A Rare Bird Lands in New York City

Starting in 1996, VC created a series of 10 watches to celebrate John J. Audubon, the famed naturalist, and his book Birds of America, which was originally published in Edinburgh and London in the 1830s.  Muriel Sechaud was commissioned to produce the cloisonne dials and only 10 copies of each watch were produced as the dials were very labor intensive. All of them were produced in yellow gold with an inscribed, hinged back cover, and inside, a beautiful Cal.1120 movement with a skeletonized rotor and Seal of Geneva.

I have been trying to add one to my collection for some time, and recently was able to do so.  The artistry of the dial is truly remarkable.  These pics really don't do justice to the beauty of the piece, but hopefully I will be able to show it to some of you in person when we get together.

A Rare Bird Lands in New York City

A Rare Bird Lands in New York City

A Rare Bird Lands in New York City

A Rare Bird Lands in New York City

A Rare Bird Lands in New York City

A Rare Bird Lands in New York City

A Rare Bird Lands in New York City
01/03/2014 - 21:27
01/04/2014 - 05:31
01/03/2014 - 23:56
01/04/2014 - 16:37
JB
01/04/2014 - 00:53
4Js
01/04/2014 - 15:07
01/04/2014 - 16:34
01/09/2014 - 22:08
01/10/2014 - 19:57
KBS
01/04/2014 - 17:17
01/04/2014 - 20:21
01/05/2014 - 02:24
01/09/2014 - 22:41
01/06/2014 - 14:12
01/09/2014 - 22:49
01/09/2014 - 22:50
Just beautiful!
01/03/2014 - 21:27
Congratulations, Mike!  I know you were hunting one of these for some time, and I am delighted to see this rare bird "land" on your wrist.  It really is  gorgeous piece.  I love the treatment of the rotor on the Audobon series (just as on your Saltarello).  I cannot wait to see this one in person. Best regard, Robert
Hopefully you'll see it soon
01/04/2014 - 16:38
Either here in NYC or perhaps in Geneva?
Beautiful inside and out...
01/03/2014 - 21:45
OMG, that is a fantastic work of horological art.  Thanks for the background info too.  Other references mention the Audubon series was launched in 1997; I wonder which?  The beautifully engraved 1120/2 caliber with Geneva Seal and non-Gyromax is wonderful and IIRC is the same as used on the Saltarello.  Question please; what is the bird?
Re: Beautiful inside and out...
01/03/2014 - 22:23
According to Treasures of Vacheron Constantin (p205), the series was launched in 1996.  That being said, the dial that is illustrated in the book is dated 1997, and mine is dated 1998, so they must have been produced over several years.   The bird is a Roseate Spoonbill (or La Spatule Rosée in French).  It is native to the gulf coast, Mexico and South America east of the Andes. Here is the original Audubon illustration:
Thanks much (nt)
01/04/2014 - 05:31
nt
Stunning...
01/03/2014 - 23:56
Wear in good health, Miki
Re: Stunning...
01/04/2014 - 16:37
Thanks Miki.  All the best to you as well.
Lovely Michael!
01/04/2014 - 00:53
A great catch! You must be Papageno wink Stunning workmanship on the enamelling and the movement, both. Wear it in the best of health. Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) I have seen these birds near Disney world and also in Puerto Rico. Their plumage is amazing.
Congratulation with the "Bird" to your collection!
01/04/2014 - 08:17
Congratulation! Thanks for sharing pictures, information about the watch and John J. Audubon. The Cal.1120 movement with its skeletonized rotor is truly amazing. Wear in good health! I assume the dial is an enamel work. Are the hour markers enamel or gold?
Re: Congratulation with the "Bird" to your collection!
01/04/2014 - 16:36
Thanks.  Yes, the dial is enamel and the hour markers are embedded 18k gold dots that presumably were added at the same time as the cloisonne wires.
Re: Re: Congratulation with the "Bird" to your collection!
01/04/2014 - 20:27
Thanks for the information. I appreciate it!
Beautiful VC. I have a 2002 or 2003 VC catalogue
01/04/2014 - 12:42
and this piece is featured in that. Art on dial, and art visible st the back in the form of calibre 1120.
Re: Beautiful VC. I have a 2002 or 2003 VC catalogue
01/04/2014 - 16:34
Thanks.  If you ever get a chance to scan that page I would love to see it.
Re: Re: Beautiful VC. I have a 2002 or 2003 VC catalogue
01/05/2014 - 06:13
Sure...please pm me your email id. I will try and scan it and send you. I am currently travelling but maybe next week or so.
Fantastic land, Mike
01/04/2014 - 15:07
These are so hard to find. Wear in the best of health. I just love the hunter back too. Can't wait to see this one in person. Best, Joe
Re: Fantastic land, Mike
01/04/2014 - 16:34
Thanks Joe.
Breathtakingly beautiful...
01/04/2014 - 16:47
Mike - the work of Muriel Sechaud is astonishing. Totally agree....to fully appreciate the piece it has to be seen with the eye. Delighted for you; the 'wait' has been more than rewarding! Well done. Tony
