From September 25th to 28th 2013, the Manufacture is turning the spotlight in Asia on an array of striking watches. This encounter, based on the principle of sharing, marks Vacheron Constantin’s determination to present a particular facet of its uninterrupted activity since 1755.
At a very early stage, the Geneva-based manufacturer made a name for itself with exceptional striking watches. The founder’s grandson Jacques Barthélémi Vacheron, was himself a specialist of repeater watches before taking the reins of the Maison in the early 19th century.
The firm’s reputation in the making of striking watches thus naturally grew and the most famous collectors commissioned their own models – such as Sir Bhupindra Singh, the Maharajah of Patiala, who acquired a pocket chronograph clockwatch with alarm, date and moon phases dated 1909; or the famous American automobile manufacturer James Ward Packard, who ordered in 1918 a quarter and half-quarter repeating pocket chronograph clockwatch with Grande and Petite Sonnerie.
Visitors to the exhibition will be able to discover an 1812 red gold quarter-repeater pocket watch with a guilloché dial testifying to this longstanding tradition, along with an 1827 pocket watch with quarter repeater, jumping hours and small seconds. Each of the exhibition showcases will provide an opportunity to take a closer look at the mysteries of a rare horological complication much sought-after by well-known collectors.
The advent of the wristwatch in the 20th century led watchmakers to seek and find ingenious ways of miniaturising striking mechanisms in order to meet the demands of smaller and slimmer cases. This quest gave rise to spectacular feats of ultimate finesse, such as this 1955 minute repeater model equipped with a calibre measuring less than 3.28 mm thick. Other ultra-thin timepieces housing a number of complications were to follow, each expressing pure and exquisite beauty – as is admirably embodied in this exhibition by a minute repeater featuring a movement entirely openworked and decorated by hand.
For the first time in Hong Kong, Vacheron Constantin evokes an aspect of Fine Watchmaking that is as fascinating today as it has always been. Once again, the precious timepieces from the Geneva-based Maison are an open invitation to explore the beating heart of human genius.