These watches are the next in a series called "Les Masques" timepieces which are part of Vacheron's Metiers d'Art watch collection. Three sets of four watches are being released, one set per year. The first set ,released in 2007, (see the video at the end of the blog) was inspired by ancient masks from China, Alaska, Congo and Indonesia. The miniature masks are exact scaled down replica's of the original masks. This remarkable achievement was done by scanning the originals thereby getting a three dimensional image. The dimensions of the image were reduced and master engravers used the prototypes to meticulously carve the tiny replicas. In 2008 Vacheron drew inspiration, for its second set, from masks from Mexico, Japan, Gabon, and Papua New Guinea. These four masks are based on artwork found in the Barbier-Mueller Collection-a collection of over 7000 artifacts from civilizations spanning time and the globe. The entire collection of three sets of four will contain masks from the continents of Asia, Africa, the America's, and Oceania.
Each watch in the set is crafted from different colored metals - yellow gold, white gold, pink gold and platinum. The masks are resting on sapphire crystal. Each watch is engraved with a poem by a French writer Michel Butor. This years models were so intricately designed that even the surface texture of the ancient mask material was taken into account. The rough clay texture of the Mexican mask was reproduced.
- The Japan Mask (1st mask) is based on the Budha's mask stemming from the second half of the 19th century. The original artifact was crafted from lacquered wood decorated with gold and blue pigments. The watch continues color theme and the watch case is gold and the dial is blue.
- The Gabon Mask (2nd mask) is a Pipibudze mask made by the Kwele people inhabitants of the equatorial rain forest. This mask symbolized a spirit who came from the realm of dead to help the living. This spirited watch has a white gold case.
- The Mexican mask (3rd watch) was based on a piece of a mask-shaped censor, believed to be part of a decorated chimney, from the Mayan civilization dating back to 550-950 AD. The watch case is pink gold.
- The Papua New Guinea Mask (4th watch) which was made from wood, pigments and shells. The watch case is platinum and the striking red mask is set in a gray dial.
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