"In an era characterised by a frenzied quest for productivity and constant concern for profitability, how can we continue to serve as guardians of the ethics that the watchmaking art justly claims to represent? Doubtless by remaining more loyal than ever to our traditions."
It is with these words that Juan-Carlos Torres started his speech on the Values Of Vacheron Constantin.
Yesterday September 24 Vacheron Constantin had organised a special event in collaboration with contemporary arist Silvana Solivella to present the Values of Vacheron Constantin not only by words buy via a series of artworks consisting of paintings, photography and film which inspired Silvana Solivella called Le Temps Miroitant.
We were greeted in the late afternoon under the Genevan sun by the warm smile of Asta Ponzo head of PR for Switzerland
I was accompanied by Isabelle Hudovernik head of Internet and Training department. She's not only a great person but also my boss
Silvana Solivella and in the back ground the top guns of Geneva watchmaking, with my amazing photographic skill you can't see a face but from left to right you have Dominique Bernaz (head of the Maison Vacheron Constantin), Philippe Stern (CEO of Patek Philippe), Charlie Torres (CEO of Vacheron Constantin) and Marc Guten (Deputy CEO of Vacheron Constantin)
Inside we had an amazing and original musical show with a gigantic wooden xylophone and a wooden instument where the dancer tapped sticks on the wooden slates
But most important were the the presentation of these values
The Values of Vacheron Constantin
The values Vacheron Constantin wanted to share are values the brand has committed to throughout its histoy but also those which it undertakes to make his and to follow.
The polyptique below is the result of Silvana Solvella's artistic interpretation of Vacheron Constantin's Values
SEARCH FOR EXCELLENCE
The 1st image in the painting is of movements in focus. The represent the constant Search for Excellence. At Vacheron Constantin, the search for excellence is a state of mind, a dynamic to which each step in the process is geared, from design to finishing. Excellence is a quest, a dynamic. It is in motion, not static. Within a community, and this is even more true of a watch manufacture, the search for excellence affects everyone involved in each step of product development. Aside from the emulation to which it gives rise, this quest for perfection makes up a kind of shared gestural language that draws its users closer together.
Where excellence in watchmaking is concerned, the challenge is to make the material meet the requirements of accuracy and precision, which guarantee exceptional quality and thereby also the product’s timelessness and durability. High-precision mechanics is guided by the quest for the best.
The 2nd image represent a fireworks mechanism in the foreground, then the enchanting spectacle of the fireworks in the distance. This evokes the mysterious workings of the mind, which give rise to the idea and the light—the idea rubbing shoulders with the desire to make it a reality. An energy veiled in mysteries. A spark. A spark that flies beyond technical experience and from which emanates a light that crosses aesthetic boundaries.
Creativity—an intrinsic value of the Vacheron Constantin dynasty that lights the way for the company in all of its many activities. Vacheron Constantin encourages creative momentum among the company’s creative forces by providing them with the concrete material resources needed to develop it. It takes special care to establish a context or climate of sharing and exchange of ideas, in order to encourage emulation within the company.
Creativity is supported at various levels within the Manufacture. In production, this attitude allows Vacheron Constantin to make successful technical innovations, to manufacture movements with multiple complications. This stimulation gives birth to the aesthetic innovations and ensures them a position among the avant-garde.
A SOCIALLY AWARE COMPANY, OPEN TO THE WORLD
The 3rd image is a portrait of a woman. Her glance and smile that are open to the world. A hospitable, maternal and very human smile. A smile that makes room for the Other that is illuminating it. For art implies a gaze and opens one to an awareness of his fellow man.
Vacheron Constantin positions itself as a citizen that is aware of the community in which it is developing. It consistently proves through its actions that economic goals are compatible with a social and commercial ethic. The company is integrated within the local economic and cultural fabric and in this way participates in developing jobs in compliance with the law. The company’s rules not depart from local laws, which are followed scrupulously. Additionally, the employees’ moral integrity and physical health are a priority.
