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A visit to Vacheron Constantin activity sites

Visiting the workshops of a watchmaking industry is an exciting experience for any watch enthusiast but visiting the world’s oldest watch Manufacture in uninterrupted activity since 1755 is much more. It is a journey in the history of Haute Horlogerie which also offers a glance to where it is headed in the future.

Vacheron Constantin has three main activity sites: the Maison in Geneva downtown, the workshops in the Vallee de Joux, 50 kilometres north of Geneva, and the international headquarters in Plain-les-Ouates, a municipality in the Canton of Geneva.


Our visit started from the Maison Vacheron Constantin in Geneva, at Quai de l'Ile / Rue des Moulins.  Once the headquarter of the Maison, today the building hosts museum and boutique.


On the first floor, the Vacheron Constantin Heritage Center offers visitors with the possibility to view tools and watches from 1755 to the present day, admiring master-craftsmen as they restore antique watches, leaf through the comprehensive Vacheron Constantin library or watch detailed video footage of many of the artisanal techniques and master crafts used in the production of Vacheron Constantin watches.


Control tool at 1/1000th of millimetre - beginning of XIX century

A magnificent grande complication pocket watch - beginning of XIX century

An Art Deco pocket watch created from rock crystal with skeleton movement in pink gold, platinum bezel, hands in platinum and diamonds - 1927

On ground floor, the boutique showcases the current collections enabling one to appreciate the evolution of the Vacheron Constantin timepieces from the origins up until the 21st century. The interior design is a beautiful mix of modern elements with natural materials like wood, bronze and leather.



The Maison Vacheron Constantin holds a central and special place in the history of the brand since 1875. Commissioned by Jean-François Constantin, the building was the work of architect Jacques Elysée Goss, who had already designed the Grand Théâtre de Genève. In 1901, Vacheron Constantin began setting up its museum there, before inaugurating the boutique on the ground floor in August 1906.


Before moving to Rue des Moulins, the old manufacture occupied various locations in downtown Geneva. The first watchmaking workshop was opened by Jean-Marc Vacheron in 1755 in the Saint-Gervais district. It is simply fascinating to see the incorporation act of the company signed by founder Jean-Marc Vacheron.



In 1843 - 24 years after François Constantin, a seasoned businessman and a peerless salesman, had joined the heirs of Jean-Marc Vacheron - the now called Vacheron et Constantin Maison established its headquarter in the Tour de l’Ile, the remains of an ancient 13th century fortified palace, today a town landmark.


At the Maison Vacheron Constantin there are several old machines used by watchmakers including a device called pantograph that was used for the centering and the drilling of holes in the bridges and plates of watch movements allowing watchmakers to create perfectly identical copies of components. The pantograph made possible the  interchangeability of parts on watches fitted with the same calibre.


This machine, like many others, was invented by technical director Georges-Auguste Leschot in 1839. Leschot was, without doubts, a key person in the history of Vacheron Constantin and watchmaking in general.

The visit to the Maison Vacheron Constantin was fascinating but to fully understand the manufacturing process of modern Vacheron Constantin timepieces we had to drive north of Geneva. Click here to transfer to the workshops in Le Brassus.

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Page 1: Geneva | Page 2: Le Brassus | Page 3: Plan-les-Ouates       


