EARLY 19TH CENTURY VACHERON CONSTANTIN FOB WATCH
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Early 19th Century Vacheron Constantin Fob Watch

This open-faced quarter-repeating fob watch by Vacheron Constantin dates to the early 19th century, and its dial bears subsidiary seconds and Roman numerals.  Vacheron Constantin, still operational today, was founded in Geneva in 1755 by Jean-Marc Vacheron, who was 24 at the time.  In 1785, Vacheron’s son Abraham took over the company.  Francois Constantin became a partner in 1819, at the time when third generation Jacques Barthelemy Vacheron was at the helm.  Constantin’s motto ‘Do better if possible, and it is always possible’, is still the company slogan today.  
A number of inventions have marked this firm’s history, like the movement-standardising calibers in 1839, thereafter changing the process of watch-making.  These calibres were invented by Georges-Auguste Leschot, a mechanical genius who joined the company in 1839, and who also developed the first pantographic equipment capable of mechanically producing certain watch components.  For this contribution, Leschot received a gold medal from The Arts Society of Geneva in 1844. 
The firm was also responsible for the development of the winding crown to replace key winding in 1855, which it introduced to mark its 100th anniversary.  This last advancement reached its full potential with the introduction of wristwatches.  The above image features a detail of the inner back cover, which is engraved with the maker’s name, serial number, the type of escapement used, and the number of jewels it contains.  Jewels, in this case four rubies, were used as bearings to reduce friction between watch movement elements.  They were used instead of steel, as they provided greater resistance to wear. 

 

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