If there is one Swiss brand a watch collector ought to have in his or her arsenal, it would have to be Vacheron Constantin. This time-honoured manufacture has maintained its position at the pinnacle of high watchmaking since the beginning of its long history, and the fact that it has spanned generations makes its reputation all the more impressive. The brand caught my fancy from the beginning. Any why not? With a client book that reads like a Who’s Who of the past 250-plus years, Vacheron Constantin’s lineage is certainly beyond question.
Since its earliest days, Vacheron Constantin was the Swiss government’s gift of choice for royalty and heads of state. In the 1950s, a few years after the end of World War II, when the Allied leaders met at the Palace of Nations in Geneva for peace talks, all of them, including US President Dwight Eisenhower and British Prime Minister Anthony Eden, were presented with one of the brand’s models as a commemorative gift. Even Queen Elizabeth received a timepiece from the Swiss government upon her coronation in 1953.
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