the Manufacture’s archives, weeks of reflection and observation, numerous experiments, as well as unsuccessful attempts and successful trials were necessary to produce such a work. The American 1921 Pièce unique will be in the spotlight throughout 2021 through prolonged exposure in Vacheron Constantin boutiques around the world.

Antique machines and tools

In order to reproduce the hand-crafted operations performed back in the day, artisans had to work with some historical tools from Vacheron Constantin’s Heritage. A late 19th century facing lathe enabled them to faithfully recreate the elements composing the case; a rounding-up (topping) tool from the latter half of the 19th century served to modify the profile of wheel teeth and to adjust their diameter. Watchmakers used an 18th century upright drilling accessory to drill through the movement’s mainplate. To drive the jewels into their settings, they resorted to an early 20th century staking tool.

These vintage machines were complemented by tools specially made for this project, such as custom-made milling-cutters and riveting tools in line with those of the early 20th century, enabling the artisans to work in a manner attuned to that period and closely reproducing the operations and development techniques of the time. The result of this remarkable stylistic exercise is an exceptional collector’s item symbolising Vacheron Constantin’s unwavering commitment to the transmission, enhancement and continuous enrichment of its production skills.

Rebirth of a vintage movement

While the watchmakers in Vacheron Constantin’s Restoration workshop fully master the art of bringing back to life the most exceptional timepieces produced by the Manufacture in the course of its long history, never before had they been called upon to rebuild a vintage calibre from scratch.

They began by disassembling and examining every single component of the original 11-ligne Calibre Nouveau powering the original model. Apart from the bridges and mainplate which had to be recreated, the Restoration workshop’s stocks proved to be a goldmine for the artisans who thereby had access to all the necessary blank parts. This involved extremely laborious research, since a vintage case could contain an infinite number of components, all different in terms of size and shape. In order to identify them one by one, the first stage consisted in taking the measurements and dimensions of each of the 115 components of the original movement. This meticulous work of observation and comparison subsequently led watchmakers to make plans and mock-ups of the calibre, a particularly delicate task requiring extremely complex sizing calculations.

At this stage, the archive documents safeguarded by the Heritage department proved extremely valuable, notably in recreating the bridges and the mainplate according to the specificities of this vintage movement. How could each component be adjusted and calibrated prior to assembly? How should the vintage machines be regulated? How could the jewels be set on the movement, whereas they are now generally driven in? How could the exact colour of the gilding on the wheels be achieved? At what distance and at which height should they be placed in order to be faithful to the original calibre? These were all issues that the watchmakers had to resolve by assembling the components one by one, as any potential error could jeopardise the entire project.

Setting the jewels on the movement was also a real tour de force. Since the 1940s, it has been customary to drive in the jewels, and while the watchmakers in Vacheron Constantin’s Restoration workshop are accustomed to replacing damaged jewels on very old timepieces, until now they had never had the opportunity to make the settings themselves. Successfully hollowing out the metal to the exact depth required to fit the stones to the nearest hundredth required multiple trials. Not to mention the patient research work required to develop the system for reproducing the unique ribbed pattern which, alongside various manual engravings, adorns the movement in the same way as was done at the time.

A dial and case distinguished by sophisticated craftsmanship

Accurately reproducing the exterior of the American 1921 also represented a real feat of manual workmanship. Here again, Vacheron Constantin’s watchmakers had to provide answers to numerous technical questions by observing the 1921 timepiece in minute detail, while comparing it with archive documents, and then individually crafting each element of the case and dial.

Some period components were available in the stocks of the Restoration workshop, such as rough blanks of the crown and hands. Others had to be entirely recreated, starting with the 31.5 mm case, according to the dimensions of the original American 1921. It was crafted by a Restoration workshop goldsmith from the specific gold alloy used for the historical model (18K 3N yellow gold), identified with the help of a spectrometer in order to reproduce its exact colour. Only a laser engraving applied to the case back, for customs purposes, distinguishes the American 1921 Pièce unique watch from its ancestor.

