Most have at least heard of the Vacheron Constantin luxury watch brand due to their exceptional quality, craftsmanship and, of course, high price tag. As the oldest fine watch manufacturer in the world, Vacheron Constantin was established in Geneva, Switzerland in 1755 by Jean Marc Vacheron. Over the years, the company has exuded the highest standards of style and excellence that you can put on your wrist. Vacheron watches have played a critical role in the technology and innovation of timepieces since their conception.
Some of the most notable consumers of the Vacheron watch include the Duke of Windsor, Harry Truman, Pope Pius IX and Napoleon Bonaparte. To pay tribute to this incredible brand full of skilled craftsman, the following is a list of 10 of the finest Vacheron watches of all-time.
Patrimony Grand Taille Manual 40mm
Costing a meter $18,000, the Patrimony Grand Taille Manual 40mm watch is available in a 40mm diameter with 6.7mm thick 18 carat rose gold casing and brown alligator skin strap. The watch boasts a silver dial and 18 carat rose gold primary hand with hour markers and 40 hours of power built into the back of the case. The watch is elegant, yet simple, especially for those who enjoy a high quality, luxurious watch at a lower price tag than those on this list.
Overseas Dual Time
Costing around $60,000, the Overseas Dual Time watch features an 18 carat gold case that measure 42mm by 12.45mm thick. The style is complicated with automatic movement, a second time zone featuring day and night indicators, a 40-hour power reserve; an hour, minute and central second indicator and water resistance of up to 15 meters.
Tribute to Great Explorers
The Tribute to Great Explorers is a limited edition, international watch in which Vacheron Constantin only produced 60. The case is comprised of 18 carat yellow gold and measures 40mm x 12.21mm thick. The band is made from alligator skin and the enameled dial is Grand Feu. The hours and minutes function has an automatic movement to provide a more modern touch. The Tribute to Great Explorers limited edition watch costs a little over $100,000 if you can find someone to sell it to you.
Malte Tonneau Openworked Tourbillon
Featuring a case constructed from pink gold weighing 18 carats, the Malte Tonneau Openworked Tourbillon watch measures 36mm x 48mm with a thickness of 11.8mm’s. The watch is tonneau-shaped and boasts a transparent case backing due to the sapphire glass. This watch is comprised of 246 parts with 27 jewels. Other features include a power reserve that allows the watch to last 45 hours, a hand-type calendar and hour, minute and little second hand indicators with a small second hand also on the tourbillon. The watch runs around $218,900.
Malte Tourbillon Skeleton
The Malte Tourbillon Skeleton features a tonneau-shaped platinum case that measures 50mm x 40mm and thickness of only 13.15mm’s. The back of the case is transparent and has 251 round brilliant diamonds set in the bezel for a total carat weight of 1.9. Also set into the case are 30 baguette diamonds that weigh a total of 3.6 carats. Like several others on this list, the Malte Tourbillon Skeleton is a Grand Complication-style watch boasting a black alligator band. If you have an extra $320,000 lying around, this watch could be yours.
The Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers is the thinnest watch on this list and needs to be manually wound to function. Manual winding transports the owner of this watch back to the days when watches were not mass produced but completely mechanical. The case is constructed from rose fold weighing 18 carats and the strap is made from black alligator skin. The watch also features a power reserve that can go 34 hours without needing a manual wind. This “battery” life is better than most electronic devices. You can purchase this gem for $387,000.
Malte Tourbillon Regulator
Valued at around $700,000, the Malte Tourbillon Regularo watch is tonneau-shaped and includes a black leather strap, tourbillon, 263 baguette-cut diamonds inset into the dial of the watch as well as 274 similarly-cut diamonds set into the case. This model is part of Vacheron’s high jewelry collection.
Costing a cool $725,000, the Patrimony Traditionnelle considered a Grand Complication watch featuring a rose gold case that weighs 18 carats, silver dial and brown alligator band. The watch boasts a manual movement in addition to functions in hours, minutes and seconds on tourbillon. Additional functions include a perpetual calendar, power reserve in the back of the watch and a minute repeater.
Tour de I’lle
Released to the public in 2005 to mark the 250th anniversary of the company, the Vacheron Tour de I’lle only has seven pieces in circulation. The watch boasts a horological and astronomical indication at 16 points, a minute repeater, perpetual calendar, tourbillon device, sunset time, equation of time and representation of the evening sky on the face of the watch.
Valued at around $6.5 million, this watch was specially commissioned by a businessman from Europe. The watch is so new that the company has not even come up with a name yet. Once complete, the watch will boast a calendar including start chart, leap year, celestial annual calendar, sunrise and sunset indicator, tourbillon, regulator, power reserve, age and phases of the moon day and night indicator, multiple time zones and power reserve. With so many different functions and combinations, this watch could easily take several years to complete.
In 1979, the Vacheron Constantin Kallista was developed for around $5 million. In 2016 dollars, the estimate for this watch is around $11 million. With 118 emerald-cut diamond inset into the watch, the company required 6,000 man-hours to build the watch start-to-finish. In order to encrust the jewels, it took the company around 20 months to inset them into the watch. In addition to using the highest quality and most durable material on earth, the long lead time for creating the watch is another one of the reasons it is $11 million.
The aforementioned 10 watches are not only some of the best watches made by Vacheron Constantin, they are some of the best in the world and the high price tag reflects that quality. If you can afford it, you will not regret having a Vacheron Constantin on your wrist.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker