Video: An In-Depth Look At Vacheron Constantin’s Les Collectionneurs
An open door to the patrimony of fine watchmaking.
Founded in 1755, the Geneva manufacture possesses a unique history and a production which integrates nearly every watchmaking savoir-faire. But in 2019, Vacheron Constantin goes further by offering a collection of vintage timepieces through exclusive events. Christian Selmoni, director of Style and Heritage, explains the brand’s “Les Collectionneurs”’s approach,
“The goal is clear for Vacheron Constantin: grant the opportunity to haute horology collectors and connoisseurs to discover and acquire vintage timepieces, authenticated and guaranteed, of the famous manufacture. To do so, the venerable institution from Geneva travels the world to unearth and select timekeepers most representative of Vacheron Constantin's creativity and quality.”
Today, Selmoni heralds this project which debuted in 2005 with the prototype of the Tour de l’Isle as its first entry. Nowadays, the collection is comprised of 1,500 pieces. A true testimony of horological history. Since 2007, these very exclusive events have enabled collectors around the world to discover these priceless treasures.
Authentication and restoration
In order to fulfill this long-haul task, Vacheron Constantin possesses two unique benefits. An Archive department which gathers every single register of every timekeeper produced by the manufacture since its creation! It permits flawless authentication, as Mr. Selmoni depicts. In the basement of the manufacture at Plan-les-Ouates 420 meters of shelf displays recount the history of the legendary house. The first production register of Watch N°1 date back to 1713! It will take 38 years to digitalize the thousands of registries accumulated. Visiting such a space is equivalent to time traveling for more than three centuries. It is overwhelming!
Once this painstaking authentication work is done, the Restoration department – with his own master watchmakers – takes over to infuse back their initial aura to the selected timepieces in their smallest details. It enables to provide a 2-year guarantee on all of them as if they were fresh out the Vacheron Constantin's workshops.
Keys design periods
The variety of products from the manufacture is so extensive that choices had to be made to focus on key time periods. Christian Selmoni explains this dilemma, “the selected models embody the characteristic timeless style of Vacheron Constantin. They are an introduction to the essence of the brand. “Les Collectionneurs” is an entry door to Vacheron Constantin’s Heritage.”
This rich selection is first and foremost a way to share the passion for fine watchmaking and horological know-how incarnated by the Geneva manufacture. For the greatest joy for lovers of beautiful timekeepers. As the Heritage director put it, “These events draw crowds of seasoned collectors, as much as younger generations eager to immerse themselves deep in watchmaking history." A meaningful approach which sets the venerable manufacture even higher in the Swiss Horology pantheon.
Watchonista’s exclusive Les Collectionneurs video
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)