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Vacheron Constantin

As the world’s oldest continuously-operating luxury watch brand, and the maker of the most complicated watch ever made, Vacheron Constantin is one of the most elite watch brands there is.

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Part of the “Holy Trinity” of Swiss watchmaking along with Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin is the oldest watchmaker in continuous operation since its founding in 1755.

The watchmaker is also known as “The Old King,” and enjoys an amazing reputation worldwide, counting a range of famous personalities, from royalty and politicians to professional athletes and entertainers, as clients. In addition to celebrities, Vacheron Constantin is also a favorite among serious watch collectors as the company is known to produce some of the finest timepieces in existence. Each Vacheron Constantin watch is meticulously built to the highest standards, using the best materials, and finished and decorated by hand using traditional artisan techniques. The company has coined the expression: “One of not many” to communicate how few watches bear the Vacheron Constantin name despite its long history. 

The Vacheron Constantin factory. Photo credit: Vacheron Constantin

Following the advice of one of its founders, “Do better if possible, and that is always possible,” Vacheron Constantin watches have always been guided by excellence.”

Read more about how Vacheron Constantin continues to be one of the most renowned names in high horology over 265 years after it was established: 

Vacheron Constantin History

The company was founded by Jean-Marc Vacheron, a Geneva-based watchmaker, who had important ties to some of the leading philosophers of the time, like Voltaire and Rousseau. In his workshop, Vacheron started to develop some of the features that would become a signature of the company: watch complications. 

  • 1755: Jean-Marc Vacheron establishes his watchmaking workshop
  • 1785: Abraham Vacheron (the founder’s son) takes over the company
  • 1810: Jacques-Barthélémi Vacheron takes over from his father
  • 1819: Businessman François Constantin joins the company and “Vacheron & Constantin” was born
  • 1844: Charles-César Vacheron takes over from his father
  • 1936: Charles Constantin (great-grandnephew of François Constantin) takes over the company
  • 1940: The Ketterer family bought a majority of the shares of the company, ending the founding families’ ownership of the brand
  • 1970: The name of the company was officially changed from Vacheron & Constantin to Vacheron Constantin 
  • 1987: Sheik Yamani became majority shareholder 
  • 1996: Vendome Group (now known as the Richemont Group) purchased the company 

The Vacheron company prospered for three generations, until the grandson of the founder, Jacques-Barthelemy Vacheron, at the beginning of the 1800s understood that he would need a business partner in order to expand the company into new markets like France and Italy. This is why in 1819 he found one in Francois Constantin, and the company changed its name to become the one we know today. Also, on that occasion, it assumed its current motto: “Do better if possible, and this is always possible”.

Constantin was an amazing salesman. He traveled around the world and established a lucrative business for the company in the USA. In 1839, the company hired inventor Georges Auguste Leschot as technical director. One of his biggest contributions was the invention of the pantograph, which allowed the standardization and interchangeability of watches equipped with the same caliber. 

1880 is the year when the company begins using the Maltese Cross as its symbol, inspired by a component used on the barrel. In 1887, the watchmaker was reorganized into a stock company. It was well-known and respected, so much so that one of Vacheron et Constantin watches found its way inside a Fabergé’s Egg. And in 1906 the company opened its first boutique in Geneva. But the times were tough. 

WWI and the Great Depression took their toll, and the families sold the majority of the stocks of the company to the Ketterer family in 1940, which owned it until 1987. After other changes in ownership, it was eventually bought in 1996 by the Richemont Group (then known as the Vendome Group).

From that moment, the group invested heavily in the company, which confirmed its place in the lofty realms of haute horology. 

Vacheron Constantin Watch Manufacturing

Vacheron Constantin manufactures some of the finest timepieces in the world, merging traditional craftsmanship with watchmaking innovations. The company is one of the few watchmakers in the world that can produce grand complication watches, which requires a level of horology expertise and experience that has to be passed down from generation to generation. 

While the company is known for its collection of in-house movements, like most high-end watchmakers, Vacheron Constantin has also outsourced base movements and then modified and decorated them according to exceedingly high in-house standards. 

