SIHH 2012: Les metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Dove watch

The latest addition to the Métiers d’Art collection: a subtle blend of graphic art and decorative techniques in Fine Watchmaking and an exceptional alliance between the artistic crafts cultivated by the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin: engraving, enamelling, gemsetting and guilloché work
 
 
Offering a fresh illustration of this subtle alchemy, the “Métiers d’Art – Les Univers Infinis” series was also born from a determination to pay tribute to creativity, and lends Fine Watchmaking a whole new face that is both graphic and contemporary, stemming from a blend of mathematics and aesthetics.
 
Inspired by the periodic paving technique known as “tessellation” – and in particular by the work of Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher – the “Métiers d’Art – Les Univers Infiniscollection embodies several artistic arts exercised within the Manufacture: enamelling, gemsetting, engraving and guilloché work.
 
The dialsreflect a sense of geometry, symbolism and motion, thereby suggesting an infinite juxtaposition of different universes.
 
Meticulous work has been effected on the colour shades so that the various hues are harmoniously combined so as to enable the themes to intersect without superseding each other. The rendering is exceptional and elicits a wealth of emotions, with the traditional crafts applied to watch exteriors serving to reinterpret the selective paving technique and create an incredibly mesmerising effect.
 
 
Calibre 2460, a mechanical self-winding movement
 
At the heart of these three timepieces beats Calibre 2460, a mechanical self-winding movement bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva. Entirely developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin, it boasts exceptional reliability matched by excellent manual finishing in keeping with the grand Geneva Fine Watchmaking traditions. The polished angles, hand-drawn flanks, circular-grained mainplate, bridges adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif and the oscillating weight featuring the elegant crossweave guilloché pattern, are all visible through the sapphire crystal case-back.
 
 
Dove Watch: engraving, champlevé enamelling, guilloché work and gemsetting
 
Inspired by a drawing by Maurits Cornelis Escher, the dial of the Dove watch features a depiction of doves in flight, sublimated by the prestigious Fine Watchmaking arts: engraving, Grand Feu enamelling, gemsetting and guilloché worked are intertwined like tessellations to form a resplendent décor.
 
The white gold case is highlighted by a slender bezel ensuring a generous dial opening swept over by elegant hollowed hands.
 
The engraver begins by drawing the outline of the doves on a yellow gold dial base, before proceeding to “champlever” them, meaning engraving the motif before the enameller fills the cavities thus formed. This meticulous operation calls for infinite precision, since the repetitive symmetry of the drawing cannot tolerate any flaws.
 
Then comes the turn of the enameller. The infinite range of colours and nuances stems from the various oxides that may be associated with enamel, and of their combinations. It is up to the artisan to create and choose the perfect harmony of the shades which, once bonded by firing in the often, create this radiant violet hue. The enameller completes his task by applying a translucent enamel coating to the violet birds. For their white counterparts, he opts for an opalescent enamel that reveals the engraved motifs and creates a striking depth effect.
 
Once the enamelling is complete, the gemsetter highlights one of the doves. The diamonds chosen for their lustre and their clarity emphasise the graceful flight of the bird, drawing the gaze towards its crystal-clear luminosity.
 
Finally, the guillocheur, the master of relief, does his part in accentuating the depth effect of the dial. Due to the extreme difficulty of this process, it is extremely rare for an enamelled piece to be guilloché-worked as a final phase. The expert takes the time required to patiently incise the material and thus create a truly lifelike depiction of the doves.
 
This timepiece is limited to 20 pieces.

SIHH 2012: Les metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Dove watch

SIHH 2012: Les metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Dove watch

SIHH 2012: Les metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Dove watch

SIHH 2012: Les metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Dove watch

SIHH 2012: Les metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Dove watch

SIHH 2012: Les metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Dove watch

SIHH 2012: Les metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Dove watch

SIHH 2012: Les metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Dove watch

SIHH 2012: Les metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Dove watch