Founded in 1755 by Swiss watchmaker Jean-Marc Vacheron, Vacheron Constantin went down in history as the brand that invented the first complication, allowing for a watch to have functions beyond simple timekeeping. This invention was followed by the first engine-turned dials. Within 30 years of its conception, Vacheron had passed the company onto his son Abraham, who would steer his father’s watchmaking business through the French Revolution of 1789-1799.
By 1810, Jean-Marc’s grandson was at the helm, encouraging the company to export watches to France and Italy. And as a consequence, in 1819 François Constantin become an associate of Vacheron, and the company continued under the name Vacheron and Constantin.
Tracing the watch company to its modern moment, the current Overseas collection forms the basis of a remarkable journey undertaken by American photographer Steve McCurry, who visited twelve exceptional locations that chime with the spirit and values of the brand. McCurry’s adventure across the world is captured in a series of online visual diaries, which illustrate his creative involvement and demonstrate his interest in capturing the sequence of a single day in diverse locations around the world.
Starting in Mexico, at the Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque, at 7.01am, the photographer strides through the dust. McCurry then moves to Grand Central Terminal in New York, one hour and two minutes later. Here, he observes the action and industry of many hundreds of thousands of commuters crisscrossing the station on their way into and out of the city.
McCurry’s incredible journey continues across the span of a day, to Scotland’s Crawick Multiverse, Morocco’s Chefchaouen, Paris’ Astronomical Observatory and the Vacheron Constantin headquarters in Geneva. From there, he travels to Lalibela in Ethiopia, Red Square in Moscow, Samarkand in Uzbekistan, the remarkable Chand Baori Stepwell in India, the Leshan Giant Buddha in China and finally the Tsurunoyn Onsen in a snow-saturated Japan, which he photographs at 10.19p.m. Connecting these twelve locations on the surface of the world, they become the digitised face of a remarkable new timepiece.
McCurry’s photography conveys a heady concoction of sensations, which include serenity, symbolism, perspective, tradition, confluence, conquest, inspiration, movement and transmission. For Vacheron Constantin, the project inspires the human touch. It demonstrates “a personal perspective with everything that we do, and this element of creation is very important,” explains Alexander Schmiedt, brand director for the Middle East.