One of life's great pleasures is travel. The opportunity to view distant lands, experience new munchies, sample exotic cultures and meet local citizens is definitely rewarding. One of my most prized experiences when I visit any new land is always to sample local produce, manufactured goods and understand local industry and commerce.
When I visit Geneva, Switzerland I relish the ability to shop, research and be amazed by the fabulously artesian craft of exclusive watch making found in the city's endless jewelry rolex replica ateliers. The city of Geneva may be the center of Swiss timepiece manufacturing and the array of brands, models and stupendously elegant, technologically advanced watches on display is the ultimate expertise in viewing " old world " craftsmanship in contemporary times. One of my reactions on seeing the feast of horlogerie on display in Geneva is obviously this: who buys these watch styles, from lots of limited production houses, at such stunning prices?
Obviously, the international requirement for exclusive, custom-built watches is large and growing. Rolex, Piaget, Chopard, Audemars Piquet and lots of other centuries old exclusive watch manufacturers are headquartered in Geneva. The oldest, as well as in many ways essentially the most exclusive, is Vacheron Constantin. This venerable house offers an excellent instance of how a historical brand stays in front of the competition, keeps reinventing itself and prospering through constant innovation.
Vacheron Constantin was founded in 1755 by Jean-Jacques Vacheron. Mr. Vacheron was an excellent jeweler and watchmaker, in addition to a progressive businessman. In 1770 his new Company come up with first 'complication' and lots of years later Mr. Vacheron invented and installed in his timepieces the novel 'engine turned dials'. These early advances in technology helped establish the track record of quality and performance that the business enjoys to this day.
After narrowly surviving the horrors from the French Revolution, Vacheron Constantin became one from the first watchmakers to export. First to France and Italy, and then, above all North America, the Company enjoyed early 1800s success one of many newly rich industrialists and aristocrats who sought craftsmanship, exclusivity and type in timepieces. The Company's branding motto, 'Do better if possible, and it is always possible' was first used in 1819 and it is still being used today.
Vacheron Constantin was the first manufacturer to perfect production of standardized movements into 'Calibers'. The Art Society of Geneva awarded the Company the Gold Medal in 1844 for inventing the breakthrough 'pantographic device', an innovation that further separated Vacheron Constantin from competitor's production technology. In 1885 the Company introduced pieces made out of novel non-magnetic technology, including movement components made out of palladium and gold.
In 1906 the 1st Company owned store was opened about the Quai de I'lle and the boutique is still operating in the same location even today. During World War I, the Great Depression and World War II the Company struggled, but managed to remain solvent by catering to the fashion conscious with stunning new design and styling cues. After the conclusion of fighting in Europe in 1945, the Company immediately began marketing new strategies and products to regain hegemony.
The 'Patrimony' model was then introduced. This is one of the most famous, exclusive and collectible watches in the world. The 'Patrimony' was the world's thinnest watch, having a thickness of only 5.25 mm.
The 'Kallista' model has been available since the 1970's. The 'Kallista' is considered essentially the most expensive and exclusive watch on earth. Initially sold for $5 million, it is currently valued at $11 million. 'Kallista' is enriched with 118 emerald cut diamonds, requires 6000 hours of master watch maker labor and 20 months of detailed embellishment by the finest jewelers in Switzerland.
Today, after over 2 ?? centuries of producing one of the most www.getbestrolex.com desirable watches and timepieces on the planet, Vacheron Constantin will continue to enjoy good success and demand for product is in excess of supply. The Company, now a subsidiary of luxury goods powerhouse Richemont Group, makes only 20,000 pieces per year. The exclusive pieces are sold in 16 Company owned stores and much less that 500 carefully chosen luxury retailers in 80 countries. Vacheron Constantin watches happen to be worn by Napoleon Bonaparte, Pope Pius VI, Nicholas Sarkoszy, Harry Truman, Clark Gable along with the Duke of Windsor only to name a few from the famous people known to sport this classic brand.
Any research conducted on the history of watch makers will uncover a plethora of brands that would not survive competition, changing tastes or technological advances. Vacheron Constantin has not yet only survived, but flourished and turn into one from the handful of consumer products (think Ferrari, Dom Perignon, Brioni,
Faberge, Chanel) which exist as category icons. When fashionable people seek the finest quality and craftsmanship in timepieces they immediately think Vacheron Constantin.