Making of photos of the new Metiers d'Art Chinese Zodiac: Snake watch

For a presentation of the new Metiers d'Art Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Snake watch click here

T
he dial is a mix of enameling and engraving

The snake is engraved in either platinum (for the platinum version) or pink gold (for the pink gold model). The crafting of the scales alone represents at least 30 hours of work!

Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Snake watch. making of

Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Snake watch. making of

The leaf motif appearing on the dial and stemming from classic Chinese iconography, is etched directly in the metal. The pattern remains semi-embedded and stands out from its gold base by a subtle stage-setting of variously accentuated reliefs creating a depth effect. The raised  leaves appear to be  floating over the dial.

With the snake engraving, on which crafting the scales alone represents at least 30 hours of work,
  Then comes the stage of Grand Feu enamelling, a technique invented in Geneva and which remains the exclusive preserve of a rare breed of artisans. By applying the enamel in successive layers, the enamel specialist further enhances the visual intensity of the blue or bronze-toned dial.

The necessity of maintaining tight control of the colour and the reactions to the firing process that takes place in a kiln at around 800 to 900°C, calls for a specific way of reasoning that takes years to acquire. A final layer of enamel is then applied before a final firing operation that vitrifies the dial and lends a shiny glazed effect that gives added definition to the floral motif.
With the snake engraving, on which crafting the scales alone represents at least 30 hours of work,

With the snake engraving, on which crafting the scales alone represents at least 30 hours of work,

With the snake engraving, on which crafting the scales alone represents at least 30 hours of work,

With the snake engraving, on which crafting the scales alone represents at least 30 hours of work,
 
Finally, the snake is delicately applied to the centre of the dial
With the snake engraving, on which crafting the scales alone represents at least 30 hours of work,
Re: Making of photos of the new Metiers d'Art Chinese Zodiac: Snake watch
11/06/2012 - 13:39
A great representation of the sort of artistry that IMO sets VC apart from the pack.
Attention to detail is exquisite.
11/06/2012 - 18:12
wonder what it'd look like if they put the chinese character for snake as well on the dial...would be awesome.
Thanks for sharing, Alex.
11/06/2012 - 19:00
It’s a very good idea that every time there is a new Metiers d’Art  series you post photos where the spectators can see the process and read about it. The videos  where the craftsmen from Vacheron Constantin  show how they make the Champleve, Cloisonne, Engraving  etc. are also great. I have seen them a lot of times and it makes me appreciate the pieces I have in my collection a lot more when one of the art forms is represented. Keep them coming, these lovely reports ( and the videos ). They are much appreciated.  Yours sincerely Kent