Vacheron Constantin is committed to causes of more general interest that uphold human dignity; for example, it promotes fair trade, and is also concerned with preserving the environment. It also works to help the most destitute through its philanthropic activities.
Finally, Vacheron Constantin also offers support for the world of culture, including through a programme of talent spotting and promotion that has led to sponsorship of a youthful Spanish conductor, Inma Shara, one of the most talented of her generation. Within this partnership, she conducted a concert organised by Vacheron Constantin in Madrid last year on behalf of the Queen Sofia Foundation against Alzheimer’s disease.
RESPECTING AND PASSING ON TRADITIONS
4th image Grey circles, suspended against a white background. Simple round shapes in a white shade of black to emphasize their beauty. A mysterious iconography evoking a lunar landscape. Yet underlying this vagueness, the reality of the photograph asserts itself. The circles and round forms are the pieces of a watch movement—the spring barrel, escapement, balance wheel. The evocative power of the subject itself is no less powerful, unambiguously giving time the place of honour.
Tradition. Transmission. Respect. These are what have allowed the Fine Watchmaking crafts to endure—principles that transcend time, destructive chronos, or at least the time it takes for memories to fade. For these inseparable values are the link between the past and the present. They have allowed Vacheron Constantin to continue making watches uninterrupted for more than 250 years. Tradition, transmission and respect defy time. They conquer a time out of time, a time that revolves around humanity and all it has learned, from a timeless perspective.
Like art, precision craftsmanship stands the test of time. Creators and designers draw their inspiration from the forms of the past and translate them into a suitable language that can be passed on to later generations. Past, present and future nurture watchmaking’s creative process. The same is true for the craftsmen at the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin.
As soon as his first workshop opened in 1755, Jean-Marc Vacheron hired an apprentice. This was the act of a true founder: he ensured that his watchmaking knowledge would be passed on, thus allowing the creation of a shared body of expertise and experience, and thereby a collective memory.
A growing awareness of this shared history then makes it possible for tradition to develop—a tradition that supports the watchmaking Manufacture’s principles, that requires the watchmakers to do the right thing, the traditional thing, even if it dates back 250 years. Vacheron Constantin’s history comes to life in the hands of its craftsmen: “handmade” means a watchmaking heritage with a local corollary, the Hallmark of Geneva, that ensures a quality requirement of international significance.
SHARING OUR PASSION
5th image :Passion, red, that which comes from the heart, beyond reason. Passion incandescently displays its vibrant red. A living, warm emotion. Powerful energy.
Passion is a very important element of the alchemy that works its magic among the various people involved in the process of making a timepiece. Besides, has passion ever come to anything without being shared? So by communicating their enthusiasm, their flame, their passion, Vacheron Constantin’s employees become ambassadors for the brand.
Vacheron Constantin would not see itself in the way it does if its craftsmen were not filled with passion—the passion of capturing time and honouring it through that which is beautiful, precious, accurate, excellent. This is the love of quality workmanship that drives the master watchmaker, the enameller, the guilloché-work artist; and produces the accurate motions required for the creation of the piece. It is a passion that reveals the beauty in the craftsman’s movements, his expertise, patience, precision and refinement. A passion that goes beyond simply measuring time to enthral it. For passion transcends time. The amount of time required to make a timepiece is of secondary importance.
After the presentation the guests wandered through the atrium of the manufacture to admire Mrs Solivella's artwork
TV reporters were present
Christian Selmoni Head of Product development who didn't want his photo taken :-)
Juliette Capillaire, Area Manager for the UK, Netherlands, Greece (amongst others)
Aude Pittard from PR surrounded by Hugues de Pins (left) and Yassin Tag (right) from VC Middle East
our host Juan-Carlos Torres
All good things having an end the evening came to an end and I had to leave but without one last glance at the symbol of the brand