The creation of the dial also called for highly specialised expertise on the part of the artisan responsible for restoring the grain and unique beauty of the original dial. Crafted in Grand Feu enamel, an ancestral technique considered to be one of the most delicate in the field of watchmaking ornamentation, it required numerous firings in the kiln at a temperature of over 800°C. It features vintage numerals and logo, along with slender open-tipped hands that have been hand-blued by the Restoration workshop using the production techniques of the time.

And since no detail is left to chance, the exercise in style has continued right the way through to the end of the strap, whose pin buckle in 18K 3N yellow gold (the same alloy as the original model) was also produced in the Vacheron Constantin workshop.

A tribute to the art of wearing a watch in 1921

Because it retains all the original properties of the original American 1921, this unique, identically recreated timepiece reflects a historian’s approach.

It subtly mirrors the social and cultural context of the 1920s, the effervescence and the wind of freedom blowing across the United States and Europe at the dawn of the Roaring Twenties. Its distinctive design illustrates the stylistic creativity of Vacheron Constantin which revelled in expressing its “classic with a twist” style through multiple case shapes.

It also tells the story of the early days when the wristwatch began to become more widespread. At that time, men’s wristwatches were only just beginning to take precedence over pocket watches, until then regarded as more robust and accurate. Despite the considerable progress made by watch manufacturers in terms of movements’ resistance, reliability and miniaturisation, water-resistance requirements as we understand them today were not yet a reality. Choosing to wear time on the wrist thus meant exposing the watch to more risks in terms of shocks and external aggressions such as dust, humidity or water. In order to avoid any possible damage, watch owners took numerous precautions, notably including placing their wristwatch on the edge of the washbasin when they washed their hands. The watch was regarded as a life companion that was taken care of and had to be wound every day by hand.

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Sum-up

Enriched by a heritage based on the transmission of watchmaking expertise and stylistic research through generations of master artisans, Vacheron Constantin continues to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American 1921 by recreating this emblematic model from scratch. From the 11-ligne Calibre Nouveau to the gold case along with the decorations and exterior components, the American 1921 Pièce unique watch reproduces the original properties of its ancestor created a century ago. This highly complex and unprecedented process involved the most experienced watchmakers in the Restoration workshop and the Vacheron Constantin Heritage team, who spent a year reviving old tools and forgotten know-how in the course of a passionately exciting human and technical adventure. The result is an exceptional one-of-a-kind timepiece, a symbol of the Maison’s attachment to its heritage and to the continuous enrichment of traditional know-how.


TECHNICAL DATA

American 1921 Pièce unique

Reference 1921H/000J-B949

Calibre
1921
Developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin Mechanical, manual-winding
24.8 mm (11‘’’) diameter, 4.31 mm thick
Approximately 30 hours of power reserve
2.5 Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
115 components
16 jewels

Indications
Hours, minutes
Small seconds

Case
18K 3N yellow gold, same alloy as the 1921 original timepiece
Hand-crafted in the Vacheron Constantin restoration workshop
31 mm in diameter, 8.75 mm thick

Dial
White, Grand Feu enamel
Blued steel open-tipped hands – blued in our workshops

Strap
Brown calf leather, hand-sewn, tone-to-tone stitching, Calf lining

Buckle
18K 3N yellow gold pin buckle, same alloy as the 1921 original timepiece

Hand-crafted in the Vacheron Constantin restoration workshop

 

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Les Collectionneurs Tours North America

Les Collectionneurs Tours North America

  • A representative selection of vintage 20th century Vacheron Constantin watches
  • Vacheron Constantin North American boutiques, Spring 2021
  • Models “hunted down” by Vacheron Constantin’s experts, then restored and delivered with a certificate of authenticity and a two-year guarantee.

