A 65th anniversary

I have just had my first encounter with some of the staff from Vacheron Constantin.

It happened because Klarlund who is the Vacheron Constantin retailer here in Denmark was celebrating their 65th anniversary. The event took place from the 25-27 of October and was located at a building called “Børsen”. Børsen was completed  in 1624, but over the years several changes have been made and the appearance of the building today dates back from 1883. It’s a beautiful building and the two rooms that were used for the event were the hall and the Library.

Here is a picture of the hall:

A 65th anniversary

Klarlund is the retailer of Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piquet, Rolex, Cartier, Panerai, Hublot,  TagHeuer, Tudor and Longines. All these brands were represented with a display area for their watches. Each company came with its own staff and samples of the company’s present watch collection. I think that Børsen was a great place to hold this event and especially for a brand like VC with its long history and its superior craftsmanship it seemed appropriate to be in these gorgeous locations.

Denmark is a small country so we are not used to seeing these companies here, so it was a change for the collectors to meet somebody from the companies.

I live just next door to one of Klarlund’s two shops but the shelves with Vacheron Constantin watches are empty most of the times because Chinese people buy all they have in stock. Klarlund used to have about five or six pieces on display, but those days are long gone. I believe the waiting list is now two years for a VC watch, but I might be wrong.

The event at Børsen gave me the chance of seeing some of the new pieces live.

I particularly liked the Patrimony Traditionelle 14 day tourbillion, American 1921, Ultra-Fine 1968.
It was also the first time for me to see the Patrimony Traditionelle World Timer. It looks great but was a bit bigger than I had imagined.
I had hoped to see some of the Métiers D’Art pieces but they weren’t presented. I would have loved to see any one of them, but that was not to be.

That evening I meet Vincent Brun whose title at VC is General Manager. He is a very pleasant and warm person and it was great to have that experience of an employee who loves the products of the company and its heritage.
During our talk I showed him some of my VC pieces. Vincent told me that next morning there would be a brunch that VC would arrange for the collectors and he invited me to participate.  I was quite honored.

At the brunch next morning I had the chance of meeting Stephanie Krieger who is the Public and Press Relations Manager at VC. Again I had this feeling of a very committed VC staff member and I noticed again the interest they show for the collectors. For me it was like meeting that family you had never known you had missed before.

At that brunch it appeared like I was the only VC collector with more than one piece. There were a couple of Overseas models and that was that. I’m not into sports watches, so for me that was a bit of a disappointment.  I had hoped to meet that twin brother whose heart is beating for Vacheron Constantin with a collection of timepieces spanning several centuries. 
However Vincent and Stephanie were wearing some beautiful classic VC pieces. ( The Overseas is of course also fine but I hope you know what I mean, we can’t love them all.)

On Thursday the 25 of October the event took off with a Gala-evening. You had to be specially invited and the dress code was as follows.
Long dresses for the ladies and a Tuxedo for the men. I had actually planned what watches I would wear, but since I had to arrive in black they were pretty quickly eliminated off the list because of the wrong color of the strap.
Damn! What was even worse was that it seems when checking out the Tuxedo that they all looked like clones of 007. No pocket watch opportunities, (hear sopping and crying). After some research I realized that one could wear a silk waistcoat and so I did. The research might have failed since I was the only one doing that, but I could wear one of my pocket watches. My wife went for a 1948 piece by Vacheron Constantin with a hidden watch. It’s quite impressive, very heavy and the size can best be described as XXX.

I have taken some pictures of the watches we were wearing and I do hope you will enjoy them. I went for two watches, a pocket watch and a wristwatch ( Ref 43038 )

Thanks to the staff from Klarlund that gave my wife and me the opportunity to attend this event and congratulations on your 65th anniversary.

