Hermes and Vacheron Constantin

In 1837, eighty-two years after the founding of Vacheron & Constantin, Thierry Hermes established a saddle making shop in Paris.  Since then Hermes has become a very large and hugely successful global marketer of luxury items - - from handbags and silk neckties to soap and tabletop items.

Quietly and consistently Hermes has been manufacturing fine saddles since its founding. Shown below is a hunt seat saddle cherished and used by my daughter.  It was her grandmother's saddle and it was probably made in the 1960's. Parts of the saddle subject to extreme wear, such as the billet straps, have been replaced.  Nevertheless, the saddle is in remarkably good shape considering exposure to cold, damp, heat and sweat of a jumping equine.

With Hermes retailing Vacheron & Constantin watches (at least in the 1930's, as evidenced from the 1938 ad from "Illustration"), I thought it would be interesting for Loungers to see my old tear drop lug Vacheron & Constantin watch with the old alligator strap upon the old Hermes saddle.  Specs: 18k yellow gold; calibre P453/3c; movement number 473xxx; case number 308xxx; approx 35 mm in diameter,excl. crown.  The watch probably dates from the 1950's.

Do I see a mutual commitment by both firms to design and functionality when looking at the watch and saddle together? I believe so.  What I do see, now in 2010, are two objects loved and continuing to serve their owners with reliable and accurate performance.   Robert

Hermes and Vacheron Constantin

Hermes and Vacheron Constantin

Hermes and Vacheron Constantin

Hermes and Vacheron Constantin

Hermes and Vacheron Constantin

Hermes and Vacheron Constantin
I think it was Coco Channel who said that fashion goes out of
03/12/2010 - 01:02
fashion but style always remains. this applies perfectly to VC and Hermes. thanks for sharing
Hermes pour Vacheron Constantin
03/12/2010 - 01:08
Interesting ad.  Thanks for posting. It just shows Hermes really know something about the good stuff.  Of course, it is the same with VC, as you can see in the pic.. Like you, I also love those orang boxes (although I have a budget that only allows me one or the other...sigh). Cheers! Kazumi
its funny you mention Hermes as I have often heard the CEO
03/12/2010 - 17:46
of VC Charly Torres say that he wants VC to become the equivalent of Hermes in watchmaking: the absolute and undisputed benchmark
I found this to be most interesting and most necessary!
03/12/2010 - 18:26
 Admittedly I'm not the most knowledgeable however IMHO Vacheron needed this kind of leadership for decades! I grew-up with the "Big 3" and was most enarmored with the Vacheron line out of respect for their glorious history. I watched as AP improved their place with their Royal Oak line. Then Lange developed their way to "one" of the best. Needless to say Patek continued to pay for their #1 ranking, both with continued great products and better marketing. From the 70's thru 2005, Vacheron seemed to have lost direction and most regretfully may have lost their place.  Please chime-in and don't worry about telling me I'm in error. Just tell me why as I will learn from your comments.   Best to all, Miki
Re: I found this to be most interesting and most necessary!
03/13/2010 - 00:18
Miki, Your comments are quite appropriate.  Hermes, since its founding, has been esentially family-owned.  Remarkably and amazingly, the management of the company has consistently focused on the highest quality and style. Not without past difficulties, the company has invested in excellent new products and professional management. Within the last 10 years, Hermes has purchased many of its franchised operations and changed them to company stores, assuring product, management and operational integrity. I suspect their saddle-making business is a but a small part of the overall operation but bless them for continuing that great tradition. A comparison to Vacheron Constantin's history can be made - - and you can draw your own conclusions.  Cheers,  Robert
"the equivalent of Hermes in watchmaking: ...
03/14/2010 - 12:09
... the absolute and undisputed benchmark" That´s a bold statement, isn´t it? I am a huge fan of the skills from Hermes if we talk about leather (!), some of their clothes & textiles, ... but not because of their porcellain. The latter can´t compete with Meissen, for example. What I really appreciate is their passion for details in most of the cases, e.g. a simple blanket ... at an advert from Hermes ... reminds me of some antique pieces from Tibet ... (Tsu-Druk; private collection) (Wangden; museums collection in California) The latter shares the material - Yak, with the blanket from Hermes. The material and the execution is just perfect. Made in Nepal, but under the supervision of Hermes. "Equivalent of Hermes ..." - if Torres referes to their skills in working with leather and their passion for details, I can imagine even stronger years in the future, for VC Oliver
Those tear drop lugs ...
03/14/2010 - 11:42
are to die for even better with a nice piece from Hermes, together. I love those combinations! Thanks for sharing. Oliver