Vacheron et Constantine
Geneva. François Constantine and Jacques Barthelemy Vacheron were both born in Geneva in the same year – 1787. They formed a partnership in watchmaking which was famed for many years, producing high-quality watches, automata and musical movements. Constantine died in 1854. Vacheron retired in 1844 and died in 1864, but his son Charles César (born 1812; died 1868) took over the business. Today the business is known as Ancienne Fabrique Vacheron & Constantine, S. A. In 1817, several musical snuff-boxes were presented to the Duchess of Parma (the ex-Empress Marie-Louise) who `found them to be admirable´. One of the finest examples was made in 1824 for the Prince Borghese, in very rich enamel, decorated with the arms of the family, and with all the orders held by this rather ostentatious brother-in-law of Napoleon. Vacheron et Constantine is thought to have supplied other musical-box makers with components, stamping them with the initials VC and a rose.