My real attraction to Vacheron Constantin watches started about 12-13 years ago when I was still in college. I had read about the brand in various magazines but had yet to see a model in the flesh.
A dealer next to my house had a pretty impressive collection of VC’s on display and the 2 which really attracted my attention were the Mercator and the Jump Hour. I remember stopping and gazing at his window like a kid behind a candy store window.
I just could not take my eyes off these two watches, both were from the same brand and yet so unlike.
The Mercator was so different from what was on the market at the time, I found the double retrograde hands shaped like a compass absolutely brilliant (in the mid 90s this was something extremely novel and rare!) and the dial work was mesmerising.
The Heure Sautante was a more poetic piece, no hands, no movement but just a black onyx triangle indicating the minutes with the hours performing the only visible movement by “jumping” to the next hour.
I tried learning more about the brand and stumbled across an excellent book called “Prestigious Timepieces” which had on its cover the amazing skeleton minute repeater (the same as in The Hour Lounge’s master head).
The more I learned about the brand the more I was attracted to it. I loved the name Vacheron Constantin, I enjoyed pronouncing it, it sounded so romantic and exotic and brought images of rose gardens, saffron and Khayyam’s poetry to my mind.
I liked the fact that Vacheron Constantin customers seemed to belong to an exclusive club where members would greet each other with a nod of the head and a slight smile on the lips seeming to agree on the other’s impeccable taste. In fact VC seemed to me like the best kept secret of the watch world!
I finally took the jump a couple of years after having started working, unfortunately it was neither the Mercator nor the Heure Sautante; but on the look out for a time only classical rose gold watch a vintage watch dealer initiated me to the wonderful world of vintage VC’s and out of his shop I walked a happy man proudly bearing my first VC on the wrist.
Stupid me, I sold that watch a few years ago to finance another purchase and kick myself every single day for doing so, especially when I see the owner wearing MY watch on his wrist :-)
The damage was done and the virus is now in me. I just love the fact that VC still dares to dream and is not locked in its past and while producing classical timepieces the brand still comes out with off beat original watches which are not only watches but also tiny little art works which give the time.
That’s my story...Alex the watchaholic