Inside Vacheron Constantin’s Dazzling New York Flagship

Vacheron celebrates its nearly 200 – year love affair with America by chriestening a new boutique on New York’s Billionaires’ Row.

Bennifer’s rekindled flame has nothing on thin surprise revelation: Marlon Brando and Zsa Zsa Gabor shared more than mutual admiration in Hollywood’s golden age. Did they date? Did they date? Was there something more? Clearly, something sizzling went down.

During a recent tour of the new Vacheron Constantin boutique on East 57th Street, a slim gold watch was produced. The watch was gifted from the nine – time married Gabor to three – time married Brando after he won an Oscar for On the Waterfront with an inscription that reads, ‘To Marlon love Zsa Zsa June 24 1954’. Now part of their museum’s archieves and currently on display in New York, the watch practically bursts with possibility. What occured between these two Hollywood sex symbols to warrant a gold watch? The conjecture is every bit as dizzying as the watch’s zig – sax guilloche patterned dial.

Equally as head – spinning, Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constaintin’s recently unveiled boutique on New York’s 57th Street. The flagship is a watch lover’s paradise, brimming with horological dreams come true. This whimiscal concept is reflected in the Maltese – cross patterned fron window, in the tiny gold cars race zooming around the store’s windows, in a frenetic three – dimensional cityscape display created in partnership with the estate of American artist Chris Burden, inspired by his kinetic sculpture installation Metropolis II located at L.A.’s LACMA Museum.

This playful of horology paris Vacheron Constantin’s passion for mechanical mastery with a sense of fun. That combo, combined with New York’s fast pace, is reflected in one of Vacheron’s most celebrated timepieces, the American 1921.

Famously worn by Chef Erip Ripert of New York;s Le Bernardin, the watch was designed to be admired while driving, its slanted dial, and off – center crown are best observed with your hands on the thin – rimmed wood wheel of an elegant old grand tourer. This 100th Anniversary, a one – of – a – kind exact recreation of the original American 1921 can also be found in store. The ‘piece unique’ was so lovingly reproduced, specific tools had to be recast before the heritage and restoration departments could build the new watch entirely by hand.

Odf course, opening a 4,500 – square foot, two – floor boutique in the heart of Manhattan during a pandemic had its challenges. Just ask incoming President of the Americas Alexander Schmiedt about scaffolding.

‘I didn’t know what scaffolding was because, in other global cities, it’s not such a big problem. I learned that in New York, you have to be prepared for things like this. And then, I learned that are different types of scaffolding and so on. We wanted to create something almost like a frame to highlight the beauty of the facade’, Schmiedt said.

Still, with more than 266 years of history behind it, Vacheron has a knack for perfect timing; the store’s grand opening ceremonies synced nicely with the city’s reopening. And the exterior scaffolding that remains? It was cleaverly modified to be out of sight and out of mind.

Themes of endless possibilities run throughout the new flagship, and the shop’s built – in amenities allow well – heeled imaginations to run wild. Skilled artisans will be on hand to provide insight into the process of fine watchmaking, showcasing different types of finishing throughout. In addition, an entire area devoted to straps and bracelets offers up endless personalization provided by an embossing machien on – site.