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.
- A representative selection of vintage watches covering the entire 20th century
- Tokyo and Osaka, 7th December – 31st December, at Vacheron Constantin boutiques
- 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 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.
“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 organised around the world to unveil these pieces, they attract both seasoned collectors and young generations eager to delve more deeply into watchmaking history.”
Watches ready for a new life
The Vacheron Constantin Heritage team works to bring together these vintage watches, whether pocket or wristwatches. 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 the 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.
Models unveiled at dedicated events
Throughout the year, Vacheron Constantin organises special events or exhibitions of historical models from its private collection in its boutiques. These are all special experiences that give connoisseurs an opportunity to discover this “Les Collectionneurs” collection; and Vacheron Constantin‘s experts a chance to share the history related to the “experience” of these models. Thanks to its extremely well-documented archives, the Maison can retrace the destiny of these timepieces that have survived through the ages as testimony to their time and to its watchmaking expertise. Rare and doubtless unique for those who cherish them, these Vacheron Constantin watches bearing the patina of age as a badge of honour are thus ready for a new life.
Platinum open-face ultra-thin minute-repeater pocket watch – 1928
At the beginning of the 20th century, Platinum has become appreciated for its modern aspect, its resistance and its workability which facilitates the case manufacturing. Thanks to its rarity and its physical qualities it becomes the most noble material. The metal of excellence for collectors, it is said to be Pure (over 95%), rare (much rarer than gold ) and eternal (it does not oxidize with time). During the Art Deco period, Vacheron Constantin combined it with rock crystal, coloured stones and open-worked movements to make remarkable pocket watches. Vacheron Constantin is considered as a specialist in Manufacturing ultra-thin chiming mechanism since 1806. (first mention in the archive) This piece was sold in New York in 1929. Silvered dial, black enamelled Arabic numerals, small seconds at 6 o’clock, external “railroad” minute-circle. Manual-winding. 46mm diameter, 5.7 mm thick.
18K pink gold complete calendar wristwatch – model 4240 – 1947
The reference 4240 has been chosen to be re-designed by the Maison in 2017 within the “Historiques” collection. Launched in 1942, reference 4240 became quickly an emblematic model of the Maison thanks to its recognizable “triple godrons” case design and its “claw-shaped” lugs. This 35mm case manual winding model has two-tone silvered dial, day and month indication between 12 o’clock and the centre in French, date indication in an external circle with red Arabic numerals, small seconds at 6 o’clock. Two similar references were sold at auction in 2019 and was sold in Tanger in 1947 according to the record.
18K rose gold chronograph wristwatch – model 4072 – 1946
Model 4072 is one of the 2 most successful chronograph models by Vacheron Constantin (the other one being model 4178). Its production started in the late 1930’s and finished in the early 1970’s. During its production, the reference 7072 housed three different chronograph calibres: 295; V492 and V434. Research shows us that reference 4072 housing cal. 492 was made in very few examples, less than 100 pieces were made in pink gold. This 35mm manual winding watch has white enamel dial, 2 Arabic numeral and 8 indexes in gold, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock, external minute-track.This piece was sold in Geneva in 1947.
Vacheron Constantin Ginza Boutique:
Date: Sat 7 Dec – Sun 13 Dec, 2020
Weekdays 13:00 – 20:00
Sat/Sun/Holidays 12:00 – 20:00
Address: Ginza boutique 2nd Floor
7-8-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo Tel: 03-3569-1755
Vacheron Constantin Shinjuku Isetan Boutique:
Date: Wed 16 Dec – Sun 20 Dec, 2020
Hours: 10:00 – 20:00 (may vary according to Isetan store hours)
Address: Shinjuku Isetan Main Building 5th Floor
3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Tel: 03-3352-1111
Vacheron Constantin Daimaru Shinsaibashi Boutique
Date: Wed 23 Dec – Thu 31 Dec, 2020
Hours: 10:00 – 20:00 (may vary according to Daimaru store hours)
Address: Daimaru Shinsaibashi boutique Main Building 6th Floor
1-7-1 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka Tel: 06-6271-1231
※Business days and hours may change depending on circumstances.