Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

The Complete Buying Guide to Vacheron Constantin Watches

All you need to know about the world's oldest watchmaker.

vacheron constantin watches
Courtesy

Welcome to Brand Breakdown, a series of comprehensive yet easy-to-digest guides to your favorite companies, with insights and information you won’t find on the average About page.

Vacheron Constantin is the oldest continuously operating watchmaker in the world. It's also one of the most prestigious watch brands, sometimes counted among a "Holy Trinity" of high-horology marques by collectors alongside Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. Vacheron's catalog can get esoteric, but as any dedicated collector knows, it's worth the deep dive.

At over 250 years old, Vacheron Constantin's works are often brimming with exotic crafts and techniques that feel as if of a distant era. Since 1755, the brand has maintained one of the very few remaining bespoke services, referred to as Les Cabinotiers, and this accounts for no small part of its business to this day. Vacheron has gone to lengths to protect its reputation as a producer of one-off, custom creations.

vacheron constantin watch worn on wrist
Phillips

In fact, Vacheron was very slow to adopt mass production techniques at all. However, as royal wealth dwindled and middle class demands for affordable wrist watches rose in the early 20th century, Vacheron partnered with acclaimed movement maker Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1932. That partnership marks the beginning of Vacheron using interchangeable parts to more quickly produce (and repair) wrist watches in a modern manner.

Even though the movements were uniformly produced, Vacheron typically only produced a couple dozen variants of each reference. Dials, markers, seconds-hand placement, and case metals were endlessly changed up, such that it's rare to find two identical vintage Vacheron wrist watches until the 1970s.

By the 1970s, Vacheron Constantin was playing along with the trend toward elegant sport watches, and this spawned some of their most desirable and fascinating models, such as the newly reissued 222, which was in the style of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Still, production numbers were low for the 222, and examples are quite rare.

vacheron constantin historiques 222 vintage watch ad
Vacheron Constantin

In the 21st Century, Vacheron began to issue more uniform production models, such as the semi-sporty Fifty-Six, the sleek and dressy Patrimony, and the formidable Overseas. Despite Vacheron's longstanding resistance to producing in a uniform manner, this strategy has done nothing to tarnish Vacheron's reputation as among the best of the best.

Below is a guide to what Vacheron produces today, with the exception of their one-offs coming from Les Cabinotiers, which are often undisclosed anyways. What you'll find is a diverse catalog made of distinct lines that represents different eras of Vacheron Constantin's wrist watches. Regardless of style, all of Vacheron's watches are exceptionally well made, stylish, distinctive and — as has always been the company's intention — timeless.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony

Refined, reserved, sleek and elegant, the Patrimony line is a repository of Vacheron's mid 20th century minimalist dress watch sensibilities. With 42 models ranging from 36mm to 42.5mm, you'll find everything from minimalist time-only models in yellow gold to ultra-thin perpetual calendars and platinum minute repeaters.

LEARN MORE SHOP PRE-OWNED

Vacheron Constantin
Patrimony Moon Phase Retrograde Date
vacheron-constantin.com
$4,010.00

Sheer persistence has made this model a classic in Vacheron's Patrimony lineup. The retro-grade date function sprawls across the top of the dial, and when the end of the month arrives, the hand reverts back to 1. The moon phase complication assures classic dress watch aesthetics and no small degree of mechanical complexity are on offer.

Case Diameter: 42.5mm
Complications
: Moonphase, retrograde date

Vacheron Constantin
Patrimony Manual-Winding
vacheron-constantin.com
$25,400.00

Lacking even a seconds-hand, this watch is pure elegance in a traditional size with a level of hand-finishing that puts most rivals to shame. The calibre 1400 is a classic movement from Vacheron, abundantly reliable and precise. This watch exudes 1950s confidence and reserve.

Case Diameter: 36mm
Complications
: N/A

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle

Where the Patrimony line is reserved, the Traditionelle tends toward aesthetic decoration and mechanical complexity. There are 50 watches in the current line, ranging from diamond studded ultra-thins with mother of pearl dials and matching alligator straps to Vacherons formidable 43mm platinum perpetual calendar chronograph.

LEARN MORE SHOP PRE-OWNED

Vacheron Constantin
Trandionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
vacheron-constantin.com

High complication coming in at just 12.94mm tall, this watch exemplifies Vacheron's ability to play at the highest levels of haute horology. The dial is reserved, even technical in appearance, while the view through the caseback window reveals a metropolis of mechanical complexity. Price is on request.

Case Diameter: 43mm
Complications
: Perpetual calendar, chronograph, moonphase

Vacheron Constantin
Traditionnelle Self-Winding
vacheron-constantin.com
$27,800.00

Daringly asymmetrical, this watch holds a sub-seconds at 9-o'clock in what is often called a lepine arrangement, referring to Jean-Antoine Lépine who was the first to align the winding crown and the sub-seconds in the 18th century. The date at 3-o'clock adds an off-kilter counterbalance. At just 8.02mm thick with autowinding, this watch shows off mechanical prowess in its own quiet way.