Notable Innovations 

Thanks to Vacheron Constantin’s long and uninterrupted history, this celebrated Swiss watch brand has been responsible for plenty of significant watchmaking innovations and inventions, 

Some of the notable achievements of the watchmaker include: 

  • 1785: Developed its first complete calendar pocket watch
  • 1806: Created its first repeater watch
  • 1824: Created its first jumping hour complication
  • 1827: Introduced its first timepiece with Grande and Petite Sonnerie
  • 1829: Develops its first watch featuring a simple calendar and moon phases
  • 1884: Unveils its first pocket watch with a perpetual calendar
  • 1912: Vacheron Constantin is an early watchmaker to use the tonneau-shaped case
  • 1929: Creates an astronomical pocket watch for King Fouad I of Egypt
  • 1955: Introduces Caliber 1003, the world’s thinnest manual winding movement measuring 1.64mm thick
  • 2005: Releases the Tour de l’île with a combination of 16 complications, which was the most complicated two-sided wristwatch ever produced in a series
  • 2010: Introduces the Historiques Ultra Fine 1955, which was at the time the world’s thinnest mechanical watch
  • 2015: Vacheron Constantin debuts with the Ref. 57260, the most complicated watch ever made with a total of 57 different complications, several of which were never made before
  • 2017: Introduces Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 boasting 23 complications and 514 components

The most complicated watch on the planet is the Vacheron Constantin ref. 57260, where 57 stands for the number of complications (some which have never been seen before), and 260 was for the age of the watchmaker in 2015. 

As you would expect, it is a pocket watch, and a large one at that – 71mm diameter for the caliber alone and almost 100 mm for the case, all of which weigh slightly less than one kilogram (around two pounds)! Its complications are arranged within six different plates, and there are 2,800 parts inside this watch. The creation of this horological marvel required eight years of development and the assistance of a team composed of three master watchmakers. A truly spectacular piece, and a world record. 


Although Vacheron Constantin does not divulge exact production numbers, the company does acknowledge that production is limited. 

CEO of Vacheron Constantin, Louis Feria, states: “Vacheron Constantin focuses on producing a limited number of pieces. It is the only way to provide the highest levels of quality, design and craftsmanship. Our Maison strives to uphold a singular and refined standing in an industry that is already extremely selective. In that respect, we are undeniably One of not many.”

According to a 2021 article published by Bloomberg, it’s estimated that Vacheron Constantin produces around 20,000 to 25,000 watches per year. 

Materials and Craftsmanship

The vast majority of Vacheron Constantin watches are made from precious metals such as gold or platinum. Of course, diamonds are readily available across most collections too. 

While there are some stainless steel watches offered by the brand, they are limited to certain collections such as the Overseas, Fiftysix, Historiques, and Égérie. The company also uses titanium cases sparingly. 

In addition to sourcing the finest materials, Vacheron Constantin also focuses intensely on traditional craftsmanship and decorative techniques. 

The company employs a wide range of artisans including: 

  • Engravers
  • Enamelers 
  • Guillocheurs 
  • Gem-Setters
  • Jewelers

Many Vacheron Constantin watches bear the Geneva Seal, also known as the Hallmark of Geneva or Poinçon de Genève. This marking ensures that the watch’s movement is not only made in Geneva, Switzerland, but that it also adheres to exceptionally high standards of decoration, craftsmanship, and finishing. 

Grey Market and Authorized Dealers

Authorized Dealers

Vacheron Constantin depends on a large network of authorized dealers around the world to sell its watches across more than 80 countries. The company also operates around 60 of its own boutiques, which not only carry the current Vacheron Constantin models but also a few boutique exclusives. 

ADs and boutiques are expected to follow the company’s official price list when selling watches, which is generally updated every one or two years. 

Grey Market Prices

Unlike authorized dealers and boutiques, grey market dealers are not constrained to only selling current production models nor are they obliged to follow manufacturer’s suggested retail prices. 

