Vacheron Constantin belongs to The Holy Trinity of watchmakers. Along with Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe they are considered one of the finest watchmakers in the world. Vacheron Constantin has been making watches since 1775 for high profile individuals such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Pope Pius the XI, King Edward VIII, to today’s well known rapper Jay Z.
The house is known for complicated timepieces. In fact, Vacheron Constantin is recognized as one of the most complicated watchmakers in the world. In 1918, for example, James Ward Packard commissioned an exceptional and rare 20k yellow gold openface chronograph clockwatch, complete with a blue enamel monogram detailing on the back. The clockwatch was a mechanical masterpiece and far more complicated than other watches of that era even hoped to be, and was eventually sold at Christie’s in 2011 for a handsome $1.7 million.
More recently, Vacheron Constantin produced the Tour de L’Ile to celebrate the company’s 250th anniversary. Only seven examples of this wristwatch were ever made. With 16 complications, the creation brought well-deserved attention to the brand, and reminded the world just how innovative and masterful the watchmakers of Vacheron Constantin can be. 10 Years later the company released the Ref. 57260, featuring 57 complications and reinforced how Vacheron Constantin is continuously able to push the boundaries of innovation and incomparably complicated watches.
From the 1950’s through the 1970’s Vacheron Constantin only made 24 pieces exactly the same. When it came to the 25th piece they made slight changes, whether it was something on the hands or a change to the crown, it was just enough so that there would never be more than 24 of that watch. Examples: the Prestige de la France or the Chronometre Royal.
The heritage, design and workmanship of the company make it a favorite among collectors. Vacheron Constantin is also has a reputation for brining some of the highest prices at auction east season, making the timepieces a great investment and an incredible value. As their motto states: “Do better if possible and that is always possible.”
Vacheron Constantin was a trend setter in the watch industry. They made the first non-round watch model with a tonneau (barrel-shaped) case which debuted in 1912. In 1921, they introduced a rounded square watch specifically for the American market. The case shapes were not the only clever design innovation that the company introduced. Mid century designers embellished the lugs of the watches with flame, scroll, horn, and butterfly stylings. Pocket watches, feminine wristwatches, and pendant watches also paved the way for countless design possibilities.
One of the most exciting discoveries was the platinum Ref. 4261 which had been left in a drawer for years. It sold in June 2016 at Christie’s for a surprising $605,000. As one of the most desirable references for watch collectors, the discovery of this piece in impeccable conditional stirred up a lot of excitement in the watch community. The auction itself sparked a 10 minute bidding battle for the piece, and the new owner will no doubt treasure the rare watch for years to come.
Seen on right: Vacheron Constantin. An extremely fine and rare platinum minute repeating wristwatch with silvered vertical satined dial. Signed Vacheron Constantin, Genève, Ref. 4261, Movement No. 451’906, Case No. 318’000, Manufactured in 1951. Sold for $605,000 on 7 June 2016. (photo: christies.com) This watch is particularly impressive because it is not only a desirable reference for watch collectors, but it is believed to be the first reference 4261 ever produced.
Complicated wristwatches from Vacheron Constantin are coveted the world over. Whether vintage or made in recent years, the beautiful design, movements and masterful cases are highly coveted. Vacheron watches can be purchased across all price points and give one entry into a distinguished club from Kings and Presidents to celebrities.
If you are selling a pre-owned Vacheron Constantin watch, you want make sure you are receiving the best cash return possible. Even if you don’t have all the details about your watch, our knowledgeable experts have the expertise to correctly value your watch for the highest price.
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