- Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph Watch 5500V/110A-B481$38,950.00Box and Papers2023
- Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time Watch 7900V/110A/B334$34,250.00Box and Papers2022
- Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph Watch 5500V/110A-B481$34,950.00Box and Papers2021
- Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time Watch 7900V/110A-B334$33,950.00Box and Papers2022
- Vacheron Constantin Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942 Watch 3110V/000A-B426$18,450.00Box and Papers2018
- Vacheron Constantin Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942 Watch 3110V/000A-B426$18,995.00Box and Papers2021
- Vacheron Constantin Overseas Watch 4500V/110A-B483$29,950.00Box and Papers
- Vacheron Constantin Overseas Rose Gold Watch 4500V/110R-B705$79,995.00Box and Papers2022
- Vacheron Constantin Overseas Self-Winding Watch 4500V/110A-B483$29,950.00Box and Papers2022
- Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time Slate Watch 47450/000W-9511$29,995.00Box and Papers
- Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Power Reserve Watch 47200/000G-8445$11,995.00Box and Papers
Section 1 - History
Vacheron Constantin is the oldest watchmaker which has been in continuous operation since its founding, back in 1755 and is part of the so-called “Holy Trinity” of watchmaking, along with Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. The watchmaker is also known as “The Old King”, and enjoys an amazing reputation worldwide, as it has numbered, among its clients, the most known personalities, from Popes to Emperors, from actors to musicians, from sportsmen to politicians.
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 lab, Vacheron started to develop some of the features that would become a signature of the company: watch complications.
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 the 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 1833, the company hired Georges Auguste Leschot as a manufacturing supervisor: it was Leschot to invent the modern concept of “caliber”, and to introduce other inventions in watchmaking, such as the pantographer.
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 that one of Vacheron et Constantin watches found its way inside a Fabergé’s Egg. And in 1906 the company opened his 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, and after other changes in property, it was eventually bought in 1996 by the Richemont group.
From that moment, the group invested heavily in the company, which found its final name as Vacheron Constantin, to confirm its place in the lofty realms of haute horology.
Among the notable achievements of the watchmaker we can note:
- In 1790, the company created the first complication in a watch: a day and date indicator on two separate dials;
- In 1824, it created the first jumping hour complication;
- In 1885, it was time for the first antimagnetic watch, with elements made in palladium, bronze, and gold;
- In 1912, it is one of the first manufacturers to introduce the tonneau-shaped case;
- In 1929, it created a “Grande Complication” watch for the King of Egypt;
- In 1955, it made the thinnest manual-winding caliber of the world, 1003, only 1.64 mm thick;
- In 2015, it debuts with the Ref. 87260, the most complicated watch ever made, with a total of 57 different complications, several of which never made before.
Section 2 - Iconic pieces
As it is the most ancient 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 has also a department, called “Les Cabinotiers”, which manufactures bespoke watches for affluent customers - that is, one-of-a-kind ones that are made on specification, making them unique.
On the contrary of other watchmakers, the Old King does not really have any iconic, distinguishing design which fully represents it: all of its production, with its beautiful and timeless design, asserts the quality of its 260 years in watchmaking proficiency.
Among the most popular collections of Vacheron Constantin, the Patrimony is the most diffused.
It is made of classic, elegant wristwatches, sporting the watchmaker’s excellent movements and perfect finishings in precious metals.
The luxury sports watches fall under the Overseas collection, featuring larger and more masculine shapes and sizes. As for any sports collection, stainless steel is the material of choice, but you also find gold and platinum.
The Historiques collection is the one that pays homage to the classic designs of the watchmaking watchmaker. The result is a line of watches that exude an aura of vintage sophistication and sit well at the wrist of the most educated gentleman.
The Mètier d’Art series mixes the best practices of haute horology with research on materials and finishings to create some true art masterpieces, which surprise for their beauty as well as for their technical contents.
The Malte collection proposes the excellence of the watchmaker through some of the most interesting designs for the cases and the lugs coming from the vintage tradition of the brand, and specifically, from the Twenties. In the Malte collection, you are going to find exceptional movements and exotic complications encased into round and tonneau cases of beautiful make.
1 - Patrimony line
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 of the world with its thickness of less than 9 mm, and also, the Patrimony Ultra-Thin Calibre 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 cyberpunkish.
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 timezones, including the ones with a half-hour difference, and features a handy day/night indicator.
2 - Overseas
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, in the Overseas line bracelets are fully integrated with the design of the watch.
The collection has a definitely masculine vibe, where the stainless steel is the main element, but recently the watchmaker has introduced bicolor edition in gold and steel, and also, in total gold. Some models also feature diamonds set in the bezels.
Models range from the most simple automatics to the most complicated timepieces, where the chronograph, perpetual calendar, ultra-flat automatic and worldtimer models are in the limelight.
