Opened on 01st October this year, the Les Collectionneurs Exhibition in Paris by Vacheron Constantin hosts a representative selection of vintage watches covering the entire 20th century. The models “hunted down” by Vacheron Constantin’s experts then restored and delivered with a certificate of authenticity and a two-year guarantee. The show will be closed on October 31st.
Chosen with patience and talent by the Maison’s heritage department specialists, vintage watches covering the entire 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 certificate of authenticity and a two-year guarantee – an offer unmatched in the watchmaking world.
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 260 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 watch 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 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 this vintage watchmaking that now enjoys such an excellent reputation.
Vacheron Constantin quickly felt the need to unite connoisseurs and aficionados of the Maison around this same passion, 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.
The Vacheron Constantin Heritage team works to bring together these vintage watches. 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 t he technical assessment aimed at determining which interventions may be necessary, from simply cleaning the watch 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 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.
Les Collectionneurs, Boutique Vacheron Constantin in Paris Nineteen exclusive Vacheron Constantin restored vintages pieces from Les Collectionneurs will be exposed from October 1st until October 31st 2019.
The pieces from this collection will be available for purchase, come with a 2 year warranty as well as a digital certification of authentication with Blockchain technology that was recently announced by the Maison.
1. Platinum open-face ultra-thin minute-repeater pocket watch, 1928
- Case: Round-shaped, bassined, three-body, flat pressed case-back. Repeating slide at 9 o’clock. Diameter:46 mm
- Movement: caliber 17″20/12, minute-repeater, winding and setting by crown, 29 jewels. Swiss lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensation balance, flat balance-spring, simple regulator, recessed escape-wheel. German silver movement.
- Dial: Silvered, black enameled Arabic numerals, small seconds at 6 o’clock, external “railroad” minute-circle. Blued steel “oeil de perdrix” type hands, seconds hands with counterpoise.
2. Stainless steel and 18k pink gold 30-minute counter chronograph gentlemen’s wristwatch, 1942
- Case: Round-shaped, three-body, inclined bezel, bassined middle, two rectangular-shaped chronograph push buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock on the middle in pink gold, flat back with rounded-shaped bevel, fan-shaped lugs in pink gold soldered to the middle. Diameter: 36mm
- Movement: Caliber 13″-434, 30-minute counter chronograph, manual winding, 19 jewels. Swiss lever escapement, annular beryllium balance with screws, hairsprings with terminal curve, simple regulator, recessed escape-wheel, chronograph mechanism with column-wheel. Rhodium-plated brass movement. “Côtes de Genève” decoration and circular graining.
- Dial: Two-tone silvered. Arabic numerals at 12 and 6 o’clock and 8 cabochon indexes in pink gold. 30 minute-counter at 3 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock, external minute-circle graduated with the fifth of a second, tachymetric scale (1000). Pink gold pointed baton hour and minute-hands, blued steel chronograph and seconds -hands, chronograph hand with couterpoise.
3. Stainless steel Triple Calendar gentleman’s wristwatch, 1942
- Case: Round-shaped, two-body, two levels bezel, bassined middle, correctors on the middle at 2 o’clock for the months and at 4 o’ clock for the date. Flat back with large bevel, drop lugs soldered to the middle. Diameter: 35mm
- Movement: Caliber 12”’ ½ – V 455 with date, days of the week and month in French, small seconds, manual winding, 17 jewels. Swiss lever escapement, annular balance with screws, hairspring with terminal curve, simple regulator, recessed escape wheel. Rhodium-plated brass movement, “Côte de Genève” decoration and circular graining.
- Dial: silvered, 5 yellow gold Arabic numerals at 2, 4, 8, 10 and 12 o’clock, 6 cabochon indexes in yellow gold, day and month indication between 12 o’clock and the centre in French, date in red Arabic numerals in an external circle, small seconds at 6 o’clock, external railroad minute-circle. Pointed baton hands in yellow gold, blue steel hand for the date with red lacquered arrow at the end, small seconds with counterpoise.
Les Collectionneurs Exhibition, Paris
From October 1st to October 31st 2019
Vacheron Constantin Boutique
2 Rue de la Paix
+ 33 1 70 70 20 27