SIHH 2012: Les Metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Shell 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.

 Shell watch: engraving and champlevé enamelling
Shells and starfish form a luminous ochre-tinged seabed swept over by slender light skeletonised hands. The interlocking shells and starfish stage a fascinating dance which, depending on the light, showcases various details of their anatomy.
Crafted using engraving and champlevé enamelling techniques, the dial of this “Métiers d’Art – Les Univers Infinis” watch is inspired by the work of the artist Maurits Cornelis Escher.
 
First of all, the engraver traces the shapes of the shells on the dial using a drypoint and then hollows out the fields or cavities while protecting their outlines in order to create a relief engraving using this champlevé technique.
 
Then comes the turn of the enameller, who fills the cavities with enamels before firing them several times at a temperature of 800° to 850°C. Several firings are required to complete this work, which is perfected by lapping-polishing and glazing-varnishing. The engraver sets the final touch by engraving the surface of the starfish. The champlevé enamelling technique calls for excellent mutual understanding and cooperation between the two artisans and which will strongly influence the final result, since any discordance could jeopardise their joint work.
 
This timepiece is limited to 20 pieces.

SIHH 2012: Les Metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Shell watch

SIHH 2012: Les Metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Shell watch

SIHH 2012: Les Metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Shell watch

SIHH 2012: Les Metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Shell watch

SIHH 2012: Les Metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Shell watch

SIHH 2012: Les Metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Shell watch
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Of the Metiers d'Art novelties
01/16/2012 - 15:56
this Shell version is my favorite.  Its simply uncanny how realistic the finish is, reminding me of the wonders found while hiking tidal flats along the West Coast.
Stunning nt
01/16/2012 - 22:39
nt
This is sick !
01/17/2012 - 01:06
crazy pieces fo art. Skilled "artisanat" at his best. Just amazing... especially if you ahve visited Plan les ouates...
Re: SIHH 2012: Les Metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Shell watch
01/18/2012 - 09:36
I found this the best of the three ! But all are wonders.
Re: SIHH 2012: Les Metiers d'Art - Univers Infinis: Shell watch
01/18/2012 - 14:43
In all honesty, it does not get better than this, at least not in a dial I've ever seen! A hurray to Vacheron for fullfilling it's philosohy of "it is always possible".