Vacheron Constantin Watches Review
You’d think that watches would be a relatively new thing, and they sort of are, as the modern wristwatch didn’t become popular with the public until the conclusion of World War I. Prior to that, most people who needed a time piece used a pocketwatch, but the wristwatch was better suited to modern day life.
Still, while the modern watch is fairly new, watches themselves, particularly pocket watches, are far older than you may realize, and Vacheron Constantin is one of the world’s oldest watch manufacturers, having been established in Switzerland in 1755. Over the years, the company has produced timepieces for a wide variety of famous people, including Napoleon Bonaparte and Harry Truman.
They still make about 20,000 watches per year today and they’re well crafted and fairly expensive.
Read on for the full Vacheron Constantin watches review.
The build quality is exceptional, as you might expect from a company whose products have prices ranging into the millions of dollars. You’ll find cases of gold and timepieces with sapphire crystal to protect the watch face (as well as the back of the case on some models.) Water resistance is good enough, though Vacheron Constantin watches are not in the Rolex Sea Dweller range. These are luxury timepieces that you’ll be including in your will to leave to your children, and they’ll likely leave them to their children.
These watches feature handmade movements that are built in house. Their watches include both manually wound and automatic movements. We’re not aware of any quartz models in the company’s product line, and they’d probably frown at us for even bringing it up. If you’re buying a Vacheron Constantin watch, you’re buying mechanical all the way, as it probably should be.
The company has long been a leader in innovation. They were the world’s first company to produce a non-magnetic timepiece, and they did it way back in 1855, using parts made from gold and palladium. Their innovation continues today and in their product line, you’ll find lots of fascinating complications, including a tourbillon, the date, the day of the week, a perpetual calendar, power reserve, sunrise/sunset, equation of time, leap year, and and more.
In 2015, Vacheron Constantin was commissioned by a private buyer to create the world’s most complicated watch, and the company responded by building a timepiece with fifty seven different complications. Rest assured, they’re still on top of innovation.
Styling is elegant and luxurious. You’ll find cases of white, yellow and rose gold. Many women’s models are also amply decorated with diamonds. Bracelets are made of gold, though you’ll also find a number of models with leather.
Most models are traditional in their styling, so you’re not necessarily going to find vivid colors or “out there” styling in their product line, though they have certainly produced a few “edgy” designs in the past. These days, the company apparently no longer feels like showing off, at least in terms of looks. Their watches are suitable for the board room or an evening out, and you’ll never look out of place wearing one.
Care and maintenance will be a bit more burdensome than with other brands, as all Vacheron Constatin watches feature complex mechanical movements. That means that every 3-5 years, you’ll need to send the watch back to the company so that they can inspect it, clean it, and replace any parts that may be suffering from wear. By the time you get the watch back, you’ll think you just got a new one.
Aside from this consideration, you’ll want to keep your watch in a cool, dry place and away from extremes of temperature or strong magnetic fields. With proper care, you’ll find that these watches will last for decades.
The warranty included with purchase is the industry standard. When you buy one, you’ll receive a two year warranty against defects in materials and craftsmanship. Granted, that’s a relatively short warranty, especially for such a luxurious brand, and lots of other companies offer longer ones. On the other hand, these watches are thoroughly tested at the factory, so the chances that you’ll receive one with a legitimate defect are pretty slim.
There’s no getting around this part – these watches are expensive, and they’re expensive by any measure. We’re not aware of any models in the company’s product line that sell for less than five figures when new, and some models, especially super-limited edition models and one of a kind commissions, can run into the millions of dollars. That said, most of the company’s products probably fall into the low-mid five figure range. If you’re in the market for something interesting, you’d best bring $30,000-$50,000 or you’ll just be window shopping.
As is the case with many luxury brands, the company carefully controls both pricing and availability of their product line. That means that they want to have a say in not only who sells their products, but also in how much they’re selling them for. This is common among luxury watch brands, as they want to maintain an air of exclusivity for their product while avoiding something known as “diluting the brand.”
Because of this, you are only able to officially buy this brand through a handful of company owned boutiques as well as a handful of authorized retailers. When we say “handful,” we mean it; there are fewer than 15 official retail locations for the brand in the United States, though there are more in Europe.
On the other hand, it is possible to buy through the “gray market,” and for that, you’ll be able to find them at a few retail locations online. Not only that, but these online retailers will likely be your best opportunity to buy at a discount, though a discount still means “really expensive.”
If you’re in the market for something that is unquestionably a luxury watch, you should definitely consider Vacheron Constantin. They are part of watchmaking history, and they’ve long been at the center of innovation. Their timepieces are well built, beautiful, and legendary. They’ll last forever, and when people see you wearing one, they’ll know you’re wearing something special.