Founded in Geneva in 1755, the Vacheron Constantin watchmaking manufacture is the oldest in the world, having been in business uninterrupted for over 250 years.
Vacheron Constantin: centuries of quality
In 1755 Jean-Marc Vacheron, a young watchmaker opened his workshop in the heart of Geneva. Well-educated, with an inquiring mind, inspired by humanistic tradition, this cabinotier was soon making watches whose fame would gradually spread to all corners of the world.
In 1819, an experienced entrepreneur, François Constantin joined the descendants of Jean-Marc Vacheron. For decades he criss crossed Europe, opening up new markets for the ingenious products of the now renamed Vacheron & Constantin
In 1839, in a event notable both for the history of watchmaking and for the firm, an outstanding technical director, Georges-Auguste Leschot, was hired. This engineer produced the very first machines enabling mechanical production of watch parts. Thus, Vacheron Constantin revolutionized the production and sale of watches.
In 1880, Vacheron Constantin registered the Maltese Cross trademark. In fact, the new symbol was actually a small component placed on the cover of the cylinder which made it possible to regulate release of the spring, and thus improve performance of the watch.
During the whole of the 20th century Vacheron Constantin continued to consolidate its reputation, extend its know-how and develop innovative ideas. Today, as in the past, the creations of Vacheron Constantin are the combined result of three qualities: technical expertise, design excellence and elaborate finish.
Today Vacheron Constantin has 250 staff with an average age of 35. It owns two complementary production sites, one the Geneva Head Office and the other at la Vallée de Joux. Together they produce a small number of exceptional watches -13,500 per year- showing the clear preference for quality over volume. Designing and producing all its intricacies in house, the factory also decorates each of its movements: angled bridges, drawn flanks, screws polished one by one, which are all then individually assembled by hand.