Brand Directory: Vacheron Constantin

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Born in Geneva, Jean-Marc Vacheron was the youngest of a master weaver’s five sons. Jean-Marc Vacheron created his watchmaking workshop at the age of 24. The company was founded on September 17, 1755, This makes it the world's oldest watch manufacturer in continuous operation.

In 1810, Jacques-BarthĂ©lĂ©mi Vacheron took over the business. His impact on the company saw Vacheron enters the world of great watchmakers. At that time, his workshop began making intricate and ever more complicated pieces, such as musical watches that played two melodies. Commercially the company soon developed and expanded beyond Switzerland’s borders, first in neighbouring France and then in Italy.

In 1819 François Constantin met with Jacques-Barthélémi Vacheron. Both men came from Geneva, sharing a passion for stylish and complicated watches. The "Vacheron et Constantin" company was soon to be created.

American watch industry became evermore a threat, therefore Jacques-Barthélémi Vacheron decided to hand his business to his son in 1844. Charles-César Vacheron designed an efficient process for the factory and moved the business into new markets such as China, Spain, India and Cuba.

1906 saw the grand opening of the first Vacheron Constantin Boutique in Geneva.

The great-grandnephew of François Constantin joined the business in 1914 after completing his studies at the École d'Horlogerie de Genùve. It was during this time that the First World War broke out, and he was conscripted and sent to the northern border.

Vacheron Constantin's models have been appreciated and worn by the Faruk of Egypt, the Shah of Iran and the Duke of Windsor amongst many other famous characters over the years. In 1955 Vacheron Constantin celebrated its bi-centenary and on this occasion introduced the world’s thinnest watch movement at 1,64mm.

Vacheron Constantin became the first watchmaking company to collect the rare and highly desirable “Diplîme Prestige de la France” which recognises their talent in craftsmanship and design in 1972.

A new production facility was built in Plan-Les-Ouates, Geneva, as well as a renovation of the brand’s historical headquarters now known as the “Maison Vacheron Constantin”. 2005 Vacheron Constantin celebrated its 250th anniversary