SIHH 2012: Les metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Fish 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.

 Fish watch: guilloché work and cloisonné enamelling
 
Subtly graded shades of blue and grey form a shoal of intertwining fish. Born from an association between guilloché work and cloisonné enamelling, this “Métiers d’Art – Les Univers Infinis” watch is inspired by a work by Maurits Cornelis Escher.
 
The pattern is cut out from a white gold dial base and the eyes of the fish are meticulously engraved. The guillocheur then forms tenth of a millimetre symmetrical motifs, while displaying extreme dexterity and genuine artistic sensitivity. Parallel curves accentuate the head, tail and fins, while the body of the fish is covered with shiny scales.
 
The enamellermarks out the outline of the motifs using a fine gold wire to separate the various enamel colours, a process known as cloisonné enamelling. The enamel is finally placed in each fish and fired in an oven at a very high temperature, an operation that the artisan will repeat several times in order to intensify the colour. The last firing is followed by a lapping/polishing operation designed to position the partition wires on the same level as the enamelling, and glazing – meaning applying a layer of varnish – that give the dial a radiant glow.
 
This timepiece is limited to 20 pieces.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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