All of them feature in-house movements and the Geneva Seal of excellence.
3 - Historiques line
The Historiques are exactly what you are thinking: they are modern - and not so modern - editions of the most interesting timepieces issued by Vacheron Constantin.
The flair of the Historiques collection is their being timeless and eternally contemporary, like being suspended in a bubble out of the flow of time, made of elegance and echoes of gentler days. As you might suspect, this line features cases in precious metals, where the yellow gold is king.
You may find interesting shapes and complications here, the most peculiar being the so-called Americain, a cushion-case watch featuring a very practical solution. The dial is mounted with a 30-degree angle with respect to the viewer, allowing for best readability when the wearer’s arm is naturally placed on the desktop while he is working.
Another excellent model is the Triple Calendar, and the beautiful Chronograph Cornes de Vache, with its elegant bicompax layout and definitely 1940s vibe.
4 - Mètier d’Art line
The Mètier d’Art line walks the fine line where technique meets pure art. In this line - if we can call it “line” - we find the most important horological finesse in movements and complications together with the applications of decorative arts.
You will find examples of each and every kind of art and decoration known to men in this incredible collection of exquisite beauty, from cloisonné to lacquer to bas-relief - all encased in beautiful shells of precious metals and gems, which sometimes hide their function as a timepiece at first sight.
The complications in the Mètier d’Art collection are almost endless. You will find here some skeletonized models, the Ajourees and Gravees, as well as jumping hours models featuring a central art motif and four small windows, like the current Aerostiers.
All in all, an awe-inspiring collection, thought for the most exigent connoisseurs.
5 - Malte line
The Malte collection takes its inspiration from the historical Vacheron Constantin collection of the beginning of the last century and gives it a new life with some new twists.
The collection features mostly cases built along with the tonneau shape, which saw the watchmaker as one of its first supporters. The beautiful barrel shape of Vacheron is somewhat varied in shape, with models that are more angular (imagine a stretched hexagon) to others with more fluid and curvy lines. Most of the time, the dials are clean and light-colored, and often feature a small seconds sub-dial at six.
The complications in this line vary from the classic chronographs to perpetual calendars and tourbillons and present exquisitely done cases in precious metals like gold and platinum, sometimes featuring spider, teardrop or lion’s paw-shaped lugs, which give to this line a fascinating touch.
Section 3 - News
The most complicated watch of the planet is a Vacheron Constantin. It is the model 57260, where 57 stands for the number of complications, some of which are never-created-before in the realm of horology, and 260 stands for the number of years in the watchmaker’s history.
The 57260 has been presented in 2015, but still holds the record for being the most complicated watch ever made, literally crushing its historical competition of Patek Philippe, with its 33 complications.
As you would expect, it is a “pocket” watch, and a very big one as well - 71 mm diameter for the caliber alone, almost 100 mm with the case, and a weight of a tad under 1 kg - more doorstop material than an exquisite watch, examining specs alone! Its complications are arranged in six different plates. And there are 2,800 parts inside this watch.
The creation of this horological marvel has required 8 years of development and the assistance of a team composed of three master watchmakers. A truly spectacular piece, and a world record.
One of a kind, until another discreet and affluent patron, like the one ordering the 57260, comes out in this modern battle for creating the most complicated watch of the planet.
Section 4 - Gossip/Style
June 2015 - Adieu Omar Sharif, the unforgettable Doctor Zhivago, who spent his late years suffering from Alzheimer’s. The actor, who bewitched his audience with his Mediterranean charm and exquisite finesse, was born in Alexandria of Egypt 83 years before and became world-famous for his intense portraying of Pasternack’s character.
It won’t be a surprise that one of the most beloved watches of Sharif, which he used to wear on several occasions, was a Vacheron Constantin Ref. 4591 Aronde, with his signature beveled glass crystal.
May 2015 - The Old King might be too understated for most high-exposure VIPs, but perfect for others. Silvio Berlusconi, the famous Italian media mogul and then politician, is a collector of everything good and precious, and always attentive to his looks. Nowadays over 80 years old, Mr. Berlusconi still remains a controversial figure who divides public opinion and political analysts in Italy and abroad, but for sure he has displayed amazing leadership skills and a lot of charisma. He has worn on several occasions a Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar.
June 2010 - One of the seldom seen, but most expensive watches of the world is a Vacheron Constantin. It was made in 1979 by the artist Raymond Moretti and features an array of 118 perfect diamonds for a total of 130 carats. This elusive watch, called the Kallista, has inspired a very limited collection of diamond-studded watches called Kalla. Presented in 1981, it is composed of around 10 references, of which King Kalla, with its 50 carats of diamonds, is one of the most “common”. A watch worth $2 to $3 million, it was worn by none other than the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson.