Therefore, grey market dealers can sell a wide range of Vacheron Constantin watches including vintage, neo-vintage, recently discontinued, and current models. Furthermore, watches can be pre-owned or new. 

Additionally, grey market prices are set according to market value and not MSRP. Vacheron Constantin watches that are in demand will generally command prices higher than retail while slower-moving models can be purchased at a discount. 

Vacheron Constantin Notable Models

As it is the oldest watchmaker in the world still in operation, the lineup of Vacheron Constantin is divided into countless collections and models. We should also note that the venerable watchmaker also has a department, called “Les Cabinotiers”, which manufactures bespoke watches for affluent customers. These are one-of-a-kind watches that are made to specification. Some of the most notable Vacheron Constantin watches include the Patrimony, Traditionelle, Overseas, Fiftysix, and others. 


Among the most popular collections of Vacheron Constantin, the Patrimony is one of the most varied. It is made of classic and elegant wristwatches for men and women. They all sport round cases, which are fitted with the watchmaker’s excellent movements and feature perfect finishings in precious metals.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony ref. 47100 and 47200
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony ref. 47100 and 47200

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Characteristics

TypeDress Watch
MaterialGold, Platinum
FunctionsTime-Only, Date/Day, Perpetual Calendar, Minute Repeater, World Time
PriceRetail prices range from $20,000 to $84,000
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Characteristics

The Patrimony collection for Vacheron Constantin represents the continuity of a tradition that is elegant and timeless. These watches feature some of the finest examples of Swiss watchmaking. And everyone would find, between the different references, what he needs and wants, from the most elegant and simple two-hander without seconds to the most complicated watches featuring perpetual calendars or minute repeaters. 

The collection is available in precious metals, mostly in gold, but also in platinum. The designs are generally subdued and elegant – representing the very essence of the dress watch, and derive directly from the vintage watches manufactured by the watchmaker during the 1950s. 

Among the most notable pieces, you may find the amazing perpetual calendar belonging to the Excellence Platine series, one of the thinnest in the world with its thickness of less than 9 mm, and also, the Patrimony Ultra-Thin Caliber 1731, available in pink gold or platinum, which manages to squeeze a minute repeater movement in just a tad more than 8 mm of thickness for the entire watch. 

Another very distinguished timepiece in this series is the Bi-Retrograde Day-Date, where the fine aesthetics of the Patrimony meets the displays of the two indicators, with a final effect that is as elegant as it is somewhat cyberpunk-ish. 

One of the most beautiful of this line is for us the Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time, possibly the most elegant worldtimer we have ever seen. Available in pink gold or platinum, this timepiece supports 37 different time zones, including the ones with a half-hour difference, and features a handy day/night indicator.


While the Traditionnelle used to be part of the Patrimony in the form of the “Patrimony Traditionnelle” models, the brand separated the two names in 2013/2014. While Traditionnelle watches are also elegant, round, and fashioned from precious metals, these watches have slighter thicker lugs and bezels compared to the Patrimony. Vacheron Constantin makes Traditionnelle models for both men and women.

VC Traditionelle
Traditionelle model with green dial. Photo credit: Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Characteristics

TypeDress watches, Complications
MaterialGold, Platinum 
FunctionsTime-only, Time/Date, Moonphase, Perpetual Calendar, Complete Calendar, Tourbillon, Grand Complications
MovementsQuartz, Manual-Winding, Self-Winding
PriceRetail prices range from $18,000 to $131,000+
Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Characteristics

The Traditionnelle is home to some of Vacheron Constantin’s most impressive complications, including tourbillons, twin-beat perpetual calendars, complete calendars, perpetual calendar chronographs, and others. 

On the other end of the spectrum, Vacheron Constantin also offers some quartz-powered Traditionnelle women’s watches within the lineup. 


Vacheron Constantin luxury sports watches fall under the Overseas collection, featuring larger cases and distinct designs. As for any sports collection, stainless steel is the material of choice, but you also find gold and platinum.

