Vacheron & Constantin, "Fabriqué pour", WWI Officer's Trench Wristwatch, Switzerland, 1914
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Extremely Rare and Beautiful Museum Quality ** "Fabriqué pour Vacheron & Constantin" 0.935 Sterling Silver WWI Officer's Trench Wrist Watch with Sterling Silver Shrapnel Guard, Switzerland ca 1914**
During the period extending ca 1906-1920, Famous Geneva watchmaker Vacheron & Constantin entrusted production of a few watches - requiring the highest quality standards - to select leading partner-companies: Brandt et Hoffmann (Bienne), Mathey Tissot & Cie (Ponts-de-Martel), Georges Jules Sandoz (La-Chaux-de-Fonds), H Moser & Cie (Le Locle), Kurth Frères (Granges) and Schild Frères & Co Eterna (Granges).
For further information regarding these rare Fabriqué pour Vacheron & Constantin watches see the Vacheron & Constantin forum at: http://bit.ly/s6vzcV.
The present World War I Officer's Trench Wristwatch, with 15 jewels, three adjustments, split-bridge covered winding mechanism and hinged case, represents a prime example of this production.
Dimensions: 30 mm excluding the winding crown x 34 mm lug to lug
Case Signed: Fabriqué pour Vacheron & Constantin
Dial Signed: Vacheron & Constantin, Genève
Movement Signed: Eterna
Hallmark: Case and Schrapnel guard fully signed with Swiss Sterling Silver marks
Vacheron & Constantin
The oldest continuously operating watch manufacture in the world, and full partner in the holy trinity of great Swiss watchmaking, Vacheron & Constantin - along side Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet - represents the absolute best that the art of watch making has to offer.
When Jean-Marc Vacheron founded the company in Geneva in 1775, he already had been an independent watchmaker in that city since 1755. In 1785, he passed the reins on to his son Abraham.
But four years later the French Revolution put the firm into dire straits, because significant numbers of V&Cs clientele were precisely those who lost their heads to the guillotine, or otherwise suffered economic ruin.
The solution only came in 1819, in the person of Francois Constantin, a wealthy grain merchant who was taken on as business partner. Constantin had previously been a watch dealer, and was entirely committed to the firm. Constantin traveled far and wide to market V&Cs watches, opening new markets across the world. Interestingly, at that time the main market became North America.
Another fortuitous decision was made in 1839 with their engagement of Georges-Auguste Leschot to supervise production. Leschot was a talented watchmaker and inventor, even a mechanical genius by some accounts. His machines and tools helped V&C to produce precision watches at a significantly reduced cost. He also invented the caliber concept which exists to this day in other words standardized movement designs.
Following Constantins death in 1854 and Vacherons in 1863, the company fell under the control of a various heirs, including, at one point, two women who led the firm.
With the advent of the 20th century, fashion began moving towards the wristwatch. V&C, quick to react, began producing top end wristwatches in 1910.
Schild Frères & Co Eterna
Founded in Grenchen, Switzerland by Dr. Josef Girard and Urs Schild, the Companys origins trace back to1851. Initially they specialized in producing pocket watches with alarms.
By the 1900s, when wristwatches were just starting to become fashionable Schild Fréres, as the company was then called, started to produce ladys wristwatches adapted from small pocket watch movements.
In 1905, the company changed their name to Eterna. They continued to be at the leading edge of watch developments, and in 1908 patented the first alarm wristwatch.
Eterna produced many innovations in their history including manufacturing the Harwood - worlds first modern automatic wrist watch - in 1924, the smallest production wristwatch with a Baguette movement in 1930 and an eight-day alarm watch in the 1930s.
Since 1995, Eterna is part of the German group, Porsche Design.
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