I've been reading about the Swiss-French connection and the role of the Calvinsits in Swiss watchmaking. (We Americans were originally settled by Puritans (who were Calvinsts as well) here in New England; and so I've been interested in their way of thinking. A couple of years ago I took a Harvard University course on early New England poetry, and every aspect of Puritan life (including in their poetry) was consumed by a believe in doing God's work. The Calvinists in Switzerland so condemed the wearing of jewlery that the goldsmiths and jewelers turned to watchmaking; an industrous use of time and work from the Calvinists point of view.
In looking up both Vacheron and Constantin names, I found their origins in Brittany (Vacheron) and an area of Southern France (Constantin) where the populance practiced a version of Christiany known as Albigenses. The practice was associated with the Catharist (Puritan) movement and was declared heresy by Pope Innocent II. The short version is that this led to civil war where the heritics were defeated by Catholic armies in France. Last summer, I read, "The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom" which provided insight into the Huguenots (French Protestants) and the conflict in France between Huguenots and Catholics. One of the events that led to French Huguenots to flee France for refuge in Switzerland was the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre where the Huguenot wedding guests at Marguerite de Valois (the Queen's daughter) wedding were murdered. What's ironic is that Queen Catherine wanted her daughter to marry a Huguenot king to settle the expensive conflict between the Catholics and Protestants (Huguenot) in France. However, she also saw the wedding as an opportunity to severely weaken the Huguenots by murdering their leadership. So after the nuptuals, the slaughter began, and before it was over, about 30,000 Huguenots had been killed throughout France. (By the way, a good film, "Queen Margot" is available on Netflix and documents this time in France.)
Needless to say, many of the French Huguenots fled France to nearby Protestant countries, including Switzerland. It would not be too far-fetched to suggest that Vacheron and/or Constantin were part of that exodous--or family members were. At some point, in choosing a logo for Vacheron Constantin, they selected a familiar symbol passed on from one or both of their families that looked like this:
La Croix Huguenote
The Maltese cross is associated with the Crusades and the Knight Templars of Malta. However, the Crusades were a Catholic operation, and given that the French Protestants in Switzerland had no love lost for the Catholics, it would seem more likely that the Vacheron Constantin logo is more likely to be from the Huguenot Cross than that of the Catholic knights. (The 2013 article in Crown & Caliber, "The Story Behind the Vacheron Constantin Cross" is pretty shallow stuff, and since none of the other marques use a watch part in their logo, I sort of doubt that VC does either.)
Anyway, I find the relationship between Calvinism and watchmaking facinating (John Calvin was French, by the way, and his name was actually Jean; not John) . I just got the 3rd Edition of Jonathan Steinberg's Why Switzerland? (Cambridge University Press) and I also have The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism Schumpeter, Chandler, and the New Economy (Routledge) by Richard N. Langlois, based on the The Graz Schumpeter Lectures. Especially interesting in both the watchmaking industry and Calvinish is, Chapter 3 Personal Capitalism.
If anyone else has some good references, please pass them on. Previous posts by Dean (Tick-Talk) also delved into some of these same issues.