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Rise Of The Machines

Come the mid-19th-century, a revolution: machines capable of making components in series with such precision that they became interchangeable with only minor adjustments. An early pioneer of this form of production was Mr Georges-Auguste Leschot, who joined Vacheron Constantin in 1839 and introduced the “pantograph”, which centres and drills holes in plates and bridges in a repeatable fashion, following the geometry of a fixed template.

Magnetic Personality

In 1862, Vacheron Constantin became a member of the association for research into non-magnetic materials – magnetism becoming a big problem for a watch’s delicate metallic parts in an age when electricity and motors were becoming ubiquitous. In 1885 the company created the world’s first nonmagnetic timepiece, thanks to a clever cocktail of materials in the ticking assortment mechanism: balance wheel, balance spring and lever shaft all in palladium, the lever arms in bronze and the escape wheel in gold.

Another Level

How did Vacheron Constantin celebrate its 260th birthday in 2015? By unveiling the most complicated watch ever made, of course. The custom Reference 57260 boasts, as the number implies, nothing less than 57 separate complications – a double-dial horological masterwork of hitherto unimaginable technical innovation that consumed eight years of work for three of the company’s Master Watchmakers.

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