- Vacheron Constantin is the oldest watch brand with continuous production since 1755.
- Their mechanical hand-wound movement, caliber 3600, consists of an impressive 514 components.
- Vacheron Constantin produced the world’s first anti-magnetic watch in 1885.
- The brand makes between 20,000 to 25,000 timepieces each year, a testament to their focus on Haute Horlogerie.
- The Richemont group has owned the company since 1996.
Uninterrupted Craftsmanship: The Roots of Vacheron Constantin
Jean-Marc Vacheron, a 24-year-old master watchmaker, founded Vacheron Constantin in 1755, marking it as the oldest watch brand with unbroken production. Vacheron opened his first workshop in Geneva, Switzerland, establishing the foundations of what would become a legendary watchmaking institution.
Redefining Complexity: The Caliber 3600 Movement
One of Vacheron Constantin’s most remarkable creations is the Celestia Astronomical grand complication 3600. It stands out for its caliber 3600, a mechanical hand-wound movement encompassing 23 complications and an astounding 514 components, all within a thickness of only 8.7mm. The movement’s power reserve is an impressive three weeks, earning it the Mechanical Exception Watch Prize by The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
Conquering Magnetism: The First Anti-magnetic Watch
Vacheron Constantin pushed boundaries in 1885 by developing the world’s first anti-magnetic watch. Through this groundbreaking innovation, they successfully combated one of the mechanical watches’ biggest foes – magnetism. This stride is a testament to Vacheron Constantin’s enduring commitment to overcoming challenges in watchmaking.
The Emblem of Distinction: The Cross-Logo
The Maltese cross, now synonymous with the brand, was introduced in 1877. The emblem not only serves as Vacheron Constantin’s logo but also stands as a representation of their quality and exquisite craftsmanship.
A Touch of Exclusivity: How Many Watches Does Vacheron Make a Year?
Unlike other large Swiss watch brands that produce in large quantities, Vacheron Constantin only makes between 20,000 to 25,000 timepieces each year. This limited production quantity speaks volumes about the brand’s dedication to Haute Horlogerie, focusing on the artistry, attention to detail, and handcrafted finesse that goes into each watch.
Ownership and Motto: Under the Richemont Group
In 1996, the Richemont group took ownership of Vacheron Constantin. Despite the shift in ownership, the brand’s long-standing motto, “Faire mieux si possible, ce qui est toujours possible” or “Do better if possible, and that is always possible,” has remained a guiding principle in their watchmaking endeavors.
The Legacy of Customization: Watches for the Elite
Over the centuries, Vacheron Constantin has built an illustrious portfolio of custom-made watches for the world’s elites. From the Maharaja of Patiala to King Farouk of Egypt and James Ward Packard, Vacheron Constantin has crafted exceptional timepieces to suit the tastes of these high-profile personalities.
In conclusion, Vacheron Constantin’s legacy is a testament to the timeless appeal and enduring craftsmanship of its timepieces. Despite the changing times and challenges, they have remained committed to their ethos of producing high-quality, luxurious watches, answering the question of how many watches Vacheron makes a year with a clear focus on quality over quantity.