Section 5 – Current Most Popular Models
Between the Vacheron Constantin collections, the Patrimony is the most diffused, and within it, the basic two or three-hander watch is the model of choice. Along with the Patek’s Calatrava, this is the prototypal dress watch, bar none - and its timeless elegance makes it suited for every formal occasion.
When you begin to add complications, it is difficult to stop, given a generous budget - and this line accommodates some perfect specimens to this effect while remaining eminently portable and almost understated.
The Overseas collection is also very popular, as it blends seamlessly the elegance and tradition of the brand with a more modern outlook and increased wearability. The chronographs in this line are also well sought-after.
The Mètier d’Art models are a sort of sculptural piece for the wrist. They are exceedingly beautiful and very precious, so are chosen and worn only by a selected few who have the knowledge and sensitivity to appreciate the stature of their artistic and horological merits.
Section 6 – Current Approximate Price List By Line/Model
The Patrimony line
|Functions:||Date/Day, Perpetual Calendar, Minute Repeater, World Time|
The current Patrimony line starts from the simple two and three-hander model, the Superflat, in white, pink and yellow gold or platinum, starting from $4,500 upwards for a pre-owned reference in good condition, but the average lies around the $10,000 mark. The automatic, which is impressively thin as well, sports a date window in addition and goes for $14,500.
The Retrograde Day-Date, with its amazing complication, touches the $40,000 mark and is very hard to come by. The same could be said for the Moonphase and Retrograde Date models, both available in white or pink gold.
The Patrimony Perpetual Calendar is instead available in pink gold and platinum only and starts from $64,000 for the gold version, to cross the six figures for the platinum reference.
The Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater is a technical marvel, featuring one of the flatter minute repeaters of the world in its 3.9 mm thick movement. Plan to spend the best part of the $200,000s to find one for the gold version, while the platinum one adds another $100,000 to this amount.
The World Time, with its beautiful dial, seems almost affordable in comparison.
It is available in pink gold and platinum, starting from the $40,000 of the gold version to the $100,000 for the platinum one.
The Overseas line
The Overseas line is the sports line of the watchmaker. It is both distinctive and assertive, and due to its balanced looks, it has no problems with being worn even on formal occasions.
|Type:||Luxury Sports Watch|
|Material:||Stainless Steel, Gold|
|Functions:||Date/Day, Chronographer, Extra Thin, Dual Time, World Time|
The basic model of the last edition is the three-hander automatic, from about $14,500 upwards for the stainless steel model, growing up to $26,500 and $32,000 for the bimetallic and yellow gold models. Older models, mounting a JLC-based caliber, are available for much less, averaging around the $10,000 mark.
The Overseas Extra Thin is another popular model. At 7.5 mm, it is definitely a treat for the connoisseur. It is available only in white gold, though, and has a price of about $50,000.
The Chronographs are in high demand, and start from around $24,000 for the stainless steel version, rising up to $28,500 for the bimetal and $34,500 for the gold version.
The Dual Time and World Time versions of the Overseas retail for around $23,500 and $27,500 respectively in stainless steel. Plan to add $10,000 for the gold versions.
The Historiques line
The Historiques draw from the legacy of the watchmaker and propose their timeless designs for a definitely vintage look. This beautiful collection offers a taste of what was the Vacheron experience right around WWII and offers precious watches that are full of character.
|Functions:||Date, Calendar, Chronograph, Triple Calendar, Moon Phase|
The introductory models of this line are very similar to the Patrimony line and begin with the simplest two and three handers in yellow gold from around $4,000, upwards, with the small seconds variety going for around $5,500.
The Triple Calendar version, which is very popular, in white and yellow gold retails for $17,700.
The beautiful chronograph Cornes de Vache, available in different bicompax and tricompax versions, retails from $16,500 of the gold version upwards.
The Toledo, which is a rounded carré timepiece quite similar to the Cartier Santos, is almost a bargain with its $6,500 for the basic version in yellow gold, rising up to $17,500 for the moon phase version
The Americain, with its quirky cushion case and oblique dial, fares much higher. The references in yellow gold start from the $19,000 mark, upwards, and around $23,000 for the pink gold.
Omar Sharif’s watch model, the Aronde, in yellow or rose gold, fares around the $27,000 mark.
The Mètier d’Arts line
The Mètier d’Arts is the top line of the brand, just a tad below the models ordered to the Les Cabinotiers team. We are talking about true horology luxury here. This is a line composed of watches which reach the tens or hundreds of units at most.
Yes, it is this exclusive.
They combine the most precious materials and finishings with the most interesting complications, for a final result that is the modern essence of 260 years of tradition and excellence of horology.
|Functions:||Every kind of function depending on the model|
There are currently several sub-lines in this assortment.
