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Vacheron Constantin - SIHH 2014 – The art of openworking

Vacheron Constantin SIHH 2014 – The art of openworking

The new Vacheron Constantin models radiate an aura of ethereal lightness, as the venerable House presents collections focusing on the art of openworking, expressed in several different registers.

Openworking is a Vacheron Constantin speciality. At the crossroads between complicated horology and artistic craftsmanship, this technique is one of the Geneva-based manufacturer’s long-established classics. Its 2014 collection is almost entirely built around the art of trimming, hollowing and engraving movements. Mechanical lacework reigns supreme in a variety of simple, complicated or delicate watches.

A leading exponent of so-called “artistic craft” watches, Vacheron Constantin is inaugurating a new aesthetic theme, christened Fabuleux Ornements. Combining gem-setting, sculpture enamelling and engraving, this collection of four ladies’ models features decorative motifs from four different cultures on models respectively named “French Lace”, “Chinese Embroidery”, “Indian Manuscript” and “Ottoman Architecture”. These colourful and refined creations showcase one of the brand’s major movements, Calibre 1003. This ultra-thin mechanism is delicately openworked and revealed through an off-centred opening, leaving a crescent-shape space where the fabulous ornamental techniques are displayed.

The stage-setting for an openworked calibre can also be more masculine and monochrome, as  exemplified in the new Métiers d’Art Mécaniques Ajourées line that extends the openworking on the Manufacture-made Calibre 4400SQ all the way through to the exterior elements. These 40 mm white gold cases are indeed fitted with a grid-like structure serving to provide the hour and minute indications. So as not to mask the openworking of the movements, there is no dial but instead this chapter ring comprising cut-out Roman numerals appearing against a grand feu enamelled background that comes in a choice of black, grey or blue – the latter two colours being exceptional rare in this type of enamelling.

The historical and cultural sources of openworking devote fundamental importance to highlighting the movement architecture. It is this principle that guides the attention lavished by the decoration artisans of the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin on two particular models. The first is the new version of the Malte Tourbillon Openworked. Its Calibre 2790SQ drives a date display at 2 o’clock facing the large and elaborately crafted tourbillon carriage. The second is a trimmed-down version of one of the major Grand Complication models by Vacheron Constantin. Calibre 2260 with tourbillon and 14-day power reserve has also been finely skeletonised. Framed by a 42 mm Patrimony Traditionnnelle case in platinum, it reveals its two large barrels along with a wealth of intricate engravings.

As well as being finely wrought and engraved, ornamental or complicated, all these new models from Vacheron Constantin bear the Poinçon de Genève or Hallmark of Geneva – meaning that they all meet the highest standards of craftsmanship on both technical and aesthetic levels, applied to both the movement and the exterior.

Moreover, Vacheron Constantin is also known for its accomplishments in the field of High Jewellery watches. Two models presented at this SIHH 2014 have been entirely adorned with diamonds. The Patrimony Traditionnelle High Jewellery is an exquisitely feminine and precious watch in a dainty 30 mm size; while no less than 400 diamonds clothe the dial and large-size case of the Malte Tourbillon High Jewellery, ensuring it appeals to both men and women. Both are designed to dazzle all those who gaze on the brand’s display cases.


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An exploration of the history of Vacheron Constantin is a voyage of discovery, revealing the excellence of age-old watchmaking. Each timepiece is the result of the creative inspiration of the watchmaker or craftsman, dedicating their knowhow to the birth of outstanding watches. The Manufacture also works within a social and environmental code of ethics, and has had Responsible Jewellery Council certification since 2012.

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