Case Diameter: 38mm
Complications
: N/A

Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix

When Vacheron introduced this "entry level" auto-winding quasi-sports watch in 2018, many thought the brand had lost its way, that VC was capitulating to profit demands or, worse, youthful trends. Initial naysayers have largely become fans, because the Fiftysix is every bit a Vacheron as any other watch in their diverse catalog. Notable here is the lug shape which recalls the Reference 6073 from the mid 1950s, which lends this model its name, and the beautiful movement on view.

LEARN MORE SHOP PRE-OWNED

Vacheron Constantin
Fifty-Six Day-Date
vacheron-constantin.com
$21,800.00

All Fifty-Six models are 40mm, which is an ideal size for many people. This clever day-date complication is rendered on two horizontally aligned subdials for a sporty look that recalls a chronograph. The power reserve gauge offsets that symmetry in a playful manner. The view through the rear caseback window is alone worth the price of admission.

Case Diameter: 40mm
Complications
: Date and day of the week

Vacheron Constantin
Fifty-Six Self-Winding
vacheron-constantin.com
$4,600.00

In a market jammed with steel watches on bracelets, this Fifty-Six is a refreshing alternative at a price lower than what you'll pay for many Rolex models, if you can even get one. With a blue dial that recalls sector dials of the 1930s, this watch has more heritage, class, and insider-knowledge than almost any other watch in the category.

Case Diameter: 40mm
Complications
: Date

Vacheron Constantin Overseas

In the 1970s, the so-called luxury sports watch with integrated bracelet stepped onto the disco floor and took hold of the world's imagination. Vacheron entered that fray with a couple of models (including the newly reissued 222) that eventually culminated in the Overseas. Never as popular as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak or the Patek Philippe Nautilus, the Overseas is also the only one of these three not to have been designed by Gerald Genta. For fans of Vacheron, that's a good thing, because it distinguishes the model and, arguably, has kept its design closer to the house style.

LEARN MORE SHOP PRE-OWNED

Vacheron Constantin
Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton
vacheron-constantin.com

A tour de force of mechanical knowhow on full view from the front and the back. Titanium keeps it light, and also marks the first use of this material for a full watch-head and bracelet for Vacheron (barring a single prototype of the limited edition Everest Overseas). Price is available on request.

Case Diameter: 42.5mm
Complications
: N/A

Vacheron Constantin
Overseas Self-Winding
vacheron-constantin.com
$22,500.00

This is the essence of the Overseas line sporting a steel integrated bracelet, a boldly legible dial with date complication, and that's it. This minimized visage allows the unique Maltese Cross shapes on the bezel and the bracelet to come forward and assert their compelling angularity. Many are realizing that this simple Overseas delivers just as much badass vibe as any other integrated bracelet watch - perhaps more.

Case Diameter: 41mm
Complications
: N/A

Vacheron Constantin Historiques

Vacheron announced the Historiques line-up in 1989, and the first ones went off for sale in 1990. This marks the first self-consciously retro-focused watch collection for Vacheron, as part of what most call the "mechanical watch revival." There is no other brand with such a rich and interesting history on offer, and the Historiques collection has been a smash hit ever since 1990.

LEARN MORE SHOP PRE-OWNED

Vacheron Constantin
Historiques 222
vacheron-constantin.com
$62,500.00

Cleverly released in 2022, this is one of the 1970s predecessors to the Overseas, but really nothing like the Overseas. At just 7.95mm thick and only 37mm across, this is truly a vintage-style watch. The alluring gold-on-gold colorway is accented by the Maltese Cross logo accenting cushion case's lug, just like the original 222. The world has swooned at this reissue, and it's not hard to see why.

Case Diameter: 37mm
Complications
: Date

Vacheron Constantin
Historiques American 1921
vacheron-constantin.com
$36,800.00

The offset dial allowed early motorists to see the time without taking their hands off the wheel. Sounds silly to us now, but those cars didn't have power steering, and if you were really going fast in the 1920s, you can imagine it was a rather rickety and wild ride. At 40mm square, this watch is decidedly legible, and yet surprisingly thin at 8.06mm. It's incredibly comfortable — and stylish.

Case Diameter: 40mm
Complications
: N/A

Vacheron Constantin Harmony

Alone in the catalog are a few cushion-cased high-horology watches called the Harmony series, which, in our opinion, could easily sit in the Historiques collection. These are inspired by a 1928 chronograph, and Vacheron makes the Harmony largely from special order. There are quite a few variants, including a triple-calendar with moon phase to a split seconds chronograph.

LEARN MORE SHOP PRE-OWNED

Vacheron Constantin
Harmony Complete Calendar
vacheron-constantin.com
$37,800.00

Also known as a triple-calendar, this complication shows the month, weekday and date and here is paired with a moonphase complication for traditional looks and functionality. This watch only needs to be reset every 122 years, and is auto-winding to assure it will stay set when stored in a watch winder. As of this writing, this is the only Harmony model currently on offer, but one might inquire about ordering a different complication.

