Recently unveiled are images and details of the Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art - Les Univers Infinis series, inspired by the work of Dutch artist M.C. Escher, who was in turn inspired by Moorish art. He favoured repeated graphic patterns indicative of order, symmetry and geometry. Vacheron Constantin take inspiration from the repeated tiling technique of "tessellation" to produce some of the most striking and expressive timepieces presented at SIHH 2012.
Artists need patronage. Many of the great Masterpieces would not exist today if their impoverished creators had not received some sort of support and subsidy from well-heeled proponents. Picasso, for example famously burned sketches, which would now change hands for considerable sums of money, simply to stay warm. In the world of horology Vacheron Constantin are established advocates of traditional applied arts, skills which would could easily disappear in an industry becoming increasingly high-tech - it is firmly entrenched in their philosophy and each year this dedication gives rise to new Métiers d’Art timepieces to add to an already rarefied collection.
To produce each piece involves the combined skills of a team of craftsmen, such is the variety of techniques involved - hand-guilloché, cloisonné enamelling, champlevé enamelling and gem-setting - teamwork which often involves each exquisite dial moving back and forth from bench to bench as each artisan completes his individual painstaking part of the process.
The Dove watch features hand-guilloché work in its final phase of craftsmanship - a technique not often attempted due to its degree of difficulty - and one bird in this ethereal scene has been diamond-set with 38 brilliant-cut stones. The Fish watch features cloisonné enamelling, achieved by first marking each outline using fine gold wire before the enamelling process. The Shell watch features champlevé engraving - each field is hollowed out individually before the enamelling work is added.
Each piece is housed in a 40mm 18kt gold case. Inside is the Vacheron Constantin manufacture Calibre 2460SC with 40 hours of power reserve.
Each Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Les Univers Infinis will be a limited edition of 20 pieces for each model.
The Métiers d’Art Chagall & l’Opéra de Paris “Tribute to Famous Composers - a miniature recreation of Chagall's ceiling artwork at the Paris Opéra
The Métiers d’Art La Symbolique des Laques - with lacquer decoration carried out by the House of Zôhiko, Japan.