enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

Launched in 1997 the Audubon Birds of America models were 10 sets of 10 watches each, whose dials were inspired by the works of 19th century naturalist JJ Audubon.

The dials in cloisonné enamel depicted different birds found in America and painted by Audubon. The dial work was done by Muriel Senchaud. The 38 mm yellow gold hinged back case housed the caliber 1120 (with Geneva seal) with a skeletonised rotor.

Subsequently Vacheron Constantin used the same principle of enamel dials and same case for specific models whose dials did not represent birds. It is interesting to note that up to now the Audubon series are Vacheron Cosntantin's only modern models with cloissoné enamel dial which do not have an alternative time display!

I don't have scans of all the Birds of Americas series but here are a few:

enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

Subsequent models without bird dials:

enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

A closer look at one of the original Audubon Birds of America

enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

Cloisonné enamel is a method of enamelling which consists of using an extremely thin piece of gold wire (0.05mm thick!) which is bent in to shape that define the image and glued to the dial. The pattern is then filled with enamel powder and baked, each time a new color is added the dial needs to be baked.

In the photo below you can see the gold wire outlining the bird and its wings.

enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series

Very particular dials,
01/09/2008 - 22:02

and again, only made by VC: a real work of art!

I like those representing birds in front of landscapes.

Alex, I think I remember seeing some work like this>>>
01/09/2008 - 23:44

upstairs at the exhibit in the VC museum in Geneva. The pieces we saw were on pocket watches I believe, really remarkable work. I am glad to see this on wristwatches, hopefully the tradition will not be lost. Really great art, thanks for the article. Tim

Its like having a miniature work of art on your wrist, really need
01/10/2008 - 00:03

to be careful driving while wearing one of these. I do not think there is another watch manufacturer that has the ability to create 1st class enameling/cloisonne dials like Vacheron. 

Thanks Alex for these beautiful pictures, I hope I can see them in person some day.

John

Amazing what can be done with wire...
01/10/2008 - 00:58

Wow, the bird dials are particularly attractive.  It makes me admire all the more our little rosewood jewelry box with inlaid gold and silver wire dragons.  This scan is of a 3 inch section on the cover.

Alex, very nice watch and amazing finish especially
01/10/2008 - 14:53

the movement. I really love the fine touches! Great watch indeed!

Your pictures really show off the details nicely.
01/10/2008 - 15:49
I find that there are some Audubon watches that I would love to own and some that I would never touch. I guess that is the nature of things when there is an obviously artictic element involved. Bill
Not really fan of this collection...
01/10/2008 - 16:55

... a little too buccolic in my opinion.

But WOOOOW!!! The work is amazing!! Especially when I look at the bird wings, i love these light reflections!!

Thanks for these pics and the macros () Alex!!

Limited model 10pcs .
01/10/2008 - 18:04

Swan that he drew.

Swan that she drew for VC.

Thank you.

V.Piguet

WOW V Piguet you're full of ressources! I love that one and had never
01/10/2008 - 18:11

seen it

I am speechless Its stunning...
01/10/2008 - 21:54

nt

Though it is not the Audubon Series.
01/11/2008 - 05:10

Hi Alex.

Do you know this model? 

30 pieces were produced for a Japanese market in 2000 or 2001.   Case: PT950 

Thank you.

V.Piguet

I'm a great fan of the Mercator series and this one is no
01/11/2008 - 11:02

exception!!

Re: enamel + skeletonizing : A closer look at the Audubon Series
01/11/2008 - 15:37

Hi Alex.

Muriel Sechoed and another Anita Porchet worke of dail of the Audubon series. 

6 references were released in 1996. 

                 LE GEAI A LONGUE QUEUE

                  LA BUSE A EPAULETTE

                     LE GRAND CORBAU

            LA PERRUCH DE CAROLINE

             LE COURLIS A LONG BEG

              LE PIGEON DU PACIFIQE

4 references were released in 1997.

                   LE CANARD SOUCHET

                        LA SPTULE ROSE

              L'AUGRETTE NEIGEUSE

                LA PIE ET LE CASSE NOIX

Thank you.

V.Piguet

this thread is getting better and better!!
01/11/2008 - 15:40

:-)

fantastic info!! However are you sure Anita Porchet worked on
01/11/2008 - 15:48

these since none seem to be signed by her.

Futhermore the Swan you had posted above is not among the 1st set, was it made for a specific market?

Re: fantastic info!! However are you sure Anita Porchet worked on
01/11/2008 - 16:58

Hi Alex.

Yes. I think that the production number is very little perhaps. I have seen watch that the signature of Porchet enters.

Though what kind of bird she has already drawn because it is shortly a memory of the previous state for ten years is vague that it memorizes.

The photograph of the picture that her signature entered was found though it might be a sample. 

Swan were produced 10pcs for a Japanese market in 1997-1998.

Thank you.

V.Piguet

great thank you (nt)
01/11/2008 - 19:19

e

As alway, amazing art from VC...
01/14/2008 - 16:33

but unfortunately, I'm with Fred on those models, not really my cup of tea.

I also didn't like the 4 seasons and the Alexander the Great models...

However, it is not to say that I do not like this art, and I do hope that VC continues to produce pieces with this dial technique, and hopefully the next models will be more my style...

Alex, you are a lucky bastard!
01/14/2008 - 23:27

Since you are owner of at least one of these

Doc