The ‘Metiers d’Art-Les Univers Infinis’ series pays tribute to creativity and lends fine watchmaking a whole new face
The Métiers d’Art collection cultivated by Manufacture Vacheron Constantin serves as a bridge spanning successive eras, by perpetuating sometimes neglected crafts with ancient origins. For over 250 years the Manufacture has been nurtured by a philosophy dedicated to highlighting our shared cultural heritage.
More specifically, the timepieces in the Métiers d’Art collection lie at the crossroads of past, present and future, and crystallise the human challenges that have forged and continue to nurture these skills from generation to generation.
Painting, engraving, sculpture and the decorative arts in general are worlds
through which human talent and personality weave close ties with time. The Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art collection conveys the brand’s deep-felt attachment to culture. The ‘Métiers d’Art – Les Masques’ timepieces launched in partnership with the Barbier- Mueller Museum, as well as the ‘Métiers d’Art – Chagall & L’Opéra de Paris’ and ‘Métiers d’Art – La Symbolique des Laques’ series, all made their own contribution to a vision of time that requires the human touch in order to shine.
Offering a fresh illustration of this subtle alchemy, the ‘Métiers d’Art – Les Univers Infinis’ series was also born of a determination to pay tribute to creativity, and lend fine watchmaking a whole new face that is both graphic and contemporary, stemming from a blend of mathematics and aesthetics.
Inspired by the periodic paving technique known as ‘tessellation’ and in particular by the work of Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher – the ‘Métiers d’Art – Les Univers Infinis’ collection embodies several artistic arts exercised within the Manufacture: enamelling, gemsetting,engraving and guilloché work.
The engraver begins by drawing the outline of the doves on a yellow gold dial base, before proceeding to ‘champlever’ them, meaning engraving the motif before the enameller fills the cavities thus formed. This meticulous operation calls for infinite precision, since the repetitive symmetry of the drawing cannot tolerate any flaws.
Once the enamelling is complete, the gemsetter highlights one of the doves. The diamonds chosen for their lustre and their clarity emphasise the graceful flight of the bird, drawing the gaze towards its crystal-clear luminosity.
Finally, the guillocheur, the master of relief, does his part in accentuating the depth effect of the dial. Due to the extreme difficulty of this process, it is extremely rare for an enamelled piece to be guilloché worked as a final phase.