There are a number of watch makers that have gained recognition around the world, but only some have truly earned the title of “fine watch maker.” Watch enthusiasts and collectors follow watch brands to see what new watches these companies are adding to their lineup as well as they could probably tell you which watches are their finest in their collection. One watch brand that is well-known for their line of exquisitely designed watches is Vacheron.
They are a luxury watch brand that was established in, and based in Geneva, Switzerland. Vacheron stands as one of the oldest manufacturers of fine watches in the world today. The company has displayed impeccable standards in way of style, functionality and performance. The Vacheron Constantin watch company has played a vital role in the development of technology in the watch business, as well as innovation. They are truly a watch brand that has paved the way for many other brands to follow.
Here are five models to look out for in 2017:
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Moonphase Retrograde Date watch
Vacheron Constantin developed the Patrimony Moon Phase Retrograde date watch using the company’s past as its inspiration, specifically the 1950’s era. The designs are classic and timeless and have been designed with an all new movement that features a moon display that follows the cycle and age of the moon on a display although that is guaranteed its accuracy for 122 years before it will ever need correcting. It is able to hold its accuracy because the moon phase is calibrated to be in sync with the exact age of the moon; 29 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes.
This particular timepiece is a 42.5mm watch and offers the wearer the retrograde date and moon phase indication plus an array of other user-friendly adjustments that are accessed using the crown. The retrograde date indication that is designed at an arch from 1-31, set across the top portion of the dial and was designed with a self-winding 275-part movement, which is visible through the sapphire crystal case back. Its Caliber is 2460 R31L and is designed with a 40-hour power reserve. The watch is being sold in 18kt pink gold and in 18kt white gold. Both retail for $39,900.
Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
The Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 was created in effort to celebrate the18th century artisans who spent countless hours atop rooftops under the stars, creating their authentic masterpieces. This is truly a work of by Vacheron, art using astronomy and their mastery of complicated movements and integral design ideas and techniques.The watch is composed of white gold composition that features 23 complications. The twin-dial timepiece is so detailed and dramatic that it took 5 years to complete. Two of the years were on the design itself and only one master watchmaker is responsible for constructing the manual wind 514-part mechanical movement.
The face displays three different types of time in their own indicators – civil, solar and sidereal. Civil is the standard time and is displayed in a customary way with a pair of white gold hands. Solar is based on the visible route of the sun. It connects with the Civil time by way of a pink gold hand, gilded with a sun. The Sidereal (celestial) time is the time that it takes our earth to travel around the sun, or, 365.25 days. It is the astronomical way to measure time which is noted by the movement of the ‘fixed’ stars. The astronomical time can be monitored on the back of the watch by the two overlaid sapphire discs. A beautiful display of our heavenly skies. The caliber is 8.7 mm and six barrels allow for three weeks of power reserve. As of now there is no specific pricing of the watch, but rumors are that it will sell for $1 Million, and only to a select few true Vacheron collectors.
Tribute to Great Explorers
Tribute to Great Explorers is an international watch and a limited edition, with only 60 timepieces made. This watch is a unique tribute to our world explorers, Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus. It depicts the travels of their great explorations across the globe using two layered dials to do this. The artwork is all handcrafted over the two overlapping dials; the top layer is a portion of the globe, the historical map while the bottom layer features the twelve numerals with the hour that moves across a 132 degree scale of minutes.
This is a 40mm x 12.21mm thick watch with a unique Grand Feu enameled dial. The case is constructed of 18 karat yellow gold and attached to an alligator skin band that adds to the old world look and feel. It operates on an automatic movement for a more modern touch and gives the wearer the ability to get the minutes reading at a glance with the hour numeral acting as the minute hand. This watch contains all of the company’s expertise in both artistic and technical talent and utilized it to its fullest and will cost the owner an easy $100,000, if they are lucky enough to get their hands on one.
The Les Cabinotiers is the thinnest watch listed here and is a manually wound watch. Vacheron liked the idea of a manual wind watch for this piece to give the owner a ‘throwback’ experience of days of the past where you had to wind your watch in order for it to operate but gives you 34 hours of power reserve when fully wound. The case is constructed of 18k rose gold and is attached to a black alligator skin band which gives it a rich, masculine appeal.
The watch is complex in its mechanism but simple in that it is a time-only watch with no calendar on its face. The case diameter measures 37.0mm x 8.2mm thick with a skeletonized back. It is also water-resistant up to 30m or 100ft and is the perfect watch for either dress or casual wear. This watch is priced at $387,000.
The Kallista is a watch that will be talked about in the watch industry for decades to come. The original Kallista was developed in 1979 for approximately $5 million and today, it is estimated to be around $11 million. The 2nd Kallista is a similar designed watch, this one, with a white gold body and is elegantly encrusted with 186 emerald-cut diamonds over its entirety. The weight of the watch is just over 160 carats and like its predecessor, this is a ladies watch. In order to get the emerald-cut diamonds set just perfectly, it took over 20 months and required 6,000 man hours to construct the watch from beginning to end.
The watch is 1400 caliber and hand wound with a mechanical movement. It beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and is available in two sizes, on a bracelet set, it can be purchased in either 380 or 560 diamonds. If you prefer, you can also purchase the watch in an alligator mississipiensis strap as well. If you can afford a Vacheron Kallista, you will own one of the most magnificent watches ever made.
Vacheron has released some incredible watches for the year 2017 and although there are several more that are new to their lineup this year, these are at the top of their list. No matter which watch is your favorite from Vacheron’s lineup, just having the name Vacheron on the watch means you own one of the finest watches in the world.
About Vacheron Constantin
Jean-Marc Vacheron was an independent watch maker and founded started his watch making company back in 1755 in Geneva, Switzerland. It was in 1770 that he created the first complication followed by the creation of the first engine-turned dials, some nine years later. The company changed hands a couple of times, first with Jean-Marc’s son Abraham taking over the business in 1785, and later his grandson, Jacques-Barthelemy, in 1810, after Abraham held on to the business and sustained it through the American Revolutionary war, 1789-1799.
Under Jacques-Barthelemy’s leadership, exporting his pieces to France and Italy began, which was requiring a great deal of travel. In order to keep the business running smoothly, he took on an associate in 1819, Francois Constantin who began to travel the world for the business and market the watches. The company now operated under the name Vacheron & Constantin, along with a new company motto, “Do better if possible, and that is always possible.” The motto was first seen in a letter from Constantin to Jacques- Barthelemy, dated July 5, 1819, and is the motto still used today.