Vacheron Constantin: A Supreme Brand
For those avid timekeeping fans, Vacheron Constantin needs no introduction. Since 1755, the Swiss powerhouse have been producing hundreds of thousands of luxury wrist and pocket watches gaining them a reputation as one of the best manufacturers in history.
They’ve gained some pretty famous fans along the way too with royalty such as King Fuad I of Egypt and Queen Elizabeth II known to have a personal collection of Vacheron Constantin watches. Although historically the brand has been reserved for the super elite, in recent times popularity has increased to the wider market with consumers putting VC right alongside Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe in their buying decision.
With that said, let’s take you through some of the standout pieces of the current Vacheron Constantin range and see where bargains can be found to get this historic brand into your very own watch collection.
The Cheapest Vacheron Constantin: The Patrimony
New from: £16,000
Used from: c. £3,000
We start off with a staple of the Vacheron Constantin range, the Patrimony. Introduced in 2004, the watch takes inspiration from some of the company’s older models from the 50’s and 60’s. As we all know with timepieces, sometimes simple can be the best and it’s the Patrimony’s classy, no fuss design that makes it so popular.
The current range comes in a variety of colour combinations to suit your taste – mix and match platinum or rose gold cases with a choice of blue, black and dark brown leather straps. As specifications go this watch prides itself on its ultra-thin, compact size with a standard 41mm face coming in with a razor-like 8.10mm thickness. Inside the case it’s equally as impressive; you’ll find VC’s 1731 calibre movement delivering 3Hz frequency and 65 hour power reserve.
As can sometimes be found with Vacheron Constantin, the manufacturer put all their Patrimony pieces on sale with a ‘price on request’ label. But if you search around online, you’ll find the Patrimony comes in at around £16,000 brand new. If you’re looking to enter the market at a lower point, the second hand offering will set you back around £3,000 – but be warned, this will be for an older, lower spec version of the Patrimony compared to the one seen above.
A Nod To The Past – The Vacheron Constantin Historiques
New from: £30,000
Used from: c. £18,000
As we move further up the ladder, VC honour their long past all the way back to the 1800’s with the Historiques range. To quote Vacheron Constantin directly from their website, the Historiques “provides contemporary reinterpretations of iconic models from the heritage of the Maison.” And it’s easy to see this throwback in the design styles of these watches.
For this section we’ll take a look specifically at the Historiques American 1921 given that it’s an extra unique piece. The first thing you’ll notice here is the quirky, off centre design style with each number transitioned about 25° clockwise. Alongside this you’ll notice the old fashion font stylings of the numbering as well as the addition of a small seconds counter. You’ll even notice the crown is off centre too, sitting in the top right corner above the 12 o’clock indicator.
This particular version comes in with a 36.5mm face, black/brown alligator strap and rose gold case. It’s definitely an eye catcher and inside packs a punch too with the Vacheron Constantin 4400AS calibre movement offering 1Hz higher frequency than the movement we saw inside the Patrimony.
VC will actually give you a price on this one directly on their website and it will set you back a cool £30,000. Saying that, models can be found new online with other retailers at around the £25,000 mark and a bargain can be found used if you have £18,000 in your pocket.
Bonus – The Historiques range has a number of different models within it, we suggest checking out the ‘Triple Calendar 1942’ or the ‘Ultra-Fine 1955’ if you like the old fashion styling without the quirky tweaks of the American 1921.
The Sporty One – Vacheron Constantin Overseas
New from: £21,000
Used from: New Model – £12,000 Older Model – .c £3,000
No watch manufacturer’s range is now complete without having a sports option to offer and VC are no different with their flagship sports piece, the Overseas. Since the launch in 1996, the Overseas range has varied massively as the popularity of sports watches has grown and the current range itself has huge variety – it’s that variety which also makes it VC’s most well known watch to high-end consumers.
We’re going to take a look at the newest addition to the range, the Overseas Dual Time, with the recently updated version released only in 2018.
With it’s 41mm face and steel bracelet, it’s sturdy without being a burden on the wrist and is styled beautifully with soft navy/white dials that keep it looking modern and fresh. It has a range of indications such as a second time zone trackers, small seconds counter and a day/night indicator and as we all expect with modern sports watches, certified water resistance to 150m.
Brand new, the Overseas Dual Time enters the market at the £21,000 point, with prices fairly consistent across multiple retailers, including VC themselves, given this model’s relatively short time on the market. On the preowned sites you can look to shave approximately £3,000 off the brand new asking price for this model, with deals under £12,000 for the older versions which unfortunately, in our opinion, don’t quite have the same modern look and feel.
Bonus – As with the Historiques, the Overseas range is huge with many different stylings to suit individual tastes – we recommend checking out the full range on Vacheron Constantin’s website here.
Vacheron Constantin’s Most Expensive Watch – The Kallista
We wanted to finish this piece with a bit of fun! Vacheron Constantin are known for making high class timepieces and have some very expensive pieces in the range, but what’s the most expensive they’ve ever made?
In 1979, VC teamed up with well-known French artist Raymond Moretti to create a piece that was truly unique, the Kallista. Studded with 118 emerald cut diamonds, taking over 2 years to create and with more than 6,000 man hours poured into it, the Kallista instantly became the most expensive watch of all time, valued at a whopping $5m.
But it didn’t stop there, at an event in 2016, it later went on to be valued even higher at an eye-watering $11m making it one of the most sought after, elite watches ever created – talk about ageing well!
Take a look at the photo below and see for yourself the intricacy and craftsmanship of this beautiful watch.
That’s it for our quick look at Vacheron Constantin – we think you’ll agree they make some wonderful watches and it’s not surprising they are one of the oldest and most successful luxury Swiss manufacturers. As always, you can head on over to the Watch & Bullion store to see which watches we currently have in stock and see for yourself which VC’s we’ve had the pleasure of holding over the years!