Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vacheron Constantin Only Watch 2011 Inspired by an Artist

It is wonderful to see the unique creations unveiled for the Only Watch Auction coming this September in Monaco to raise funds for the terribly debilitating muscular dystrophy disease. Companies use this opportunity to go beyond production requirements and consumer demands and create a singular spectacular timepiece which displays the creativeness and exceptional craftsmanship of the company. This piece is part of Vacheron Constantin's Collection which pays tribute to Métiers d'Art. Vacheron Constantin Métiers d'Art Dove Watch. The doves are symbols of hope and love.

Vacheron Constantin creates a dial of magnificent splendor combining guillochager, engraving, enameling and gem setting. Vacheron Constantin took inspiration from Maurits Cornelius Escher, a Dutch Engraver (1898-1972) whose engravings often defy the consistencies of depth perception and heuristics.
Vacheron Constantin utilizes a repetitive tiling method known as tessellation. A method whereby a plane is filled with repetitive plain figures, with no gaps or overlaps like a jigsaw puzzle.

5 different methods of decoration was used to complete the dial:
  • The Engraving framing each bird is champlevé enameling - French for "raised field or raised plain, is an ancient method of enameling first used in 2 BC whereby grooves are carved into the metal surface - in this case 18k gold- after which the vitreous enamel is filled into the grooves. The enamel is heated melting entirely and filling the grooves. Once the piece has cooled down, the enamel is polished. To create perfection in this art form ,as presented on the dial, requires superior experience and expertise.
  • The Red Birds utilize a translucide enameling method. The term "translucide" is derived from translucent - or see-through. The Red birds are in shades of Red creating the illusion of sun beams shining upon a stained glass window.
  • Opolescent enameling - is usually white in color. One of the most famous items to use this type of enameling is "The Cross of St. George Egg" crafted by Fabergé's and Presented by Tsar Nicholas II to the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna on Easter 1916.
  • Hand Guilloché method is used for the gold birds, whereby the guillocher painstakingly engraves the birds into the gold with tiny intricate repetitive patters changing the texture of the gold and thereby forming an image. Often guilloche is done by machine as this technique requires an almost robotic constancy in pattern , extreme, precision, delicacy and closeness of the line and if done by hand is excruciatingly time consuming. However, Vacheron Constantin master guillocher is able to perform guilloche by hand incorporating as much precision as a machine,and adding a uniqueness in craft only achieved by the hand of a human.
  • One diamond bird flies among the flock glittering with 40 brilliant cut diamonds of appx 0.08 carat.
Beneath the dial beats a high-precision automatic Vacheron Constantin caliber 2460 baring the Geneva Seal. The American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) black leather strap is fastened by an 18k white gold buckle emblazoned with a polished half Maltese cross.

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