Dancer on Stage: Degas meets Vacheron Constantin

Introducing the new Metiers d'Art Hommage à l'Art de la Danse - The Dancer on Stage

From the press release:

Vacheron Constantin unveils the latest addition to its Métiers d’Art Hommage à l’Art de la Danse collection - The Dancer on Stage. The Art de la danse collection is based on the highlights of a ballerina’s daily life: learning, training and performance. These creations from the workshops of the Manufacture revisit the ancestral art of Grand Feu grisaille enamelling to highlight the art of classical ballet by reinterpreting the works of Edgar Degas.

The Métiers d’Art Hommage à l’Art de la Danse watches crystallise the magic and the subtly alchemy between complementary arts: that of the ballerina, that of the enameller, and that of the watchmaker.

Within a white gold frame, Degas’ beloved ballerinas glide gracefully beneath the ever-dancing hands. The master enamel artist drew inspiration from paintings by the master and represent the pinnacle of a ballerina’s life with a solo stage performance depicted in Prima Ballerina circa 1876, a pastel on paper on show at the Musée d’Orsay (Paris, France).

The finesse of Grand Feu grisaille enamel painting reveals the slightest details of the protagonist: the tiniest fold of the tutus, the smooth velvet of the ribbons encircling their neck, the transparency of tulle and muslin… Entirely in the manner of Degas, the Vacheron Constantin master enamel artist reinterprets the exact moment, the gestures, the pose and the perspective, playing on chiaroscuro light and shade effects to anchor the scene firmly in reality.

Whereas grisaille enamelling is generally applied to black enamel, the House artisan decided to work with a translucent brown enamel base serving to accentuate the depth effect while lending a soft nuance to the painting. After applying this base, the enameller adds touches of Limoges white enamel that is then drawn out out using needles, extremely fine brushes and even cactus thorns so as to create graded shades and play on the various pigments.

Limoges white enamel is a now rare and extremely rare powder mixed with oils. The challenge lies in the material itself that is extremely difficult to work with and requires the artisan to display almost intuitive sensitivity. Each of the layers requires a firing operation that must be timed to the nearest second. With each Grand Feu firing, the enamels change, become more intense and retract. The enameller’s experience plays an essential role in this process. The firing times are calculated according to the type and quantity of the material applied and their exact duration is one of the trade secrets of the artist who must juggle with a broad range of grey shades. The latter are perfectly suited to the art of portrait painting, as is confirmed by the extreme finesse shown in depicting facial expressions.

Framed to perfection by the understated elegance of a finely polished 40 mm-diameter case, the Grand Feu grisaille enamelling of the Métiers d’Art Hommage à l’Art de la Danse is entirely hand-crafted with infinite patience, meticulous care and intense concentration. A worthy heir to the spirit of the Cabinotiers cherished by the founders of the House, this ancestral technique reclaimed by Vacheron Constantin succeeds – without the help of vivid colours nor additional material – in creating an authentic depth effect that captures the ballerinas’ experience right the way through to the tiniest fold in their costume. The music to which they move is the regular beat of the self-winding Calibre 2460, entirely developed and crafted in the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin. Such a work of art naturally deserved an exceptional movement, and its superlative finishes are performed in keeping with the finest Genevan traditions of Fine Watchmaking.

Dancer on Stage: Degas meets Vacheron Constantin

Dancer on Stage: Degas meets Vacheron Constantin Dancer on Stage: Degas meets Vacheron Constantin

Dancer on Stage: Degas meets Vacheron Constantin

Another superb creation
10/23/2013 - 19:03
May I ask Alex, is the Art de la Danse collection intended for man or woman?
there was no specific gender in mind when creating these watches and
10/24/2013 - 11:28
I would gather they are unisex... even though I don't think any will be a daily wearer
Re: there was no specific gender in mind when creating these watches and
10/24/2013 - 23:52
They are, indeed beautiful, a work of art, no doubt. Even so, lots of guys may not take to the idea of a ballerina on the wrist
A beautifully balanced design
10/23/2013 - 23:32
I think VC dial designs are generally brilliant and this one is no exception. The recent repeater watch, the 14 day tour billon, almost all the meters d'arts watches, all of them have wonderfully balanced dial designs, classically proportioned but each with a hint of the unusual
Vivid and 3 dimensional.....
10/24/2013 - 00:48
My daughters will adore .
The recreation of these famous Manet paintings is wonderful!
10/24/2013 - 03:30
They are stunning works. They look almost 3 dimensional! The grisaille technique really allows the details to come through and is therefore a much greater challenge for the artist. This is a real tour de force. Well done! As for Manet...Kent should know something about that. I believe the Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen has a huge collection of Manet's work, espcially sculptures. Joseph
Superb enameling
10/24/2013 - 05:59
Beautiful dial and case (feels more special with the hunter case back). Thanks Alex for sharing the details of the enameling process. I am sure it looks great in person. Is this exclusive to a certain boutique only such as the Paris boutique? Cheers Robin
Superb. It looks as if the dancer is alive - about to come out and
10/24/2013 - 18:37
jump out of the dial...and even the dancers in waiting in the background look alive.
A lifelike result...
10/24/2013 - 18:55
Sheer beauty - a magnificent example!heart Alex - Is this a specially commissioned piece? Tony
an ongoing series first launched a few months ago and inspired by
10/24/2013 - 19:07
Degas' dance paintings For more info on the previous watches Art de la Danse
Hi Alex,
10/24/2013 - 19:51
I'm curious to know if they considered doing these watches in colour based on Manet's paintings, like the Chagall ceiling. It looks like the technique used here is only monochrome. Joseph
Re: Hi Alex,
10/24/2013 - 21:03
No the idea was to interpret but using an extremely difficult " grisaille" method BTW the paintings are from Degas
Thanks, Alex. Sorry, I knew they were from Degas.
10/24/2013 - 21:25
For some reason I've had Manet on the brain lately. I think it was a collection of his work that I had been looking at recently. Joseph
Thanks for the report, Alex.
10/24/2013 - 19:01
V&C continues to show unusual creativity with such high-class designs. Really well done. Cheers, Tony C.