Vacheron Constantin – is a brand of Swiss watches with a long history. Brand products are considered among the most prestigious, wealthy and expensive. Creator of Jacques-Marc Vacheron lived at a time when the government was shaken by internecine conflicts between Swiss provinces and cities. The situation has changed for better in 18th century along with the active development of the industry. The main areas of development were cotton, silk and watchmaking. Unlike other areas, the Swiss watchmaking never occurred to decline. It is worth noting that the watchmakers guild was established in Geneva in the 16th century, and the 18th in it, there were about 800 watchmakers. Terms of insane competition forced Jean-Marc constantly improve the performance of its products. In 1770, the year he launched his first watches «complication», which was complicated by the standard clock mechanism.
Nine years later workshop Vacheron started manufacturing watches with guilloche dial (treated with special engraving, gives the watch a special shine). During the capture by French troops in Switzerland, which took place in spring 1798, watchmaking Jean-Marc was already popular and well known among the aristocratic circles of the state. Business management passed from hand to hand on from father to son, from Jean-Marc Vacheron to Abraham. Clients Abraham became the entire French imperial court, including Napoleon Bonaparte and his two wives. The French blocked the delivery of English manufacture on the continent, which gave the Swiss watch manufacturers to increase sales and to significantly expand the market. When peace came to Europe following the collapse of Napoleon’s military plans as a result of success Russian campaign of 1812, the market sales was again extended. Market expansion has been made possible thanks to the organization of export deliveries.
At one point, Jacques Barthelemy realized that it can not simultaneously control the sale and production is growing constantly. In 1819, they proposed a partnership Francois Constantine, and the company became known as Vacheron et Constantin. Sales begin to engage Francois, traveling in Europe, and after a while and around the world with a collection of Vacheron Constantin, the price of the product which at the time was slightly lower than it is today. Newly-born partner, already well-known company has opened up new markets, including the place of honor took the Russian Empire. The first sale in the territory of that State, according to the archive records of the company, was implemented in 1819, François Constantin, the year that he was sold to Prince Potemkin watch with minute tutor. Soon, the company received the honorable status of “Supplier of the Imperial Household.” The price for watches has risen significantly due to their popularity and high quality, and in 1830, they crossed the ocean, opening a new market – the USA.
The company produces: jewelry watches with precious stones and enamel paintings; wrist and pocket watches with a melodious battle (repeaters); watch with tourbillon, a mechanism that makes it possible to compensate for the effects of gravity on the level of precision. The company has successfully developed new technologies. Talented design innovations have allowed the brand to move from craft to industrial production, to transform the factory into the company of a full cycle. In 1877, the company becomes a joint-stock company «Vacheron & Constantin, Fabricants, Geneve». In 1880 the firm has registered its own brand, the distinctive feature of which was a sign of “Maltese Cross”. Original watches Vacheron Constantin won a prize “For the accuracy” on the Swiss national exhibition, held in 1896, Sentinel House was awarded the Gold Medal for a number of outstanding achievements in the field of watchmaking.
Very soon the company received the right to apply for its products marked with the Hallmark of Geneva, which meant hours of matching the most severe quality criteria, as well as their assembly and adjustment of the territory of the Swiss canton of Geneva. Here in Geneva, on the street Quai de l’Isle in 1906 it opened the first store of Vacheron Constantin, functioning to this day. The first women’s watches appeared in 1911, two years later the company has started mass production of male models that have acquired a special popularity among physicians and artillery, howling at the fronts of the First World War. A special series of pocket chronograph was released for a special expeditionary corps of sappers USA. The crisis of the 1930s could not make the brand to give up.
One of the Vacheron Constantin’s masterpiece was produced specifically for the Egyptian King Farouk. It was a pocket watch under the number 415810, equipped with: a perpetual calendar; minute repeater; moon phases; small and large battle; an alarm clock; split-chronograph; power reserve indicator mechanism battlefield and the main mechanism; this pocket-sized product was the most difficult of all, ever made by the company. The production process took five years.
The Second World War made Vacheron Constantin company lost its main markets, it was difficult to maintain production. Despite all the difficulties, in 1944 the brand has announced the thinnest at that time hour caliber shell thickness of which was 1.66 mm. Created on the basis of this caliber watches have become one of the finest in the world. Production of the above brand was chosen as the official state gifts presented to the Swiss Federal Government Elizabeth II in honor of her coronation in 1953. This brand can be called “royal.” At different times, the owners of its products were Queen Victoria; Russian Emperor Alexander II; Prince AWARD; Kaiser Franz Joseph of Austria; Princess Diana, who received a watch model called «Lady Kalla» as a wedding gift in 1981.