When it comes to watch making pedigree, Vacheron Constantin boasts a heritage that is very difficult to beat. The company dates all the way back to 1755, when it was founded by Jean Marc Vacheron in Geneva, Switzerland.
Vacheron Constantin created the first ever horological complication, or feature over and above the basic time keeping function expected in a watch or clock. The first engine turned dials came along shortly after, and the company began to take its place as a world leader in watch making technology.
Georges-Auguste Leschot started working for the company in 1839 – Leschot was one of the single most influential thinkers in time keeping development, and he initiated the standardisation of time keeping movements in the form of Calibres. Leschot also created the Pantograph mechanical linkage device, for which the Arts Society of Geneva awarded him a gold medal.
The early years of Vacheron Constantin comprised a huge advancement in the technologies and engineering practices in time keeping. The industry today would arguably be very different if not for the pioneering people who forced so much progress at Vacheron Constantin.
In an example of an extremely far sighted approach to marketing, Francois Constantin came up with what remains the company motto to this day: “do better if possible and that is always possible”. In terms of other marketing decisions by the company, the Maltese cross symbol also become the company’s logo in the 1880s.
During the 19th century, the company continued its commitment to technological excellence, but coupled it with the newly available resources afforded by the industrial revolution, transforming the company into a much larger and more formidable force. The Swiss National Exhibition awarded the company a gold medal in 1896.
Vacheron Constantin opened its first boutique in Geneva in 1906, which can still be visited today. However, during the 20th century the company was less commercially successful, although it did make a considerable come back towards the end of the century.
In recent years the brand has produced some of the most expensive and coveted timepieces ever created, and has served its proud heritage well in terms of excellence.
December 15, 2009 at 12:26 pm | | No comment