Annals of Vacheron & Constantin: 1914 to 1938 - Episode 1

Nov 02, 2022,23:28 PM

It is approaching 10 years since I distributed this self-published booklet to fellow Vacheron Constantin enthusiasts at the 2013 edition of the Salon International de Haute Horlogerie, now Watch & Wonders.  By sharing with my friends here at WatchProSite, I hope to stimulate further interest in the rich history of this noble brand.

In 1927, Charles Constantin, the great-grand nephew of François Constantin, was Managing Director of the Company.  He collaborated with author Louise Plan to research the extensive collection of letters and documents in the archives of Vacheron & Constantin.  The results were privately published as the Annales de la Maison d'Horlogerie Vacheron & Constantin: 1785 to 1914.

Charles Constantin (1887 - 1954)

Some of you may already know that excerpts from these Annales were published in English as the forward to Antiquorum's 1994 auction catalog: The Art of Vacheron Constantin.  What I hope comes as a pleasant surprise is the knowledge that Constantin returned to his manuscript in 1944 and added a final chapter; the Sixth Era from 1914 to 1938.  Here he accounted for the effect on Vacheron & Constantin of such historic events as the Great War, Great Depression and merger with Jaeger-LeCoultre.

With copyright on the original material long expired, I am able to share this material with you.  Although hampered by the formal, sometimes archaic and technical, language used by the author, I trust this rendition is faithful to the original as it was assembled with the assistance of a professional translator.  My intention is to share a few pages every week.  Enjoy! 

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Reading this....

 By: InHavenPro : November 3rd, 2022-00:03
will be a monumental treat for me . Much appreciated, Filip

Their treasures are many

 By: Tick Talk : November 3rd, 2022-14:18
In addition to the objects of horology, these writings allow us to glimpse the social, political and economic influences that shaped the company over time.

I missed this at SIHH 2013!

 By: patrick_y : November 3rd, 2022-03:46
Looks great!

I'm sorry I missed you

 By: Tick Talk : November 4th, 2022-20:54
we had such a wonderful time when VC hosted their Hour Lounge friends


 By: patrick_y : November 5th, 2022-03:52
I wasn't an active member on Hour Lounge, but it was a wonderful community. It's too bad that it's no longer active.

It's still around

 By: Tick Talk : November 5th, 2022-17:23
but has gone behind closed doors.

Ahh. Good to know.

 By: patrick_y : November 6th, 2022-04:27
Good group! I ran into a bunch of Hour Lounge participants at a Rolls-Royce dinner in Monterey nearly about a decade ago. Good times.

Can the annals be found online somewhere?

 By: RayStantzPhD : November 3rd, 2022-09:05
I am particularly interested in everything that is connected to the work and influence of Georges-Auguste Leschot. That would be from 1839 onwards then. Thanks anyway for the great read, Alex

Unfortunately not

 By: Tick Talk : November 3rd, 2022-14:06
But perhaps Leschot will have his collaboration with V&C told here in the future!

That would be great!

 By: RayStantzPhD : November 3rd, 2022-14:29
I would love to hear more details about the time and his impact that goes beyond the pantograph story.

Certainly a rich history …

 By: Cpt Scarlet : November 3rd, 2022-09:24
Thank you for sharing this with us.

A great post and a wonderful book!

 By: respo : November 3rd, 2022-13:26
I am honored to have a copy of this labor of love as an often consulted reference in my library. Thank you for this broader share of this treasure. All best, respo

Time flies!

 By: Tick Talk : November 3rd, 2022-14:12
It gives me great pleasure to know you found this little tome useful

Thank you

 By: BDW : November 3rd, 2022-14:18
Thanks for sharing - this is great!

Thank you, Nico

 By: Tick Talk : November 4th, 2022-13:43

It is a wonderful thing to sit quietly and listen to a story.

 By: teacher Sun : November 4th, 2022-09:34
Compared to the average vintage VC enthusiast, the depth of your research is admirable.

no photo of "tuyau" calibre

 By: Tick Talk : November 4th, 2022-22:52
in the Annales unfortunately.

how much is 1200 francs in 1919

 By: teacher Sun : November 23rd, 2022-03:21
1919 Franc exchange rate continued to fall