Name

A. Lange & Sohne,108,AkriviA,8,Alain Silberstein,1,alarm,10,Alpina,11,Andersen Geneve,2,Andersmann,2,Andreas Strehler,5,Angelus,4,annual calendar,34,Anonimo,15,Anthony de Haas,1,Antiquorum,2,Antoine Martin,2,Antoine Preziuso,1,Apple,1,Apple Watch,1,Aquadive,2,Aquastar,1,Armin Strom,54,Arnold and Son,22,Astarwatch,1,Atelier de Chronometrie,1,Ateliers deMonaco,2,Atmos,1,Auctions,68,Audemars Piguet,61,Autodromo,1,automaton,2,Bamford,2,Baselword 2022,1,Baselworld,8,BaselWorld 2013,50,BaselWorld 2014,53,Baselworld 2015,69,Baselworld 2016,27,Baselworld 2017,64,Baselworld 2018,75,Baselworld 2019,41,Baselworld 2020,2,Baume,3,Baume et Mercier,39,Bell & Ross,31,Bernard Lederer Universe,1,Bernhard Lederer,2,Bernhard Zwinz,1,bespoke,1,Blancpain,66,BLU,1,blue dial,3,Bonhams,2,Bovet,11,Brands histories,1,Breguet,92,Breitling,54,Bremont,1,Bremont Watch Company,4,Breva,2,bronze,21,Bücherei,1,Bulgari,75,Bulova,1,Burberry,1,C3H5N3O9,1,carbon,1,carillon,2,Carl F. Bucherer,2,Carl Suchy,1,Carrera,7,Cartier,43,ceramic,7,Certina,6,Chanel,3,Chaumet,3,chiming hour,7,Chopard,33,Christie's,6,Christophe Claret,5,Christopher Ward,9,chronograph,514,chronometer,32,Chronoswiss,5,Citizen,3,co-axial,1,column-wheel,7,complete calendar,12,complications,78,concept watch,5,Concord,1,constant-force,35,Corum,17,Credor,1,CSEM,1,Cyrus,19,Czapek,6,Dan Niederer,1,Davosa,1,Daytona,5,De Bethune,21,de Grisogono,3,dead seconds,18,detent escapement,2,DeWitt,9,diving,5,diving watches,277,double regulator,2,Doxa,18,drei,1,dress watches,398,dual time,83,Ebel,1,Eberhard,30,Edox,3,El Primero,35,Emile Chouriet,1,Emmanuel Bouchet,1,enamel dial,9,enamelling,15,Equation of time,8,ETA,1,Eterna,18,exhibitions,1,F.P.Journe,33,Faberge,2,factory tours,3,Favre-Leuba,1,feature article,56,features,93,Ferdinand Berthoud,5,flyback,42,Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie,1,Fortis,7,Franc Vila Founder,1,Franck Muller,7,Frederique Constant,13,FVF,1,Gallet,1,Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix,8,Georg Jensen,1,George Daniels,3,Gerald Charles,2,Gerald Genta,9,Girard-Perregaux,41,Glashuette,16,Glashuette Original,55,Glashütte,30,Glashütte Original,86,Glycine,4,GMT,83,GoS,1,GoS Watches,1,GPHG,12,GPHG 2020,3,GPHG 2021,1,GPHG2019,1,Graham,6,Grand Feu,4,Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve,13,Grand Seiko,21,Grande Complication,24,Grande Sonnerie,7,Greubel Forsey,32,Gronefeld,7,Grönefeld,7,Grossmann,3,guilloché,4,H. Moser and Cie,36,H20 Watch,1,Habring,9,Habring2,10,Hajime Asaoka,2,Hallmark of Geneva,2,Hamilton,27,hands-on,74,Hanhart,3,Harry Winston,11,Hautlence,5,Hermes,23,Heuer,1,high jewellery,1,Hublot,27,Hybris Artistica,1,Hydro Mechanical Horologists,7,HYT Watches,13,Icon,1,In pictures,7,independent watchmaker,16,industry news,186,interview,5,Interviews,5,IWC,122,Jaeger-LeCoultre,104,Jaquet Droz,55,Jean-Francois Mojon,1,Jean-Marc Pontroué,1,JeanRichard,3,jumping hours,31,Junghans,9,Kaj Korpela,1,Kari Voutilainen,7,Kenissi,1,Korpela,1,Krayon,3,Kudoke,3,Kurono,1,L'Epee 1839,1,Ladies watches,144,Lang & Heyne,3,Lange,37,large date,2,Laurent Ferrier,21,Laureus,1,Le Garde Temps,1,Lederer Watches,2,Leica,1,Lemania,1,Leroy,3,Linde Werdelin,2,Longines,66,Louis Erard,7,Louis Moinet,5,luxury steel watch,12,LVMH,9,LVMH 