Many design gimmicks have graced the face of exquisite timepieces, some obviously better than others. But, this new “Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières” by Vacheron Constantin has been gracefully decorated by terrestrial lighting, instead of seeking inspiration from the heavens.
At first glance it made not be instantly apparent, but as we focus in on the details it becomes obvious that these “starry” patterns are too condensed. That’s because they aren’t stars at all, but instead city lights seen from a birds eye view. Each timepiece takes up to three months to be hand-crafted and the box for this watch comes with a magnifying glass, we can use to better admire the workmanship presented here in all its magnificent detail.
The 40mm case is made of 18k white gold with a transparent caseback that allows to see the inner working of the mechanical movement. On each case back you can also find the engraving of the city name that is represented on the dial. As well as admire the 22k gold oscillating weight that features precisely executed decorations inspired by the Maltese cross, which is the Vacheron Constantin signature emblem.
Time is exhibited on an 18k gold dial with Grand Feu champlevé and translucent enamel and powder of precious stones and metal. So, they’ve hand mixed: diamonds and pearls with gold and platinum; to achieve these stunning images that mimic the aerial view of selected cities. They’ve token the traditional Grande Feu champlevé enameling and combined hand-applied precious powder, which is a new approach for fine watchmaking.
The skill of Grande Feu champlevé enameling has been passed down for almost three centuries by Vacheron Constantin artisans; while the hand-applied hand powder technique was imported and mastered by the Japanese guest artist Yoko Imai. Her artistic technique began with calligraphy-inspired painting on canvas with precious powder. It’s a quest for balance and purity, achieved via a thin stylus to individually place the precious powders, applying a technique that is preserved as a guarded secret.
Overall it’s this meticulous placing of gold, pearl, platinum and diamond powder that end up composing a portrait of these major urban landscapes. The first three models in this collection have chosen to represent: New York, Paris and Geneva. Though more night flights are expected to soar over and cover other cities, in future updates to this model line.
Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières
This “Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières” (References below) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 2460 SC, with 27 jewels, 182 components and 28,800 vph. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 40 hours, when fully wound; while water-resistance can reach up to 30 meters (98 feet).
Mounted on the watch is a black Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator inner shell, large square scales strap; secured to the wrist by an 18k white gold buckle featuring a polished half Maltese cross-shaped buckle. All these timepieces are Hallmark of Geneva certified and will be exclusively available at the Vacheron Constantin boutiques.
(Ref#: 86222/000G-B101) – Geneva
(Ref#: 86222/000G-B104) – Paris
(Ref#: 86222/000G-B105) – New York
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