Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin Extending Vitality

Vacheron Constantin is one of the longest-standing watch manufacturers in history. Production has not stopped in four centuries since it’s foundation in Geneva in 1755.

Vacheron Constantin was very humble when it was first set up. However, these entrepreneurs had extraordinary talent, foresight, a strong sense of mission and diligence in making Vacheron Constantin a respectable enterprise and a far-reaching influence on culture and the arts.

The founder Jean-Marc Vacheron was born in 1731 in Geneva and was the youngest son among the five sons of a weaver. In the early 17th century, Geneva was a world centre of watch-making, and there were many outstanding watch-makers, but the watch-making industry had become stagnant. Jean-Marc Vacheron was the second generation of his family to live in Geneva, and from a young age aspired to be a watch-maker. At first, he did not have the qualifications to allow him to learn watch-making. But, thanks to Siècle des Lumières, the demand for watches suddenly surged all over the globe and this increased the demand for watch-makers to the point that in 1745, Geneva loosened the restrictions on watch-making. Jean-Marc Vacheron started his apprenticeship of watch-making that year and this marked the first step towards being an outstanding watch-maker.

According to the rules at that time, an apprentice had to obtain 3-years of practical watch-making experience after the 5-year watch-making apprenticeship. Then, the watch-makers could send their work for tests in order to become Master Watchmakers after passing the tests. Each Master Watchmaker could have 1-2 apprentices. Many professional watch-makers set up their own workshops on the top floor of their cabins and that was why they were called “Cabinotiers”.

In 1755, 24-year-old Jean-Marc Vacheron had become Master Watchmaker and he established his own watch-making cabin workshop in Saint-Gervais, situated in the middle of Geneva. It was believed that the first masterpiece made in this workshop was a silver pocket watch which had an enamel dial with Roman and Arabic numbers. Jean-Marc Vacheron remained fascinated about watch-making and continued probing into watch-making techniques. He become a highly-praised independent watch-maker, but also kept searching for promising watch-makers apprectices who shared his pursuit of perfection so that he could share his excellent watch-making techniques.

In 1785, his son Abraham started to take on the watch-making business. The French Revolution took place from 1789 to 1799 and this devastated sales of watches to the aristocracy. Although this was a difficult time for Vacheron Constantin, Jean-Marc and Abraham survived the hardships. In 1803, Jean-Marc passed away and Jacques Barthelem Vacheron, the only son of Abraham, took over the business in 1810. Jacques Barthelemy Vacheron was a man of foresight. He clearly knew that the continuance of business not only required superior craftsmanship but also the experts on marketing and sales. Jaques-Barthélemy and François Constantin co-founded “Vacheron et Constantin” and so Francois Constantin then became a partner of the watch factory. The success of Vacheron Constantin was due to the two entrepreneurs’ persistence, faith, resolution and boldness; which brought many new customers from the nearby European countries eager to buy the delicately designed and premium Vacheron Constantin watches. Apart from the sales growth, Francois Constantin was also dedicated to the perfection of watch-making techniques of the Vacheron Constantin watches. On 5 July 1819, Francois Constantin sent a letter to Jaques-Barthelemy, writing “Faire mieux si possible, ce qui est toujours possible.” (In English: “Do better if possible, and it is always possible.”). This statement has become a motto of Vacheron Constantin enterprise. Because Francois Cosntantin contributed significantly to the enterprise, descendents kept the eternal name in memory of Francois.

In 1880, the Maltese Cross” became the symbol of Vacheron Constantin watches. The Cross was the precise gear for adjusting the elasticity of springs for hand-made watches and this symbolized the excellence and the traditional craftsmanship. Of the classics of Vacheron Constantin, Kallista, which means “the most beautiful” in Greek, is the most expensive watch in the world. This precious watch was manufactured in 1886 and it was originally ordered by Kingalid, the Saudi Arabian King, but he passed away while the watch was being manufactured. This watch was bought at USD 3,500,000 by an anonymous buyer after it was completed in 1986. On 3 December 1987, this watch was bought by the Palm Beach jewelry shop owner Piene Halini for a customer. It was said that this watch was sold at USD 5,000,000. They say Kallista’s price rises at USD4000 every day. Not long after, Piene Halini brought the world’s most expensive watch to America and gave it to an anonymous buyer.

Kallista was studded with 118 selected premium blue and white diamonds weighed at 130 carats on the watch face and the watch strap. (The watch face was studded with diamonds at 1 carat each and there were totally 14 diamonds at 2-4 carats each around the watch face. The diamonds on the watch strap were 2 carats each). The most outstanding watch-makers were recruited and 6,000 hours in 20 months were spent on manufacturing such a precious watch.

In celebrating the marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles in England, Emirates Ya Maini of the United Arab Emirates ordered the most expensive and the tiniest watch “Lady Kalla” from Vacheron Constantin. One hundred and eight cylindrical premium diamonds at 30 carats were used to manufactured this precious watch. Elegance was shown when Princess Diana wore this precious watch and was the perfect model for the gorgeous and luxurious Vacheron Constantin watches to the world.

**no guarantee about story is completely accurate and existed difference**