Time-only, dual-time, and chronograph versions of the Overseas. Photo credit
Time-only, dual-time, and chronograph versions of the Overseas

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Characteristics

TypeLuxury Sports Watch
MaterialStainless Steel, Gold
FunctionsTime/Date, Chronograph, Perpetual Calendar, Dual Time, World Time
MovementsQuartz, Self-Winding
PriceRetail prices range from $15,000 to $100,000+
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Characteristics

The Overseas is the sports-focused line of the watchmaker. Its most notable design feature is the important toothed bezel, patterned after the Maltese Cross which is the symbol of the company. Also, Overseas bracelets are fully integrated with the design of the watch, complete with Maltese Cross-inspired links. A notable advantage of the newer Overseas models is the quick-strap changing system, which allows wearers to swap out bracelets and straps easily. 

The first Vacheron Constantin Overseas watches debuted in 1996, inspired by the famous 222 model of the 1970s. It was named the Overseas as the watch was aimed at frequent travelers who needed a watch that could keep up with their active lifestyles. The line underwent a redesign in 2016, and the current Overseas watches are some of the most popular luxury sports watches in the market. 

The collection is varied, offering steel, gold, and two-tone variations. There are also models for men and women, in addition to the choice of features. Models range from simple time and date models to complicated watches. For instance, the Overseas collection is home to chronograph, dual time, perpetual calendar, and tourbillon models. All of them feature in-house movements and the Geneva Seal of excellence.


The Fiftysix is one of Vacheron Constantin’s newer collections, aimed at a younger audience and positioned as the brand’s entry-level model. As its name suggests, the Fiftysix draws inspiration from a vintage Vacheron Constantin watch (reference 6073) from 1956. The watches feature round cases that have lugs shaped after the arms of the Maltese Cross. The old-school sector dials of the Fiftysix include alternating Arabic numerals and batons as the hour markers.

Vacheron Fiftysix time-and-date model
Vacheron Fiftysix time-and-date model

Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix Characteristics

MaterialSteel, Gold
FunctionsTime/Date, Day/Date, Complete Calendar, Tourbillon
Price RangeRetail prices range from $12,300 to $130,000

While the time-and-date versions are an excellent choice for an entry-level Vacheron Constantin, the Fiftysix collection is also home to more expensive complicated models such as complete calendars and tourbillons. 


The Historiques collection is where Vacheron Constantin revives some of the most important watches from its archives.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques watches
A selection of Vacheron Constantin models from the Historiques collection

Vacheron Constantin Historiques Characteristics

MaterialSteel, Gold, Platinum
PriceRetail prices range from $22,000 to $69,000
Vacheron Constantin Historiques Characteristics

The Historiques are exactly what you are thinking: they are modern editions of the most interesting timepieces issued by Vacheron Constantin. The collection is home to intriguing shapes, impressive complications, and striking designs. 

One particularly notable model is the Historiques American 1921, which features a cushion-case watch with a very practical solution. The dial is mounted at a 30-degree angle with respect to the viewer, which allows wearers to read the time perfectly while driving. 

Other excellent examples are the Historiques Triple Calendar 1942, Historiques Cornes de Vaches 1955, and Historiques 222. 

Métier d’Art 

The Métier d’Art series mixes the best practices of haute horology with research on materials and finishings to create some true art masterpieces. Vacheron Constantin utilizes a wide range of traditional decorative techniques to make Métier d’Art watches including cloisonné, lacquer, bas-relief, engraving, and gem-setting just to name a few.

Vacheron Constantin Métier d’Art watch
Vacheron Constantin Métier d’Art with Terre de Feu enamel dial

Vacheron Constantin Métier d’Art Characteristics

TypeDress Watch
MaterialGold, Platinum
Métier d’Art Characteristics

These delightful timepieces are prized not only for their beauty but some of them feature highly technical complications too. For instance, there are skeletonized models such as the Mécaniques Ajourées, jumping hours, tourbillons, and others. 

All in all, an awe-inspiring collection, developed for serious watch connoisseurs.