2020,6,M.A.D.Edition,1,Maîtres du Temps,1,Manufacture Contemporaine du Temps,3,Manufacture Royale,3,Marc Lang,1,marine chronometer,1,Maurice de Mauriac,2,Maurice Lacroix,6,MB&F,44,MCT,1,MeisterSinger,57,meteorite,2,metiers d'art,1,Mido,21,military watches,13,Minerva,1,Ming,1,Minute Repeater,49,monopusher chronograph,2,Montblanc,51,moon phases,106,Moritz Grossmann,27,Moser,33,Muhle,4,Mühle-Glashütte,3,mystery watches,3,Nautilus,7,New Britain Corp,1,new watches,2687,Nomos,48,Norqain,19,Ochs und Junior,4,Officine Panerai,86,Omega,137,Only Watch,8,Only Watch 2015,4,Only Watch 2017,2,Only Watch 2019,3,Only Watch 2021,3,Oris,34,paillonne,1,Panerai,87,Parmigiani,8,Parmigiani Fleurier,25,Pascal Coyon,1,Patek,35,Patek Philippe,104,Pedrozo & Piriz,1,perpetual calendar,118,Perrelet,8,Petermann Bedat,2,Phenomen,1,Philippe Dufour,1,Phillips,7,Piaget,23,Pierre DeRoche,1,pilot watch,83,Pisa,3,Pisa Circle,3,Pita,1,planetarium,1,platinum,4,pocket watch,3,pocket watches,2,Poincon de Geneve,2,Porsche Design,16,Pre-SIHH 2016: Cartier - Clé de Cartier Automatic Skeleton,1,pulsometer,5,Purnell,1,quartz,4,Rado,13,Ralf Tech,2,Ralph Lauren,2,rattrapante,18,Raul Pages,1,Raymond Weil,1,rectangular watches,11,reddot award,1,regatta,1,regulator,18,remontoire,5,Remy Cools,1,Reservoir,1,resonance,13,Ressence,8,retrograde,7,Revelation,1,Reverso,21,review,73,RGM,1,RGM Watch Co.,1,Richard Mille,88,Richemont,4,Richmond,1,Roger Dubuis,11,Roger Smith,1,Roger W. Smith,1,Rolex,52,Romain Gauthier,9,Romain Jerome,1,Royal Oak,23,Rudis Sylva,1,sapphire,3,Seamaster,2,Seiko,29,SevenFriday,9,SIHH,3,SIHH 2012,4,SIHH 2013,25,SIHH 2014,36,SIHH 2015,43,SIHH 2016,44,SIHH 2017,40,SIHH 2018,43,SIHH 2019,53,Singer,4,Singer Reimagined,6,single hand,10,single-hand watches,13,Sinn,13,skeleton,22,smartwatch,7,solar energy,1,Sotheby's,5,Speake-Marin,4,Speedmaster,24,split seconds,14,sport watches,652,Spring Drive,2,squelette,44,steampunk,1,Steinhart,1,striking time,15,SuisseMecanica,1,sunrise,2,sunset,2,Swatch,3,Swatch Group,16,table clocks,4,Tag Heuer,122,technical insight,2,terra Cielo Mare,1,Tiffany,17,Tissot,5,titanium,3,top news,185,Torsti Laine,1,tourbillon,292,Trilobe,2,Tudor,25,Tulloch,1,Tutima,2,ultra thin,27,Ulysse Nardin,33,Unimatic,1,Union Glashutte,7,Urban Jurgensen,29,Urwerk,18,Vacheron Constantin,73,Van Cleef & Arpels,7,Vauchier Fleurier,1,Vianney Halter,4,video,1,vintage watches,2,Vulcain,9,wandering hours,1,Watches & Wonders,34,Watches & Wonders 2020,19,Watches & Wonders 2021,28,Watches & Wonders 2022,2,Watches&Wonders,2,Winnerl,1,worldtime,41,Zannetti,1,Zeitwinkel,1,Zenith,90,Zodiac,7,
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Time and Watches | The watch blog: A visit to Vacheron Constantin activity sites
A visit to Vacheron Constantin activity sites
Vacheron Constantin has three main activity sites: the Maison in Geneva downtown, the workshops in the Vallee de Joux, 50 kilometres north of Geneva, and the international headquarters in Plain-les-Ouates, a municipality in the Canton of Geneva. Our visit started from the Maison Vacheron Constantin in Geneva, at Quai de l'Ile / Rue des Moulins. Once the headquarter of the Maison, today the building hosts museum and boutique.
Time and Watches | The watch blog
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