March 15th, New-York – Chosen with patience and talent by the Maison’s heritage department specialists, “Les Collectionneurs” is a curated collection of vintage watches from the 20th century. The collection continues to evolve over time and is offered for sale to brand aficionados at dedicated events organized in Vacheron Constantin boutiques around the world. A new and rare assortment will begin touring in the North American market Spring 2021, with the final destination being New York City, where the collection will live as the world’s first “Les Collectionneurs” permanent assortment in a boutique. All “Les Collectionneurs” models 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 related to its heritage. With over 260 years of watchmaking, 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 excellent insights 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 vintage watchmaking that now enjoys such an excellent reputation.

“Les Collectionneurs”
Vacheron Constantin “Les Collectionneurs” unites connoisseurs and aficionados of the Maison around a passion for vintage. The unique offering highlights the Manufacture’s considerable resources to gather and restore historical Vacheron Constantin pieces, subsequently offering them 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 organized around the world to unveil these pieces, they attract both seasoned collectors and younger generations eager to delve more deeply into watchmaking history.”

Watches ready for a new life
The Vacheron Constantin Heritage team oversees the process of locating vintage watches for the Les Collectionneurs collection with the objective of creating a representative range of timepieces from the twentieth century. Multiple channels are used in order to locate timepieces suitable for “Les Collectionneurs”: auction houses, 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. The focus of the assortment remains pocket watches primarily from the years 1910 to 1930 and wristwatches prior to 1970 – with a preference for the period from 1940 to 1960. Once selected, watches are subjected to a dual appraisal. First, a historical evaluation is undertaken in order to authenticate the piece with reference to the Vacheron Constantin archives. Cases and movements are cross referenced with serial numbers from the last century and a half. Then a technical assessment is performed aimed at determining which interventions may be necessary, from simply cleaning the watch, to a more in-depth restoration – the objective being to preserve these timepieces in a state as close as possible to their origins. If necessary, timepieces are restored to working order using period components, of which Vacheron Constantin maintains a large stock, or else reproduced in the traditional methods 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 warranty offered for models within the Maison’s contemporary collections.

Models unveiled at dedicated events 
Vacheron Constantin organizes special events to tour “Les Collectionneurs” historical models in its boutiques. These are all special experiences that give connoisseurs an opportunity to discover current “Les Collectionneurs” offerings. Thanks to its extremely well documented archives, the Maison can retrace the history of these timepieces that have survived through the ages as testimony to its watchmaking expertise. Rare and unique for those who cherish them, these Vacheron Constantin Les Collectionneurs watches bear the patina of age with the performance of a modern timepiece.

Watch Highlight

18K Yellow Gold Chronograph Wristwatch (ref 11007) – 1929
This 18K yellow gold 36 mm-diameter men’s watch is an extremely rare cushion-shaped monopusher chronograph. To the best of our knowledge fewer than 15 pieces were produced in yellow gold, all between 1929 and 1931. In 2015 this reference was revisited to celebrate the 260 years of the Maison with the creation of the Harmony collection. This timepiece was originally sold in Argentina in 1930.Manual-winding movement, time set by crown, flame blued steel hands, 36mm.

Platinum Open Face Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Pocket Watch (ref 11757) – 1928
In the beginning of the twentieth century, platinum became appreciated for its strength and modernity. Thanks to its rarity and its physical qualities it became the most noble of the metals, praised by collectors as pure, rare and eternal. The price of a platinum watch is between 2 and 3 times more than the same timepiece in gold. This reference represents a highly complicated pocket watch made by Vacheron Constantin in the 1920’s. It was originally sold in New York in 1929. Vacheron Constantin is known for producing ultra-thin chiming mechanisms since 1806. Manual-winding movement, time setting by crown, total thickness 5.7mm.

18K Yellow Gold Wristwatch (ref 12024) – 1945
Model 4178 is one of the two most successful chronograph models created by Vacheron Constantin. Its production began in the late 1930’s and finished by the late 1970’s. The reference is highly recognizable due to its fan-shaped lugs. This particular model features a rare telemeter scale in French. This piece was sold in 1945.Two-tone silvered dial, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock, external railroad minute track, telemetric scale.

