2015 heralds a new rendezvous with history. The Manufacture can now look back on 260 years of uninterrupted creative activity and is celebrating this milestone by a sparkling tribute to the decorative arts that have significantly contributed to its enduring success. A collection of 12 unique crystal table clocks resembling luminous arches is one of the means by which Vacheron Constantin is demonstrating the twin mastery of Haute Horlogerie and artistic crafts for which it has become a prominent ambassador over successive generations.
For almost two and a half centuries, Vacheron Constantin has been imagining and developing the finest testimonials to horology. Each of its creations is meticulously registered in its archives spanning the long history of the venerable House. 2015 brings a new milestone marking 260 years of uninterrupted history. On this occasion, the Manufacture is celebrating its boldness and expertise with new creations in the Métiers d’Art collection: 12 crystal table clocks. Each is equipped with a new Vacheron Constantin movement comprising a constant-force mechanism and a 30-day power reserve. The series will be progressively unveiled throughout this exceptional year and the first rock crystal model is being given an exclusive preview at the SIHH.
Exceptional scope for creative expression
Over the decades, the democratisation of the wristwatch has resulted in a progressive slow-down in the production of table clocks. The latter have nonetheless found their place as mechanical works of art providing a broad field of expression for various artistic techniques. The Manufacture has found in their generous dimensions an ideal medium through which to convey the full force of its cultural commitment in the realm of the decorative arts. Inspired by a model dating back to 1933, Vacheron Constantin has chosen to explore the many facets of crystal: translucent crystal for its purity that lends itself admirably to being enhanced by artistic crafts; and rock crystal for its natural rarity and its mineral richness. They provide a wonderful playground in which to demonstrate the excellence of the artistic crafts cultivated by Vacheron Constantin. As usual, the exterior stems from a fruitful dialogue between master-watchmakers and crystal-glassmakers, as well as stone-hunters and stone-cutters, guillocheurs, engravers and enamellists – an array of master-artisans that the Manufacture delights in challenging to reach new heights of achievement.
While the 12 table clocks each beat to the pace of the same movement, each crystal arch reveals a unique expression. Four of them celebrate the natural beauty of rock crystal, evoking a “mineral” architecture shaped by the Earth across endless ages. Only exceptional stones are selected for their optical quality, their colour, their radiance, their refractive index and the aesthetic harmony of their inclusions. They illustrate various mineral variations, in turn revealing an evanescent white, an amber-tinted shade, fascinating black tourmaline inclusions known as “Arrows of Love”, or stunningly beautiful golden titanium “Venus Hair” inclusions. The eight other table clocks, in translucent crystal, revisit a variety of architectural movements: Orientalism, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Op Art, Post-Modernism, Deconstructivism, Green Architecture and Utopianism. These decorative themes adorn the crystal arch of the table clock.Read more...