Case Diameter: 42mm
Complications
: Complete calendar

Vacheron Constantin Malte

Debuted in 1912, the elongated Malte may be the most cutting-edge model Vacheron ever released - especially when one considers that Cartier didn't release their rectangular Tank until 1919. Today, this format is a showcase for some of the maison's most elegant expressions.

LEARN MORE SHOP PRE-OWNED

Vacheron Constantin
Malte Tourbillon Skeleton
vacheron-constantin.com

Marrying skeletonized cutting-edge horological art to such a traditional case puts this watch into an interesting league with some of today's most avant-garde makers, like MB&F and Frank Muller. Outside of ordering something from Vacheron's custom shop, this Malte stands as one of the most elevated and rare Vacherons on offer today. Price is available on request.

Case Diameter: 38mm
Complications
: N/A

Vacheron Constantin
Malte Manual-Winding
vacheron-constantin.com
$26,100.00

This watch is formal, understated, reserved, yet upon closer inspection quite sophisticatedly styled, allowing the Malte's unique shape to tell its own story. We are big fans of the matching gray strap here, bringing together a look that's going to complete any formal get-up. But maybe it'd be cool with a black tee and black jeans, too?

Case Diameter: 36.7mm
Complications
: N/A

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d'Art

Simply put, this is where Vacheron gets to show off their skills in the decorative arts. Held over from the era of the pocket watch, these techniques in enamel and micro-sculpture forego legibility for graphical narratives. The expected Chinese years are often on offer, but we prefer the models that reach back to the era of exploration.

LEARN MORE SHOP PRE-OWNED

Vacheron Constantin
Métiers d'Art Tribute to Great Explorers: Bartolomeu Dias
vacheron-constantin.com
$121,000.00

This is a little complicated, but worth the effort. The minutes are hand-painted on the dial, while the 12 hours are on three rotating orbital plates. Using a type of complication called "wandering hours," the rotating hour plate is sandwiched between two dials, and as the hour plate rotates it aligns with the minutes to display the correct time. Whoah.

Case Diameter: 41mm
Complications
: Wandering hours

Vacheron Constantin
Métiers d'Art Les Aérostiers: Versailles 1783
vacheron-constantin.com

Arguably, the first flight made by mankind was in 1783 in a hot air balloon. Using plique-à-jour enameling, this balloon dominates the dial, while the hours, minutes, week day, and date are woven into the corners of the design like afterthoughts to the main story. Brilliant. Price is available on request.

Case Diameter: 40mm
Complications
: Day of the week and date

Vacheron Constantin Heurs Créatives

How quickly those of us obsessed with mid-century minimalism and Bauhaus ideals forget that the 20th century was also dominated by highly geometrical Art Deco aesthetics. Vacheron keeps that playful spirit alive with this whimsical line of highly decorated jewelry watches.

LEARN MORE

Vacheron Constantin
Heures Créatives Heur Audacieuse
vacheron-constantin.com

You want postmodernism? Here you go: a watch based on a 1970s model that was made for women who wanted to imitate men, recreated in the 20th century for whoever wants to rock one of the most unique timepieces in any catalog anywhere. The whole watch is a belt. That'll get you scratching your head conceptually, but the result is undeniably avant-garde and dead-pan cool.

Case Diameter: 23.99mm
Complications
: N/A

Vacheron Constantin
Heures Créatives Heure Romantique
vacheron-constantin.com
$58,500.00

Before you write this one off as grandma's watch, consider that during the Romantic period in Europe, opium-infused day-dreams were helping shape a decorative aesthetic that would resound again in the 1960s American counterculture. This watch is inspired by a piece created at Vacheron in 1916.

Case Diameter: 26.5mm
Complications
: N/A

Vacheron Constantin Égérie

Traditional as Vacheron Constantin is, it's expected that they would maintain a category just for women with rather traditionally feminized styles. However, Vacheron is also using this category to show off its old-world abilities as jewel-setters, for which the house has long held its head rather high.

LEARN MORE SHOP PRE-OWNED

Vacheron Constantin
Égérie Moon Phase
vacheron-constantin.com
$26,700.00

Paved with diamonds to form a visage beyond dazzling, this watch is equipped with a whimsical enamel moon-phase window at 2-o'clock in striking shades of blue. Boldly asymmetrical, unabashedly bejeweled, jewelry work is an aspect of Vacheron Constantin that can neither be forgotten nor ignored.

Case Diameter: 37mm
Complications
: Moonphase

Égérie Quartz

Égérie quartz watch
Vacheron Constantin
Vacheron Constantin
Égérie Quartz
vacheron-constantin.com
$19,700.00

It's oddly refreshing to see a quartz movement among all this mechanical mastery, and keep in mind that Vacheron produces high-end, ultra-precise quartz movements. But this watch also keeps alive a long-standing tradition for women who prefer to break no horological boundaries and wear an old-school 30mm "ladies watch." The asymmetry and Breguet-style numerals make it unlike anything else on the market.

Case Diameter: 30mm
Complications
: Date

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below