Merging haute couture and haute horlogerie, Égérie is Vacheron Constantin’s collection of women’s watches. While earlier Égérie watches featured tonneau-shaped cases, the brand redesigned the collection in 2020 to feature round cases, diamond bezels, and Breguet-style numerals on the dial. Other notable characteristics of the watch are the off-centered crown and an off-centered subdial that either has a date indicator or moonphase.

Égérie watch with fuchsia strap
Égérie model with fuchsia strap

Vacheron Constantin Égérie Characteristics

TypeWomen’s Dress Watch
MaterialSteel, Gold, Diamonds 
FunctionsTime/Date, Moonphase
PriceRetail prices range from $19,700 to $79,000
Vacheron Constantin Égérie Characteristics

Available in a range of sizes and materials, the new-generation Égérie watches benefit from an interchangeable strap system. 


The Malte, named after the brand’s signature Maltese Cross, is a collection of tonneau-shaped (barrel-shaped) watches. Vacheron Constantin has been making tonneau watches since the early-1900s.

Vacheron Constantin Malte watches
Vacheron Constantin Malte watches

Vacheron Constantin Malte Characteristics

TypeDress Watch – Tonneau Shape
MaterialGold, Platinum, Diamonds
FunctionsTime-Only, Moon Phase, Tourbillon
PriceRetail prices range from $21,000 to $150,000+
Vacheron Constantin Malte Characteristics

The beautiful barrel shape of modern Vacheron Malte is somewhat varied in shape, with models that are more angular compared to traditional tonneaus. Most of the time, the dials are clean and light-colored, and often feature a small seconds sub-dial at six. Dials are decorated with a  mix of batons and Roman numerals for the hours. Along with the understated time-only models,  are some Malte complications too, such as moonphase and tourbillons. Cases are crafted from precious metals like gold and platinum.

While today’s Malte watches are tonneau, Vacheron did make Malte watches with round cases in the past, which sometimes featured spider, teardrop or lion’s paw-shaped lugs for added creativity. There are some highly complicated versions of these discontinued models including perpetual calendars, chronographs, and open-worked examples. 

Notable Patrons and Owners

Given the watchmaker’s history and pedigree, it comes as no surprise that Vacheron Constantin watches are a favorite among famous entertainers, athletes, and politicians. Here are a few celebrities who have been spotted wearing Vacheron Constantin watches: 

  • Tom Cruise: Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin
  • Carmelo Anthony: Patrimony
  • Edgar Ramirez: Traditionelle 
  • Klay Thompson: Historiques 222
  • Alexander Skarsgard: Overseas Self-Winding
  • J.J. Redick: Historiques American 1921
  • Santan Dave: Historiques American 1921
  • Erling Haaland: Overseas Self-Winding
  • Omar Sharif: Vacheron Constantin Ref. 4591 
  • Silvio Berluscon Patrimony Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar
  • Donald Trump: Historiques Ultra Fine 1968
  • Melania Trump: Diamond Kalla Duchesse

One of the seldom seen, but most expensive watches in the world is a Vacheron Constantin made in 1979 by the artist Raymond Moretti, featuring an array of 118 perfect diamonds for a total of 130 carats. This elusive watch, called the Kallista, inspired a very limited collection of diamond-studded watches called Kalla. The King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, wore a King Kalla watch worth about $2 million. 

Sponsorships and Collaborations

Similar to many watch brands, Vacheron Constantin has a few brand ambassadors to help in its marketing efforts. Current Vacheron Constantin brand ambassadors, and the collections they are associated with, are as follows: 

  • Photographer Cory Richards for the Overseas collection
  • Fashion designer Yiqing Yin for the Égérie collection 
  • Designer Ora Ïto for the Patrimony collection
  • Writer, composer, and performer Benjamin Clementine for the Fiftysix collection 

Vacheron Constantin is also an official partner of Le Louvre museum in Paris and Abbey Road Studios in London.

More about the Maison:
The Best Entry-Level Vacheron Constantin Watches
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph “Panda” for 2023
What is the Price of a Vacheron Constantin Overseas?
How to Sell a Vacheron Constantin Watch