A Sneak Peek At The Latest Treasures In Vacheron Constantin’s “Les Collectionneurs” Collection
Watchonista gets an inside look at selected gems of horological history from Vacheron Constantin’s “Les Collectionneurs” Collection.
During a delightful Zoom presentation with Vacheron Constantin’s Heritage & Style Director, Christian Selmoni, and Marketing & Communications Manager, Véronique Bayandor, we discovered 10 historically important timepieces from the brand’s “Les Collectionneurs” collection.
“Les Collectionneurs” concept was first unveiled in 2005, offering serviced and certified vintage timepieces for sale. Historical pieces are sought out at auction, through personal contacts with private individuals, or online.
Once discovered, the timepieces are both inspected by watchmakers from Vacheron Constantin’s restoration department and by experts from the brand’s Style & Heritage team. Members of this team are on the constant look out for timepieces with an interesting origin, particular rarity, or noteworthiness in terms of design or technical innovation.
Celebrating Each Watch’s Journey Through Time
New acquisitions first visit Vacheron Constantin’s restoration department where specialist watchmakers evaluate the needs of each timepiece, which can range from a simple cleaning to a full restoration. During this process, they pay special attention to the elements that bore witness to a watch’s journey through time. The objective is not to make them like new but to celebrate their previous lives, enhancing the magic of a vintage timepiece.
An Unmatched Service
Founded in 1755, Vacheron Constantin is the oldest watch manufacture that has been in constant operation. The brand has a private collection of 1,500 historical pieces and extensive archives that include the listing of cases and movements by serial number going back 150 years, both of which provide invaluable information about the workings and history of the vintage pieces it rediscovers.
In addition to this information, it also has a priceless stock of period-specific spare parts that, where possible, allows the most authentic restoration possible. However, Vacheron Constantin takes its commitment to authenticity one step further. If a period component cannot be located, then it will be reproduced to the same specifications, using traditional tools and techniques when possible.
Once serviced and/or restored, each timepiece is delivered with a certificate of authenticity and a guarantee of two years – an unmatched service for any vintage Vacheron Constantin timepiece.
A Collection In Constant Evolution
“‘Les Collectionneurs’ represents another facet of Vacheron Constantin," commented 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 young generations eager to delve more deeply into watchmaking history.”
The collection is in constant evolution as new pieces arrive and others find new homes. This new selection is currently being presented at Vacheron Constantin’s Zurich boutique. Let’s take a look at a few of the highlights.
Triple Calendar Wristwatch – Model 4240 – 1945
This 18-karat yellow gold complete calendar comes with a two-toned silvered dial, five Arabic numerals and six cabochon indices, both in gold. The date is indicated by an external circle of red Arabic numerals and red days and months displayed in apertures in the top half of the dial. There is also an elegant small seconds counter at six o’clock.
This particular model was first launched in 1942 and quickly became an emblematic model of the maison thanks to its triple-level case design, claw-shaped lugs, and streamlined design. A re-edition of the reference 4240 was unveiled in 2017 under the brand’s “Historiques” collection.
Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Wristwatch – Model 4261 – 1950
This 36mm timepiece from 1950 comes in an 18-karat yellow gold case and has a silver dial featuring an exterior guilloché design, four gold Roman numerals, and eight gold indices.
First unveiled in 1942, this model was the first ultra-thin minute repeater produced by Vacheron Constantin and was one of the thinnest minute repeater calibers of its time at 3.28mm. Only 40 pieces were produced between 1944 and 1951, making this model particularly rare. In fact, a platinum version sold at Christie’s New York in 2016 for $605,000.
Chronomètre Royal Pocket Watch – 1910
This large 18-karat yellow gold, 57mm, open face, keyless pocket watch features a white enamel dial, Roman numerals, and a small seconds counter at six o’clock.
Thanks to the hard work of the brand’s representatives in South America at the beginning of the 20th century, this model was extremely popular in Panama, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, and Guatemala, with records showing over 10,000 pieces sold.
Chronograph – Model 4072
The reference 4072 is one of the most popular vintage chronographs produced by Vacheron Constantin in the late 1930s up until the early 1970s. During its production, it housed two different chronograph calibers – the V492 and the V434. This model houses the rarer caliber V434, of which only a few examples were ever made.
To discover more from Vacheron Constantin’s “Les Collectionneurs” collection, please contact the Maison’s Zurich boutique at:
Tel: +41 (0)43 888 33 08
Or, check out more on Instagram @thehourlounge.