Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Happy Fourth of July

We would like to wish everyone a great Independence Day and want to make everyone aware that Gray & Sons will be closed from July 2nd to July 11 to celebrate. I will also be taking a lengthy three week vacation so you'll have to check back the end of July for new posts. In the meantime check out the archives.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The many names of Vacheron & Constantin

We've all seen with corporate mergers and business ownership changes the names of very popular brands switch around (sometimes multiple times): think FedEx-Kinkos, AOL TIme Warner, Exxon Mobil, etc. Well the same thing was going on the 18th & 19th centuries. Take the watch house of Vacheron & Constantin for example:

1755 - The company is founded by Jean-Marc Vacheron and watches are signed J.M. Vacheron.

1785 - company ownership & name changed to Abraham Vacheron-Girod

1810 - changed to Vacheron-Chossat

1867 - changed to Cesar Vacheron & Co

1869 - two short years later it becomes Charles Vacheron & Cie

1870 - one year later changed back to Vve. Cesar Vacheron & Cie

1877 - name is formally & permanently changed to Vacheron & Constantin

You can check out a great timeline of Vacheron history by ThomasM on thePurtists.com.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Vintage Ads

If you like to collect vintage watches then you are probably interested in vintage watch ads as well. Timezone has a good collection posted online including this one from 1943 for the Rolex Oyster:

This was back in the day when you could have an ad that was more ad copy than photography - quite the opposite from today's ads with full-bleed pictures and minimal text (a sign of our shortening attention spans perhaps? or maybe just a sign that in the deluge of today's advertising we prefere to be bombarded with images rather than words.)

How about that last line - starting at $80!