The new Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières collection from Vacheron Constantin is an invitation to embark upon a nocturnal journey above cities bubbling with creativity. On dials draped with an enamelled base in deep shades, a wide variety of powders create a bird’s-eye view miniature tableau of these sprawling urban expanses. Traditional Grand Feu champlevé enamelling mingles with hand-applied precious powder, an art never yet used in Fine Watchmaking.
The Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières collection perpetuates the age-old tradition of artistic crafts Vacheron Constantin displays in various models in its rich watchmaking history. For almost three centuries, gemsetters, enamellers, guillocheurs and engravers have been cultivating and passing on these forms of expertise. These decorative skills have acquired the habit of echoing each other, combining their techniques with art and creativity on watch dials, and often adopting the spirit of lesser known and surprising arts such as illumination, Japanese lacquer, glyptics or gemstone cloisonné effects.
Vacheron Constantin has dreamed up a sparkling encounter between two exceptional arts: Grand Feu champlevé enamelling, a skill passed on for almost three centuries by the maison’s artisans; and hand-applied powder, a technique mastered by Japanese guest artist Yoko Imai. This is the first time that this technique has been used on a watch dial to which particles of gold, pearl, platinum and diamond powder are meticulously distilled one by one.
The bright dots of light, placed with the greatest precision, compose a portrait of these broad and majestic urban landscapes. The light effects play across the roads, rivers and famous landmarks. The miniature tableaus Imai has composed faithfully reproduce the real “light cartography” of the cities, with their various sorts of light, such as animated districts and even traffic density.
Certified by the Hallmark of Geneva, the Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières watches beat to the rhythm of a mechanical Manufacture Vacheron Constantin caliber. The self-winding Caliber 2460 SC drives a display of the hours, minutes and seconds. Visible through the transparent case back, the oscillating weight features a decoration inspired by the Maltese cross, the signature emblem of Vacheron Constantin. The caliber works at 4 Hz and provides a power reserve of approximately 40 hours.
The movement is protected by a white gold case which measures 40 mm in diameter and 8.9 mm in height and comes with a water-resistance of 3 bar.
The Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières watches are equipped with a black alligator leather strap.
The first three models in this new collection are dedicated to the cities Geneva, Paris and New York. I would have loved to see a model dedicated to London – but maybe that’s one we will see later in the collection as the night-flight of Vacheron Constantin will soon continue over other cities as Vacheron Constantin promised.
All models are part of a limited edition.