Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières
January 04, 2017
The new Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières collection is an invitation to embark upon a nocturnal journey above cities bubbling with creativity. On dials draped with an enamelled base in deep shades, a wide variety of powders creates a bird’s-eye view miniature tableau of these sprawling urban expanses. Traditional Grand Feu champlevé enamelling mingles with hand- applied precious powder, an art never yet used in Fine Watchmaking. The striking and realistic beauty of these Hallmark of Geneva certified timepieces opens up whole new artistic and creative horizons, where traditional skills are constantly nurtured by fresh influences.
The Maison has dreamed up a sparkling encounter between two exceptional arts: Grand Feu champlevé enamelling, a skill passed on for almost three centuries by the Vacheron Constantin artisans; and hand-applied precious powder, a technique mastered by Japanese guest artist Yoko Imai. This is the very first time that this technique has been used on a watch dial to which particles of gold, pearl, platinum and diamond powder are meticulously distilled one by one, endowing the enamel with exceptional radiance. The bright dots of light, placed with the greatest precision, compose a portrait of these broad and majestic urban landscapes. The light effects play across these strikingly realistic roads, rivers and famous landmarks. Certified by the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, the Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières watches beat to the rhythm of a mechanical Manufacture Vacheron Constantin caliber graced with refined finishing, in accordance with traditional Fine Watchmaking techniques. The first three models in this new collection are dedicated to the nocturnal magic of Geneva, Paris and New York. This night-flight will soon continue over other cities.
An enduring vocation for artistic crafts
The Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières collection perpetuates the age-old Vacheron Constantin tradition of artistic crafts. In 1755, the very first known watch by the founder of the Maison, Jean-Marc Vacheron, already featured delicate engraved arabesque motifs. Ever since, for almost three centuries, gemsetters, enamellers, guillocheurs and engravers have been cultivating and passing on these forms of expertise that have become extremely rare. Today as yesterday, over the years and in step with successive creations, their dexterity has given life to masterpieces of the watchmaking art. These decorative skills have acquired the habit of echoing each other, combining their techniques with art and creativity on watch dials, and often adopting the spirit of lesser known and surprising arts such as illumination, Japanese lacquer, glyptics or gemstone cloisonné effects. In keeping with this tradition, the Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières collection enables Vacheron Constantin to explore new, contemporary and innovative expressive territory for artistic crafts.
The timepieces of the Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières collection are certified by the Hallmark of Geneva, a sure token of precision and reliability issued by an entirely neutral and independent body. Manufacture Vacheron Constantin mechanical self-winding Caliber 2460 SC drives a display of the hours, minutes and seconds. Visible through the transparent case-back, the 22K gold oscillating weight features a finely executed decoration inspired by the Maltese cross, the Vacheron Constantin signature emblem. Each of the components, whether visible or hidden, is adorned with finishes crafted in accordance with the finest watchmaking skills exemplified by bevelling, circular-graining and polishing. The movement is protected by a precious white gold case.
The Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières collection is a horological and artistic creation in keeping with the purest Vacheron Constantin traditions. Its striking dials, like authentic miniature tableaus, offer an original view of fascinating cities and of the watchmaking art itself, perpetually inspired and constantly reinvented.