from the press release
The Heures Créatives models engage in an intense conversation encompassing three emblematic artistic periods: Art Nouveau, Art Deco and the 1970s. The Heure Romantique, Heure Discrète and Heure Audacieuse timepieces form a stunning trilogy dedicated to three women with very different appearances, yet all drawn to the same vision of elegance.
Heures Créatives: Heure Romantique
At the dawn of the 20th century, Europe experienced a period of intense industrialisation. It was as a reaction to this energetic whirlwind that Art Nouveau was born. This movement sent a fresh breeze blowing through artistic circles which began advocating a return to Nature, with undulating shapes, organic swirls and effusive arabesques. This was art in all its voluptuousness, marked by a profusion of decoration. The elegant and inventive women of this era took refuge in pastel-hued, vaporous, voluptuous romanticism.
The Heure Romantique model is inspired by this delicate trend. Crafted in 18-carat white gold and adorned with 104 round-cut diamonds (approximately 2.5 cts), its bezel undulates around a mother-of-pearl dial. Four gemset lugs deliciously accentuate the smooth contours of a slightly curved case punctuated by a winding crown enhanced with a diamond. Inspired by a model highly emblematic of the Belle Epoque and dating from 1916, this reinterpretation is devoid of all superfluity and retains only its quintessential elegant roundness. This exceptional timepiece is worn on a black satin strap, secured by a white gold gemset folding clasp.
The Manufacture’s artists have pushed virtuosity to its extremes by creating a second version that is fully paved with round-cut diamonds including the dial, case and bracelet.
The latter is articulated around 30 crescent moon-shaped links set with 264 precious stones (approximately 6.3 cts), extending the smooth curves of the case. Bearing vibrant testimony to the mastery of the artistic crafts cultivated at Vacheron Constantin, the fully paved version is graced with 621 diamonds totalling approximately 9.7 cts.
The contours of the Heure Romantique are further accentuated in the version set with baguette-cut diamonds. The sparkle of faceted precious stones (totalling approximately 17 cts) forms a river of crystalline light poised to nestle in the hollow of a graceful wrist.
Heures Créatives: Heure Discrète
The era of geometric symmetry and clean lines, Art Deco was a reaction to the contortions of Art Nouveau. The Roaring Twenties saw the appearance of slender, modern women exuding a certain distinguished nonchalance. Feathers and sequins adorned low-waisted dresses at sparkling evenings throbbing to the beat of jazz and Charleston steps. An exquisitely luminous embroidery dressed in 286 diamonds, the Heure Discrète is entirely in tune with this spirit. Its design is inspired by the fan, a highly prized accessory at the time. Vacheron Constantin already proposed this motif in the form of a pendant introduced in 1919, and now reprises it nearly a century later by reinterpreting it as a wristwatch. In doing so, it also revives the tradition of secret watches, enabling women to check the time discreetly.
The fan is carved in white gold, fashioned like guipure lace and then carpeted with a crescendo of precious stones to emphasize the geometry. When pivoted, it reveals a small white mother-of-pearl window with finely textured stripes and swept over by two hands. For a touch of elegant sobriety, Heure Discrète is worn on a black satin strap. The sparkling version is extended by three undulating white gold ribbons, set with nearly 11 carats of diamonds. Lavish radiance in pure Art Deco spirit. A worthy heir to the 1920s woman, the Heure Discrète embodies more than just a watch. It represents all the light, airy feel of the Roaring Twenties, shattering codes and using mystery as a means of exalting beauty, in a world where time becomes infinitely and eternally precious…
Heures Créatives: Heure Audacieuse
The 1970s woman enjoyed every imaginable freedom. Liberated and emancipated, she tried out every unusual experience without a care in the world. She cut her hair like a boy and wore a tuxedo. This was the beginning of androgyny and the blurring of genres, the time of post-Woodstock Pop Art. The Heure Audacieuse freed women from their last remaining shackles and marked the return of stylistic devices. This avant-garde model diverted the belt from its customary use by turning it into a precious cuff watch: an unexpected style expressed by Vacheron Constantin in 1970 and an aesthetic wager that was already won hands down at the time. This year, the Manufacture has transcended the original version by magnifying the dimensions while curving its dynamics. The design of this crisp, clean style remains every bit as exclusive as when it was first introduced.
The buckle that serves as a case glows with the effect of snow-set round-cut diamonds – a distinctive setting technique that achieves a subtle sparkling effect by juxtaposing diamonds of different sizes. The master gemsetter has nestled the precious stones against each other to entirely cover the entire white gold surface. So as not to detract from the design, the winding crown is hidden under the black satin strap, matching the colour of the satin-finish varnished dial.
The Heure Audacieuse model is also available in a precious version with 172 invisibly set baguette-cut diamonds totalling 11.30 carats, accentuating the modernity of the design. The Heure Audacieuse cuff watch is designed for a self-assured woman willing to proclaim her distinctive personality and her independence.
These three models are driven by a movement with pure, uncluttered technical content, entirely focused on aesthetics so as to ensure that the magic weaves its unique spell. They are equipped with the extremely precise mechanical hand-wound Calibre 1055 that accurately counts off the hours and minutes. The 115-part, 21-jewel movement with its almost 40-hour power reserve beats at a cadence of 21,600 vibrations per hour. As always, the decoration and finishing vividly reflect the Manufacture’s expertise. Featuring a dainty diameter measuring barely 15.7 mm (6 ¾’’’), this movement fits smoothly and seamlessly into the three form cases to ensure an aesthetically appealing design.