Did you know that the first 'watches' designed for wear were pendants rather wristwatches? The delicate art of watchmaking has a long history. Since the 15th century, miniature timepieces were being created by clockmakers. Over time styles changed, watchmaking brands were established, and some of the earliest ones are are still making watches. Read on and discover 5 century-old brands that are still operating today. Not surprisingly, most of them are originated in Switzerland, the watchmaking capital of the world.
5. Vacheron Constantin - 1755
Jean-Marc Vacheron started his company in 1755 in Geneva, Switzerland. Although founded twenty years after the world’s oldest registered watch brand, Vacheron Constantin is the oldest watchmaker that has been in production without interruption. Many other classic manufacturers of mechanical watches had inactive periods over time, or were forced to sell their brand due to the concurrence of the less expensive quartz timepieces. Vacheron Constantin’s watches are famous for their exceptional quality, craftsmanship and high price tag. The brand created the 57260 Reference, currently the most complicated watch ever made, with 57 complications and 2,800 decorated components. It was designed for Vacheron Constantin's 260th anniversary and has a value of €8 million. This makes it one of the most expensive watches of 2017.
Image Source: jubiler24h
4. Ferdinand Berthoud - 1753
Ferdinand Berthoud opened his workshop in Paris, France in 1753. He was not only a watchmaker, but also a scientist. He worked for the French navy and was one of the inventors of the marine chronometer, a device to determine the east-west position of a boat on the ocean. The Berthoud family had been creating watches and chronometers for more than a century. But with the death of heir Charles-Auguste Berthoud in 1876, the brand went into coma. In 2015, Ferdinand Berthoud was relaunched with a new watch: Chronomètre Ferdinand Berthoud FB1. With this timepiece, the company pays a tribute to the lifework of its founder.
3. Jaquet Droz - 1738
Pierre Jaquet Droz started manufacturing in 1738 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. He was a very inventive and imaginative man. He produced not only timepieces, but also automata: mechanical art pieces that incorporated music and movement. The work of Jaquet Droz was popular amongst a wealthy audience in Europa and even China. The Napoleonic Wars at the beginning of the 19th century brought an end to the creative and prosperous time for the brand. In 2000, it was acquired by the Swatch Group. Since then, new magnificent timepieces are launched, marking the start of a new Jaquet Droz era.
Image Source: Jaquet Droz
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