Vacheron Constantin, the world’s oldest continuous watchmaker, hosted an exceptional series of special events to celebrate the 2nd edition of Madison Avenue Watch Week (April 28-, May 4, 2012). First created in 2011, Madison Avenue Watch Week is a celebration of haute horology for collectors and connoisseurs. The world’s premiere watch retailers participated in this weeklong celebration organized by the Madison Avenue BID and presented by The Wall Street Journal.
Vacheron Constantin kicked-off the week with an exclusive cocktail reception on the evening of Monday, April 30th at two locations. Hugues de Pins, president of Vacheron Constantin North America, welcomed guests at the Vacheron Constantin Madison Avenue boutique as well as a distinguished private bank on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Guests previewed the exclusive 2012 collection of timepieces, including the Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon, the Métiers d’Art Les Univers Infinis, and the newly redesigned Malte collection, the highlight pieces from this year’s SIHH. A Vacheron Constantin in-house watchmaker gave a live watchmaking demonstration at the private bank. A jazz trio provided musical entertainment, while guests enjoyed exquisite hors d’oeuvres while sipping Champagne and Cucumber Mint Sparklers, the signature cocktail of the evening.
On Tuesday, May 1st, Vacheron Constantin hosted a private sit-down dinner and discussion on “The Value of Vintage Timepieces.” Dominique Bernaz, International Retail Director, Vacheron Constantin and Aurel Bacs, International Head of Watches, Christie’s, led the discussion. During the debate, guests discovered the five most important qualities to look for in a vintage timepiece, illustrated with examples from Christie’s auction results. When asked for an example of a vintage timepiece embodying all the qualities, Mr. Bacs mentioned the pocket watch belonging to James Ward Packard, which sold for $1.8 million at a Christie’s auction in June 2011. The talk concluded with animated questions and answers, followed by a delicious three-course, and as a gift guests received a Treasures of Vacheron Constantin book.
On Wednesday, May 2nd, Vacheron Constantin hosted a unique tasting event led by Aldo Sohm, the world renowned Chef Sommelier at Le Bernardin and 2008 winner of the “Best Sommelier of the World.” Mr. Sohm paired Vacheron Constantin timepieces with rare and notable wines. For example, Les Historiques American 1921 was paired with Dom Pérignon Oenothèque-Moet & Chandon 1996, because of their interesting histories. The Patrimony Contemporaine Self-Winding in Platinum, was paired with Volnay, 1er Cru Taillepieds, Domaine Marquis d’Angerville 2006, as both are apparently simple, but reveal internal complexity. Over the course of the evening, guests tasted five wines and five watches, and stayed beyond the end of the tasting to continue to enjoy their favorite bottles. Guests received exclusive Zalto wine glasses designed by Mr. Sohm to remember the evening by.
The week concluded with Authentication and Appraisal Services, offered for the first time ever, on Friday, May 4th and Saturday, May 5th at the Madison Avenue boutique. Owners of vintage Vacheron Constantin timepieces brought their watches to be examined and appraised by an expert from the Vacheron Constantin Heritage Department, Geneva, and a Senior Specialist from Christie’s. During the two days, more than 50 watches were examined. Some timepieces dated back to the 1830’s and through the late 19th century, with several 20th century models from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. The stories gathered during the two days will be posted onto the American Heritage of Vacheron Constantin website, to be relaunched in June.
Hugues de Pins commented: “We are very pleased to have hosted a successful series of events during the Madison Avenue Watch Week, which allowed us to welcome and engage with passionate collectors and watch enthusiasts from around the New York Area.. We are particularly thrilled with the enthusiastic response to our first-ever offering of authentication and appraisals services. The number of timepieces examined was impressive, far exceeding our expectations.”
About Vacheron Constantin:
Established in Geneva in 1755, Vacheron Constantin is the world’s oldest continuous watch manufacturer and a jewel in Geneva’s crown of couture watchmakers, maintaining a seamless tradition of watch-making excellence for 256 years. Held in high regard by watch connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike, Vacheron Constantin’s strengths lie in its superlative technical mastery, aesthetic know-how and extremely high level of finish.
Photos by Monica Schipper Photography