Between them, we have selected three.
The first is composed of timepieces that offer a beautifully decorated dial, employing the most precious techniques, and a tiny central subdial containing the hands, or none at all, so the dial is a sort of a small miniature painting over which the golden hands rotate. You may find some pieces on the market for around $50,000. but some limited edition series can reach astronomical amounts, well over the $300,000 mark.
Other editions of similar timepieces offer beautifully skeletonized movements. These ones, the so-called Ajourees, start from the $40,000 range and grow upwards.
Last, there is a line where the watch offers jumping hour and date indicators in four corners of the dial: the rest is taken by a rendition of a figure or an object, made in different techniques. These rare objects start from the $80,000 and grow upwards.
The Malte line
Another beautiful line of the watchmaker, the Malte presents the elements which made the production of Vacheron Constantin world-famous and respected. The distinctive tonneau case, in precious metals, sometimes studded with beautiful diamonds, is one of the main style elements that the majority of these watches offer.
In other cases, the main feature displayed is the lugs, sculptured like precious frames holding a masterpiece. And a masterpiece it is, actually, as some of the movements of this line are real works of art of great horological complication.
|Material:||Gold, Platinum, Diamonds|
|Functions:||Basic two and three handers, upwards to a chronograph, perpetual calendar, moon phase, tourbillon|
The main three-hander of the Malte collection, in white or yellow gold, with its small seconds subdial at six on its immaculate dial is available for around $17,500, crossing the $20,000 threshold for the gem-studded versions. The Dual Time version also lies in this same price range, and the chronographs require a tad more, around the $23,000 mark, while the top end of the line, the references featuring tourbillons, start from the high ends of the five digits upwards well into the six.
The other references of the line, which are circular, start from the $15,000 range but rise up quickly due to the presence of beautiful complications, like the perpetual calendar which seems very popular in this line.
Expect to pay from the $25,000 upwards for the latter, which double (or more) for the grand complicated references including the moon phase.
Section 7 – Recent Blog Post
Luke Bryan's Watch Collection is As Hot As His Career!
WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOUR TASTE IN MUSIC, BUT WE BET WE KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR TASTE IN WATCHES - YOU LOVE THE BEST OF THE BEST. AND THIS IS PRECISELY WHAT THE ARTIST, COMPOSER, SINGER, AMERICAN IDOL JUDGE, AND ALL-AROUND COOL GUY LUKE BRYAN DOES AS WELL.
Section 8 – Q & A
What do you think about Vacheron Constantin?
I think VC is the most underrated of the Big Three (Patek, AP, VC) and has a unique style that appeals to me. They seem to make watches with quiet elegance and have a good idea of what their “identity” is.
Patek seems to rest on their laurels a bit, is known for very high-end watches (especially the perpetual calendar chronos), with not a lot of new innovations. Putting a perpetual movement in a Nautilus is very cool (and oh god I want one), but not exactly cutting edge.
Audemars Piguet makes one absolutely stupendous watch, the 15202 Royal Oak Ultra-Thin, some other great models (15400, perpetual, etc.) and a lot of stuff I personally hate (Royal Oak Offshore).
Would you rather have a Patek Phillipe or a Vacheron Constantin, and why?
Both watches represent the epitome of Swiss watchmaking and both are members of the holy trinity of watchmaking. For resale value, Patek Phillipe probably beats Vacheron Constantin because Patek is more widely known among collectors and considered the apex of watch collection.
Are Vacheron Constantin watches better quality than Rolex Watches?
Well: for the real connoisseurs they are in a completely different league. If you mean “quality” simple things such as materials, keeping time, they are both very, very good.
But if you are really into watches and mean construction engineering, watch knowledge, this is where VC shines. Not only they are one of the oldest and more traditional brands but are awarded to construct the most complicated watch (57 complications).
What is the collection piece potential of Vacheron Constantin watches?
Vacheron Constantin is considered by collectors as one of the brands with the highest potential when it comes to collecting vintage watches. For the simple reason that it is currently undervalued. Let me explain.
Nowadays, Vacheron Constantin produces approximately two to three times fewer watches per year than the two other members of the holy trinity of watchmaking, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe, adding to its exclusivity.
Who is the world's oldest watchmaker? Is it Vacheron or Blancpain?
A small internet search shows us that Blancpain has been founded in 1735 in Le Brassus, in the Swiss Jura, while Vacheron Constantin hails from 1755 in Geneva.
So, Blancpain is the oldest Swiss company manufacturing watches today.
But the Blancpain brand had some periods of inactivity. This means that if we are searching for the oldest company in continuous operation since its founding, the first prize goes to Vacheron Constantin.