Yours sincerely Kent

Art deco pocket watch from the front:

A 65th anniversary

Art deco pocket watch from the back:

A 65th anniversary

Ref 43038 front:

A 65th anniversary

Ref 43038 back:

A 65th anniversary

A ladies concealed bracelet watch from 1948:

A 65th anniversary

A ladies concealed bracelet watch from 1948 showing the watch

A 65th anniversary:

Thanks for the pics. Thanks for the report. Love the reference
11/02/2012 - 14:40
Thanks, KK.
11/03/2012 - 11:33
I’m glad that you also like the Ref 43038. It’s a ref number that VC didn’t have that long in their catalogs. I believe it is back from the late 80s and it’s out of the VC catalogs from aournd 1993. It’s a very simple model and there is nothing that distracts you from the beautiful engraved movement. For me the ref 43080 is the next model from VC with the same simplicity. However VC must have decided that they wanted to have ref number 43502 for a much longer time in their catalogs. That model was there for many more years and it appears in auctions more frequently. The case on that ref is made so that you can see the time more precisely. The case has a corner for every 5 minutes.  Yours sincerely Kent
Re: A 65th anniversary
11/02/2012 - 14:48
Interesting report Kent - thanks.  Some lovely watches and that's also an amazing venue you have there. I'm one of those upstarts who likes their sporty VCs cool  I can't say that I've come across any VC collectors in my neck of the woods either - hopefully one day there'll be enough interest to get a real push into Australia from Vacheron Constantin.  Until then I'll just enjoy being one of the very few, even if i'm just an apprentice smiley.
Thanks, Brent.
11/03/2012 - 11:37
I’m glad that you like the venue -  it’s a wonderful place and going there give you a chance to make a mental trip back in history. I’m sorry if it sounds as though the Overseas model is an upstart’s watch. I’m just not into sports watches and I can assure you that it seems as though I’m pretty alone with it. Just look at all the post here at the hour lounge with the Overseas model and there are a lot of happy owners smiley. There are actually also some people here at THL who don’t like the skeleton models as the ref 43038frown. I hope that you will succeed in finding your VC collector friend one day in your neighborhood, one never knows from where they might appear.  Until then I agree, it’s a good feeling to have something for oneself.  Yours sincerely Kent
Thanks for the report, Kent
11/02/2012 - 15:08
A very interesdting summary, indeed. Your watches are stunning, especially the pocket watch. Best wishes, Joseph
Thanks Joseph, you warm my heart.
11/03/2012 - 11:41
I’m thrilled that you pointed out my “precious one” to quote Gollum from the Lord of the Rings. Some people really don’t like that style in a pocket-watch. I showed it once to a friend and his question was: Are you planning to start playing the piano? I was thinking: what the !!!! did he say? And then I asked him if he did actually say that. He confirmed and said that that was the kind of watch Liberace would have carried. I was not pleased! angry For me it’s the Hercule Poirot watch enlightened. One of the only things missing in the great series from BBC with David Suchet. It’s always a sad moment in the series when Hercule picks up his old style pocket watch in a metal or silver case that was outdated long before the roaring twenties crying. And Hercule in that series is the embodiment of Art Deco in person. I was once thinking about contacting the BBC and letting them borrow it, but then I noticed how they treat the cars in the series. A cold shimmering is running down my neck. Brrrrr.   Yours sincerely Kent
thanks for sharing Kent
11/02/2012 - 15:14
Thanks, Alex.
11/03/2012 - 11:42
It’s a wonderful staff you have at Vacheron Constantin and I was glad to have the opportunity for meeting some of them. I hope that you like the back side of the Ruby/diamond watch. I had until now only revealed the front for you. Yours sincerely Kent  
Yes saw the movement. Superbe timepieces :-)
11/04/2012 - 12:22
A wonderful location for a very special occasion...
11/02/2012 - 15:47
Kent, The Hall of the Borsen building makes a grand venue for Klarlund's 65th Anniversary. Such splendour! With the Brunch and the Gala Evening completing proceedings it's evident that a good time was had by all... Clearly, precious moments for you. It's good of you to share the experience. Tony
Thanks Tony, for your comments.
11/03/2012 - 11:46
You know when I started out collecting VC, one of the first posts I came across here at THL was your Chronometre Royal and the talking about it. It’s a fantastic watch and I’m still on the hunt for a watch with that incredible movement Cal 1008/BS inside. So in many ways your watch has been an inspiration for me and one of the reasons for me being in love with VC watches. I wish you a pleasant weekend. Kent  