Thank you Tony!
01/09/2014 - 22:08
Hoping we get a chance to meet in person one day.  Cheers!
Re: Thank you Tony!
01/10/2014 - 19:57
Thanks Michael, let's hope that opportunity isn't too far away.  Best wishes Tony
Congratulations Michael.
01/04/2014 - 17:17
It's a wonderful watch you have acquired. I love the 1120 version with the embellished rotor. Just marvellous. I think that it is a good idea that VC have decided to hide the movement so that it isn't disturbing the serenity of the overall expression of the watch.  As an viewer you can then enjoy the superb details and craftmanship of the dial without being disturbed by the movement and its intriguing details. When one has finished with observing the dial and wants more then it's time to open the watch and another work of art is revealed. It reminds me of a pocket watch construction where you open the back and then there is glass covering the movement instead of gold. It gives the owner an opportunity for enjoying two very different worlds. Your collection is truly  amazing and thanks for sharing it with us.    Cheers Kent
You hit the nail on the head
01/09/2014 - 22:10
It's all about the dial until you want more . . .
So glad you finally found your Audubon!
01/04/2014 - 18:19
Congratulations Michael!  I look forward to seeing it in person either when you are back up in Boston or I am down in NY. Bill
Thanks Bill. Looking forward to catching up soon. (nt)
01/09/2014 - 22:11
nt
Wow, WoW & WOW!
01/04/2014 - 20:21
It looks amazing, I am so very happy for you Michael. Congratulations! Waer it well my friend ;-) BR, Dan
Thank you Dan. See you soon? (nt)
01/09/2014 - 22:12
nt
Pure horological beauty
01/05/2014 - 02:24
Both inside and out. And such a rare timepiece! The hunter case back also brings out a certain charm for this watch to ice the cake. Congrats for the successful hunt and may this timepiece bring you great joy in the new year! Cheers Robin
Thank you sir and I'll have one more, too! (nt)
01/09/2014 - 22:13
nt
Another John J. Audubon Bird motif, The Raven from 1996
01/05/2014 - 07:43
I have found another John J. Audubon Bird motif in my reference book The Secrets of Vacheron Constantin. The beautiful Raven from 1996. Enjoy!
That is a beautiful piece! (nt)
01/09/2014 - 22:15
nt
Re: A Rare Bird Lands in New York City
01/05/2014 - 12:27
Fabulous Michael, I really adore the original plates, and the VC watches do them proud.. I look forward to seeing it in person if possible. Happy New Year has already begun! Best G
Thanks Gary. Hope to see you soon, too. (nt)
01/09/2014 - 22:40
nt
Re: A Rare Bird Lands in New York City
01/05/2014 - 18:45
Wow.  Just gorgeous --never seen one from this series before.
Thank you! (nt)
01/09/2014 - 22:41
nt
greetings from a cousin
01/06/2014 - 12:31
Sold a few years ago and seriously missed frown You have a lovely watch Michael, I love the color combination, very warm. AFAIK the Audubon along with the Saltarello were at the time the only non slkeleton watches to have a skeletonized rotor
I have a question Alex.
01/06/2014 - 13:38
What about the ref 43039. I thought that it came out at the same time as the Audubon and the Saltarello watches? They are all represented in a catalog from 1998 called in my german edition "Betrachtungen zur zeit" or in  my french edition "Vacheron Constantin exploratur de la vie et du temps".   Cheers Kent Photos from the internet.    
learn something new each day! Didn't know about this one, thank
01/06/2014 - 14:15
you for the heads up
Nice one, Kent!
01/07/2014 - 17:54
I did not know about the backside of this watch...beautiful!  May I ask what is the size of this watch?  Best, Robert
Antiquorum says 35 mm.
01/07/2014 - 21:06
WHL wrote this article about it.http://vacheron.watchprosite.com/show-nblog.post/ti-859253/ Cheers Kent
Ah, thanks so much.
01/07/2014 - 22:47
I had completely forgotten this article by Bill.  Thank you for the link and the reminder. Best, Robert
Sometimes you don't know what you've got till it's gone
01/09/2014 - 22:47
At least that's what Joni Mitchell says.  Yours is one of the others with a full naturalistic face instead of the vignetted style that some of the others, like the Raven and the Pigeons, have, See you soon in Geneva!
Wow what a piece!
01/06/2014 - 14:12
Congratulations on this Audubon, Maberlin !!! Astonishing dial, beautiful case and caliber and nothing heavy; pure refinement. Fantastic add to your collection. cheers François
Merci François! (nt)
01/09/2014 - 22:49
nt
Re: A Rare Bird Lands in New York City
01/09/2014 - 16:39
Beautiful! No words for it, true there are still some VC watches that have paint type inside.. but this one is just perfect, especially the colors, so bright, summery! Cheers to you for having one!
Thank you! (nt)
01/09/2014 - 22:50
nt
Re: A Rare Bird Lands in New York City
01/14/2014 - 01:42
So beautiful!