On August 1, 2016, the Shanghai Vacheron Constantin Les Collectionneurs collection theme exhibition was officially unveiled at the Shanghai Vacheron Constantin House, displaying a series of antique timepieces repurchased and restored by Vacheron Constantin. The 25 historical timepieces selected from the Les Collectionneurs collection interpret the long history and exquisite craftsmanship of Vacheron Constantin, and show the rich historical wealth of this legendary brand from a unique perspective. In this exhibition, the timepieces on display are classic and elegant, providing collectors and connoisseurs with a rare opportunity to appreciate and own a perfect Vacheron Constantin antique timepiece. Each Les Collectionneurs collection timepiece is accompanied by a certificate issued by the brand and placed in a case specially designed for antique timepieces. The exhibition will be open to the public from August 1 to September 18, 2016.
Chronograph minute repeater pocket watch in 18K yellow gold, 1925
Art of restoration
Since 1755, Vacheron Constantin has been committed to creating extraordinary timepieces that showcase outstanding watchmaking skills. The exhibition includes 17 pocket watches born between 1905 and 1953 and eight watches born between 1940 and 1966. The Les Collectionneurs collection interprets classic aesthetics, expressing Vacheron Constantin’s superb craftsmanship and timeless fine watchmaking. Spiritual tribute.
18K Yellow Gold Double Seconds Chronograph Pocket Watch, 1924
Vacheron Constantin’s Geneva headquarters has 25 watchmakers dedicated to repairs and restorations. Their mission is to inherit watchmaking skills and to maintain all the timepieces that Vacheron Constantin has created since its establishment. In fact, the brand has three workshops dedicated to restoring Vacheron Constantin’s precious timepieces since the 18th century. Two of these workshops are responsible for repairing timepieces sent for private repairs: one is for repairing newly developed complication or advanced complication timepieces, and the other is for repairing various clocks created between 1930 and 1980. The third workshop focuses on repairing the oldest timepieces. Among the timepieces repaired in recent years, the oldest is the engraved pocket watch produced in 1824 sent back by Italy. This pocket watch may be sold by Mr. Francois Constantin himself. The delicate balance wheel is also engraved with ‘ Vacheron ‘.
18-karat yellow gold minute repeater watch, 1951
These long-established timepieces are in charge of four watchmakers, including two watchmakers, a tuning master and a bearing master, who will accurately reproduce the old hairspring, shaft and pivot. When engaged in this work, it is bound to encounter a space-time problem, that is, finding the materials used at the time, reproducing the processing technology at the time, and even using the machines and tools at the time! The old fixed engraving knives, various milling cutters and machines used in the workshop are valuable treasures saved during the development of Vacheron Constantin. These well-maintained equipment can be operated with a little lubricating oil, and are used to repair the baptism of nearly 100 years. Design works.
18K Pink Gold Hidden Women’s Watch, 1948
The first step in restoring antique timepieces is to consult Vacheron Constantin’s archives, carefully study the original state of the timepiece, and then start rigorous restoration work. Thanks to Vacheron Constantin’s long history of uninterrupted production for more than 260 years, since 1755, the original archives of each timepiece manufactured by it have been recorded and preserved intact. Watchmakers will then search for similar parts in the stock or antique watch parts market. If the required part cannot be obtained, the damaged part must be accurately reproduced one-to-one. The repair work is not limited to the internal movement, but also the appearance of the timepiece. Changes in time have made certain materials extremely valuable. Restoration workshops often need to consult Vacheron Constantin’s jewellery craftsmen, machine engraving sculptors, and jewellery inlays. Repairing antique timepieces is like hanging a pot to practice medicine, and rejuvenating the magical hand to zero can only give new life to the timepiece. No matter how fragmented it was when it was sent for repair, the repair in the workshop was intact.
18K Pink Gold ‘Hunting Case’ Pocket Watch, 1905
Vacheron Constantin heritage
18K White Gold Coverless Pocket Watch, 1930
These classic antique timepieces, well-preserved by watch collectors, exhibited in the thematic collections of the Les Collectionneurs collectors series, played an important role in Vacheron Constantin’s heritage of history. Originating from the brand’s sense of mission to inherit the Swiss watchmaking culture, Vacheron Constantin’s heritage department has consistently maintained and maintained the tangible and intangible assets accumulated by the brand over 260 years. Expertise and creativity give the brand the ability to preserve and ingeniously restore classic outstanding works and ensure their authenticity. Beginning in 2014, Vacheron Constantin launched a cooperation program with the two laboratories affiliated with the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland to transform the brand’s outstanding archives into an orderly information system and allow it to grow. This collaborative project, dubbed ‘Chronogram,’ is constantly showing the world the rich heritage of Vacheron Constantin. Three devices-each inspired by mask art, fencing helmets, and panoramic binoculars-immerse the experience in the history of Vacheron Constantin. ‘Chronicles’ combines digital technology with traditional skills, allowing the relationship between the real and virtual worlds to be renewed.
Vacheron Constantin Les Collectionneurs collection theme exhibition
When: August 1 to September 18, 2016, 10:00-22:00
Address: Vacheron Constantin House, 796 Huaihai Middle Road, Shanghai