Jean-Marc Vacheron founded Vacheron Constantin in 1755, making it one of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world that has remained in continuous operation. Famous for their technological innovation, Vacheron Constantin watches incorporate complications like perpetual calendars, chronographs, moonphases, and jumping hours into their elaborate designs. These luxury timepieces exude prestige. Buying a Vacheron Constantin watch ensures you'll have a time-tested model in your collection for years to come. Discover our selection of exceptional used Vacheron Constantin watches for sale.
Vacheron Constantin first established in 1755 in Geneva, Switzerland. This makes it one of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world that has remained in continuous production. In the first twenty years of business, Vacheron set a simple goal for his namesake brand. He aspired to be one of the leading innovators in the industry. In 1770, he designed the first “complicated” watch, meaning it was not just time-only. Then, by 1779, he had produced the first engine-turned dials. Shortly after, Vacheron retired in 1785. He left the company to his son Abraham. He would see the brand through the French Revolution and occupation of Geneva by the French Directory. Abraham would go on to follow suit, leaving the company to his son Jaques-Barthelemy.
Jaques-Barthelemy is responsible for taking Vacheron Constantin’s success to the next level. For his first order of business, he wanted to expand the company’s reach outside of Switzerland and into new markets. The brand quickly found success in other areas of Europe, like France and Italy. Soon, Vacheron Constantin was growing at such a rapid rate, Jaques-Barthelemy knew he needed support to keep the momentum. He met a savvy business strategist named François Constantin and formed a partnership. Together, they created Vacheron Constantin as we know it today.
Vacheron and Constantin soon began dividing and conquering the duties of the business. Constantin supported Vacheron’s efforts to spread to new regions. However, he wanted to take the strategy a step further, outside of Europe. Soon, he traveled to the Americas, and they quickly became the brand’s largest market. In 1819, Vacheron received a letter from Constantin during his travels. One line read, “Do it better if possible, and that is always possible.” This philosophy became the brand’s guiding principle and continues to be their motto today.
As the brand continued to grow into the mid-1800s, they decided to bring on an engineer to design their parts. Georges-Aguste Leschot proved to be a huge asset to the brand and the industry at large. One of his most famous creations is the pantograph. This machine made parts of the movement interchangeable and allowed watchmakers to mechanically duplicate them. Ultimately, this served as a major contribution to the standardization of watch movements. For this innovation, Leschot and the brand received the Rive Prize’s gold medal from the Arts Society of Geneva in 1844.
After Vacheron and Constantin passed away, their heirs proudly carried on the family tradition. Prior to his passing, Vacheron encouraged the company to join the Association for Research into Non-Magnetic Materials. Shortly after, in 1869, the brand unveiled their first pocket chronometer and later, in 1885, their first anti-magnetic timepiece. By 1875, the brand had outgrown its workshops. To design their new facilities, they hired Jacques-Elysee Goss, who was famously responsible for Geneva’s Grand Theater opera house. Once Vacheron Constantin’s new headquarters was complete, it was the most modern manufacturer in Switzerland. This significant structure is still with the brand today, as home to their heritage museums.
As Vacheron Constantin continued to grow their international reputation, they decided to adopt the Maltese Cross as an emblem of the brand in 1890. However, they remained equally dedicated to their Swiss roots. In 1901, they proudly accepted the honor of becoming the first watchmaker to receive the iconic Hallmark of Geneva. Yet, there were challenges ahead for the first time in the brand’s storied history. Vacheron Constantin took a hit during the Great Depression. By 1940, the Constantin family had lost their majority stake in the company. With that, the brand’s 185 years of family leadership came to an end.
A holding company who managed Jaeger-LeCoultre acquired Vacheron Constantin with Georges Ketterer at its head. Shortly after, the brand celebrated their monumental 200th anniversary in 1955. To commemorate the occasion, they released the Caliber 1003, the world’s thinnest manually wound caliber. Two years later, they launched a classically styled dress watch that laid the foundation for collections like the Patrimony. After roughly fifteen years of leadership, Ketterer passed away and his son Jacques took his place. He went on to oversee the company for the next two decades.
In 1996, Vacheron Constantin changed leadership once more when the Richemont Group purchased the brand. Under the umbrella of Richemont, the brand launched some of their most beloved collections. Drawing from their dress watches of the 1950s, they developed the Patrimony line in 2000. Three years later, they introduced the Overseas. In 2005, Vacheron Constantin hit their impressive 250th anniversary for which they created the Tour de I’lle. This incredible timepiece boasts a whopping sixteen complications and 834 parts. Then, in 2007, they debuted the Metiers d’Art collection.
In more recent years, Vacheron Constantin has continued to be a formidable force in the industry. In 2019 alone, they released two spectacular new models in the Overseas collection: a tourbillon and an ultra-thin perpetual calendar. Later that year, they also released the Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual calendar, which features an astonishing 65-day power reserve.
Video: Crown & Caliber Unboxing
We are extremely proud to be the No. 1 online marketplace for buyers and sellers of luxury pre-owned watches. Our servicing and authentication efforts ensure maximum value for both buyers and sellers, and our data-backed pricing methodology provides all parties with 100% pricing.
Interested in learning more about Crown & Caliber's luxurious pre-owned watches? View our YouTube channel here.
Selling Your Vacheron Constantin Watches
Crown & Caliber makes selling a Vacheron Constantin watch easy and rewarding. Let us assist you in the selling process and help you receive the highest possible value for your Vacheron Constantin. Get your Vacheron Constantin quote