Founded in 1755 by Jean-Marc Vacheron, Vacheron Constantin is the oldest watch manufacture in Geneva. Fifteen years after its founding, the firm began producing complicated timepieces. In 1785 Jean-Marc's son Abraham took control of the company, and in 1819 formed a partnership with Francois Constantin.
William Barton Hale (1860-1938) purchased the present watch from Vacheron Constantin. Upon graduation from college, he studied law and was admitted to the Bar in 1887. Upon the death of his father-in-law in 1900, he became president of the E.R. Andrews Printing Company and of the Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Company. Born on a farm, he later turned back to farming as one of his many hobbies. Other hobbies included stamp collecting and photography.