Patience rewarded
11/02/2012 - 16:13
Kent, I've been patiently waiting for you to reveal more pics of your gorgeous rubies and diamonds Art Deco piece, and finally you've come across yes.  Do you know the exact date and is the case Verger Freres?  You really have a superb portfolio and can proudly represent "&" at any watch gathering.  Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for your kind words, Dean.
11/03/2012 - 11:59
I’m glad you like some of my time-pieces. And I two love the “&” properly because I look at lot at the vintage pieces - including the pocket watches - so somehow Vacheron & Constantin is what I associate with this brand. Regarding the shown pocket watch: It is still a mystery to me. There is the movement number but not a serial number for the case. I have asked some of my watchmakers to check for numbers inside the case but they didn’t find any. I forgot to ask them if the Verger Freres logo was there, but I don’t think so. frown I know I could just ask Alex and one day I will but I kind of like to gather the information myself ( now on the third or fourth year with this piece ). The investigation is actually a big part of the fun for me smiley. However sometimes one has to give up and ask for that extra info from the V&C archives. I have made the following conclusions about the watch: In my archive I have: 1: Patek Philippe & Co watch that has some similarities with mine.  On that movement is  written both “Patek Philippe & Co”, but also “Schreve & Co San Fransisco”. There is no indication that the case has a serial number. The sellers did estimate the watch to have been made around 1918. 2: I have another  Vacheron Constantin watch that has some similarities. However as you may have noticed there is no “&” in the name I have written. So the dial is not original or has been redone. I tend to believe it isn’t original. It’s too sterile for the Art Deco style. On the movement it says “Vacheron & Constantin” and "Harris and Schafer Co Washington". The movement number is 356349 ( it’s a bit earlier than mine ). The diamonds and rubies are much smaller on this sample than on the PP and on my watch. 3: My watch does not have any indication on the movement beside the normal V&C  indication as I would expect to see them. But the style of the other two pieces is so much like mine that I believe that it was made for the American marked. Hopefully mine was completed in Geneve but………My watch is the only one with those wonderful diamond/platinum numbers 12 - 3 – 6 – 9. That is actually the thing that could point towards Verger Freres.  If I should try to estimate a production year it would be 1918 based on the movement number. Just like the PP piece. By the way, I never date a V&C piece from the movement but in this case it’s all I have got. I have to say that my knowledge of the American case makers/ jewelers is rather limited. I have tried to avoid them in my V&C collection even though some of the E.E.R pieces are stunning. With this piece I just knew I wanted it because it just screams Art Deco. If you are interested in the pictures of the two other watches then I can send them to you. I wish you a nice weekend. Kent  
Alex may help
11/03/2012 - 17:12
Thanks for the detailed reply!  The archives would tell you if the movement alone was shipped to the USA, which would then properly lead to the conclusion it was cased-up there.  I'm surprised there aren't some marks to be found though.
Thanks for the report Kent
11/05/2012 - 22:29
Like you, I adore the Patrimony Traditionelle 14 day tourbillion and the American 1921... although I'm a big fan also of the OS - as you said, the beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I really like your pocket watch, and I find your comment about Hercule Poirot spot on - when I read your comment it made so much sense. I started watching that serie 20 years ago, and I've always enjoyed the feel of the period that they portrayed  - but I digress... Thanks for the pictures, the Børsen really looks like a grand place, and well suited for a VC event (maybe less so for some of the other brands present...) Cheers,  Francois
Thanks, Francois.
11/06/2012 - 19:01
It’s great to have a fellow lounger who likes the Hercule Poirot series. It is together with the Jeeves and Wooster series my favorite Art Deco series. Isn’t that Bertie W. a snappy dresser? I really like your Ref 47212. It a masterpiece and I hope that you still enjoy it.  Yours sincerely Kent 
Re: Thanks, Francois.
11/07/2012 - 01:14
Mr Wooster is indeed a snappy dresser... I am still enjoying very much my 47212, thanksyes Cheers,  Francois