Chosen with patience and talent by the Maison’s heritage department specialists, “Les Collectionneurs” is a curated collection of vintage watches from the 20th century. The collection continues to evolve over time and is offered for sale to brand aficionados at dedicated events organized in Vacheron Constantin boutiques around the world. A new and rare assortment will begin touring in the North American market Spring 2021, with the final destination being New York City, where the collection will live as the world’s first “Les Collectionneurs” permanent assortment in a boutique. All “Les Collectionneurs” models come with a certificate of authenticity and a two-year guarantee – an offer unmatched in the watchmaking world.
- A representative selection of vintage 20th century Vacheron Constantin watches
- Vacheron Constantin North American boutiques, Spring 2021
- Models “hunted down” by Vacheron Constantin‘s experts, then restored and delivered with a certificate of authenticity and a two-year guarantee.
When vintage is second nature
The notion of vintage is second nature to Vacheron Constantin. It is expressed through a strong attachment to everything related to its heritage. With over 260 years of watchmaking, 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 excellent insights 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 vintage watchmaking that now enjoys such an excellent reputation.
Vacheron Constantin “Les Collectionneurs” unites connoisseurs and aficionados of the Maison around a passion for vintage. The unique offering highlights the Manufacture’s considerable resources to gather and restore historical Vacheron Constantin pieces, subsequently offering them for sale at dedicated events in Vacheron Constantin boutiques around the world.”Les Collectionneurs” represents another facet of Vacheron Constantin,” comments Christian Selmoni, Style & Heritage Director. “The collection perpetuates this precious link between past and present, enabling our clientele of connoisseurs and collectors to acquire restored vintage pieces directly through the Maison, which is a real guarantee. As for the events organized around the world to unveil these pieces, they attract both seasoned collectors and younger generations eager to delve more deeply into watchmaking history.”
Watches ready for a new life
The Vacheron Constantin Heritage team oversees the process of locating vintage watches for the Les Collectionneurs collection with the objective of creating a representative range of timepieces from the twentieth century. Multiple channels are used in order to locate timepieces suitable for “Les Collectionneurs”: auction houses, 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. The focus of the assortment remains pocket watches primarily from the years 1910 to 1930 and wristwatches prior to 1970 – with a preference for the period from 1940 to 1960. Once selected, watches are subjected to a dual appraisal. First, a historical evaluation is undertaken in order to authenticate the piece with reference to the Vacheron Constantin archives. Cases and movements are cross referenced with serial numbers from the last century and a half. Then a technical assessment is performed aimed at determining which interventions may be necessary, from simply cleaning the watch, to a more in-depth restoration – the objective being to preserve these timepieces in a state as close as possible to their origins. If necessary, timepieces are restored to working order using period components, of which Vacheron Constantin maintains a large stock, or else reproduced in the traditional methods 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 warranty offered for models within the Maison’s contemporary collections.
Models unveiled at dedicated events
Vacheron Constantin organizes special events to tour “Les Collectionneurs” historical models in its boutiques. These are all special experiences that give connoisseurs an opportunity to discover current “Les Collectionneurs” offerings. Thanks to its extremely well documented archives, the Maison can retrace the history of these timepieces that have survived through the ages as testimony to its watchmaking expertise. Rare and unique for those who cherish them, these Vacheron Constantin Les Collectionneurs watches bear the patina of age with the performance of a modern timepiece.
18K Yellow Gold Chronograph Wristwatch (ref 11007) – 1929
This 18K yellow gold 36 mm-diameter men’s watch is an extremely rare cushion-shaped monopusher chronograph. To the best of our knowledge fewer than 15 pieces were produced in yellow gold, all between 1929 and 1931. In 2015 this reference was revisited to celebrate the 260 years of the Maison with the creation of the Harmony collection. This timepiece was originally sold in Argentina in 1930. Manual-winding movement, time set by crown, flame blued steel hands, 36mm.
Platinum Open Face Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Pocket Watch (ref 11757) – 1928
In the beginning of the twentieth century, platinum became appreciated for its strength and modernity. Thanks to its rarity and its physical qualities it became the most noble of the metals, praised by collectors as pure, rare and eternal. The price of a platinum watch is between 2 and 3 times more than the same timepiece in gold. This reference represents a highly complicated pocket watch made by Vacheron Constantin in the 1920’s. It was originally sold in New York in 1929. Vacheron Constantin is known for producing ultra-thin chiming mechanisms since 1806. Manual-winding movement, time setting by crown, total thickness 5.7mm.
18K Yellow Gold Wristwatch (ref 12024) – 1945
Model 4178 is one of the two most successful chronograph models created by Vacheron Constantin. Its production began in the late 1930’s and finished by the late 1970’s. The reference is highly recognizable due to its fan-shaped lugs. This particular model features a rare telemeter scale in French. This piece was sold in 1945. Two-tone silvered dial, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock, external railroad minute track, telemetric scale.
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