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Vacheron Constantin – Yiqing Yin, A new talent joins the “One of not many” communication campaign

Yiqing Yin, A new talent joins the “One of not many” communication campaign

May 26th, 2020 – Vacheron Constantin is delighted to unveil its latest talent to join the “One of not many” communication campaign. Yiqinq Yin, a youthful prodigy in the world of Haute Couture, is joining the roster of talents who have chosen to collaborate with the Maison. She will epitomise the Égérie collection, dedicated to women and launched by the Manufacture in February 2020.

Born in Beijing in 1985, Yiqing Yin has been traveling the world since her childhood. At the age of four, she left China for Australia and France. A graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and armed with her innovative vision of Couture, Yiqing Yin sees garments as both a second skin and a supple, floaty envelope. Exploring the dynamic potential of pleats, she imagines vibrant structures that are never static but instead all about volumes in motion, and experiments with the way garments fall in a quest for smoothly flowing lines. She thus designs loose shapes with staggering structures. She admits her attraction to “an intuitive method of creation, a sensory wandering and a search for voluntary accidents”.

Acknowledged and respected within the select circle of Haute Couture connoisseurs, her universe naturally chimed with that of Vacheron Constantin. Yiqing Yin shares with the watchmakers and artisans of the Maison a concern for detail and a desire for discovery.

Ties were thus woven between Haute Couture and Haute Horlogerie, two worlds where craftsmanship, expertise and rarity would be nothing without passion and creativity, a vocation that is constantly being challenged and reinvented in step with successive creations. The Égérie collection symbolises this encounter through the pleated dial and the off-centre aesthetic of its design.

The “One of not many” campaign presented in 2018 showcases talents whose personality and work express the constant quest for excellence, openness to the world and the spirit of innovation and creation characterising Vacheron Constantin. Singular, visionary and passionate, they are recognised experts in their own field, thereby also reflecting the concept of connoisseurs.

About Yiqing Yin

A graduate of ENSAD (École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris), Yiqing Yin was awarded the Grand Prix de la Création de la Ville de Paris in 2009. Following the Hyères International Fashion Festival in 2010, her dreamy creations were staged in the windows of the Ministry of Culture, at the Chaillot National Theatre and then at the prestigious Joyce Gallery. In June 2011, she won the ANDAM (Association Nationale pour le Développement des Arts de la Mode/ANDAM Fashion Award Paris) and held her first runway showing during the Haute Couture Paris Fashion Week. That same year, Yiqing Yin was one of eight young “designers to watch” selected by the French edition of Vogue. In 2013, Maison Léonard appointed the young designer to head its ready-to-wear collections. Yiqing Yin also works with prestigious brands such as Cartier, Guerlain, Hermès, Swarovski and Lancôme.

Since 2012, Maison Yiqing Yin has been officially included in the Fédération Française de la Couture official calendar as a guest member. In December 2015, the Fédération Française de la Mode rewarded her work through the attribution of the Haute Couture appellation.

As a complete artist, Yiqing Yin also explores other artistic worlds. In 2013, at the invitation of the Venice Biennale, she created the artwork In-Between. For her Blooming Ashes collection, she combined fabric with light in the Stellar dress, in collaboration with sculptor Bastien Carré. She has also worked in the world of dance by designing the stage costumes of the étoile ballet dancers Dorothée Gilbert and Mathieu Ganio for Tristan and Iseult, directed by Giorgio Mancini.

Yiqing Yin has been regularly invited to participate in art exhibitions around the world for several years. The exhibition titled “A world of Feathers” staged at the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm; the “Haute Dentelle” exhibition at the Cité de la Dentelle in Calais; as well as the “Animalia Fashion” exhibition at Palazzo Pitti in Florence, are just some of the many events where she presents the major pieces of her Haute Couture collections. She was also a guest of honour, exhibitor, lecturer and member of the jury at the Arts of Fashion Foundation Symposium held in the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco in December 2019. Finally, she is delighted to be working on a film project that will be released in the course of 2020.