Vacheron Constantin’s Métiers d’Art La légende du zodiaque chinois series continues for 2016 with the sign of the monkey, which will take over from the goat at the Chinese New Year festivities on February 8 2016. Bearing the Hallmark of Geneva, these two new creations, each in a limited edition of only twelve models, combine the technical excellence of Caliber 2460 G4 with the beauty of artistic crafts.
Vacheron Constantin has cultivated ties with China since 1845. The Chinese first introduced the paper-cutting technique known as Jianzhi, which is an art echoed in Swiss culture through its famous Scherenschnitt paper-cutting. This artistic approach, highlighted in the Métiers d’Art La légende du zodiaque chinois, has now been given a fresh interpretation by VC’s master engravers and enamellers.
The foliage motif appearing on the dial is based on classic Chinese iconography etched directly in the metal. The pattern remains semi-embedded and stands out from its gold base by a subtle stage-setting of accentuated reliefs that create the effect of depth. The technique makes the vegetation appear to be floating over the dial.
Then with the use of Grand Feu enamelling, a technique invented in Geneva and which remains the preserve of only a few skilled artisans, the enamel is applied in successive layers so as to enhance the intensity of the blue or bronze-toned dial.
Achieving the necessary mastery of color and of reactions to firing at temperatures between 800 and 900 degrees Celsius calls for long years of experience. The monkey, made of platinum or gold, is then hand engraved and delicately applied to the dial center.
The watch is powered by Caliber 2460 G4, which makes it possible to create a distinctive and ideal stage-setting for the decorative arts by giving the central dial motif a starring role. The hands-free time display is achieved through four apertures showing the hours, minutes, days and dates. These indications, the first two of the dragging variety and the last two of the jumping type, reveal Vacheron Constantin’s skill in designing and developing original displays.
The movement is visible through the sapphire crystal back of the platinum or pink gold case. The 22-carat oscillating weight is adorned with a recurrent Maltese Cross pattern in keeping with the finest watchmaking traditions. All movement components are finely finished in accordance with the criteria of the Hallmark of Geneva, a quality label of which Vacheron Constantin remains one of the most faithful representatives.
Métiers d’Art The legend of the Chinese zodiac 2016, Year of the Monkey
References: 86073/000P-8972 – Platinum
86073/000R-8971 – 18K 5N pink gold
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepieces
Pieces only available through the Vacheron Constantin Boutiques
Caliber: 2460 G4
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
31 mm (11’’’¼) diameter, 6.05 mm thick
Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour)
Indications: Hours, minutes, day of the week and date in apertures
Case: Platinum/18K 5N pink gold
40 mm diameter, 12.74 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3bar (approx.30 meters)
Dial: 18K gold, hand-engraved and Grand Feu enamelled
Hand-engraved platinum/18K 5N gold monkey
Strap: Dark blue/brown Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
Clasp: Platinum/18K 5N pink gold folding clasp
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped
Accessories: Delivered with a corrector pen, a magnifying glass and a dedicated brochure to better showcase the craftsmanship and the technicality behind these creations
Limited series of 12 pieces per reference “2016” engraved on the back of each timepiece