The new Métiers d’ Art Villes Lumières series by Vacheron Constantin depicts the beautiful epitome of world-famous cities through a bird’s eye view. This new series is based on the traditional big fire engraving enamel process, combining precious powder hand-coating techniques that have never been used in advanced watchmaking. The first works launched night scenes in three cities, including Geneva, Paris, and New York, and other city-themed works will continue to be launched in the future.
86222 / 000G-B101
Great Fire Enamel
First, Vacheron Constantin’s enamel master planned the contours of the streets, parks, and river channels to be presented according to the best performance that the enamel inlaying process can provide. Then, the streetscape contours were manually engraved on the gold plate, and then filled with a gradually translucent enamel. Each layer of enamel must be sintered at a high temperature of 850 degrees. This critical and delicate process can only rely on the experience and intuition of the enamel master, strictly control the time of each sintering, melt and deform the glass powder mixed with colored oxide, and then cool and vitrify. However, even with such careful control of the process, risks cannot be completely avoided, and the faceplate may be cracked or defective. In the Métiers d’ Art Villes Lumières series, the master of enamel craftsmanship has to accept another tougher challenge. It must reproduce the special atmosphere of the night scene on the faceplate with a translucent deep tone.
86222 / 000G-B104
The beauty of luminous
Vacheron Constantin invited Japanese artist Yoko Imai to combine her art with enamel art. Yoko Imai has been under the guidance of Japanese art masters in the past, and based on this he developed a unique artistic technique: ink painting on canvas with precious powder (such as pearl powder). At the invitation of Vacheron Constantin, she applied this painting technique to the enamel dial of a watch for the first time, ingeniously creating a beautiful light and dark effect.
The technique of using precious powders is based on the same basic principles as ink art: seeking balance and cleanliness. With extremely thin brushes, the precious powders such as pearls, diamonds, gold and platinum are carefully coated on the enamel plate with top secret techniques. The magical luminous effect presented in the final work is made with this extremely strict technique. Every detail is precisely configured without any random or extra space.
Because every detail must be accurately configured, it must be filtered according to the size and brightness of each powder particle, and then several different light presentation forms are tried from several angles, so as to enhance the brightness and authenticity of the light spot. First, tiny gold particles form the background of the luminous. Next, diamonds and platinum powder are used to create a light and dark effect, and then pearl particles are used as embellishments. The area and range of luminous light can be adjusted through this changing light and shadow, giving vitality and temperature to the faceplate. It looks like there are countless lights shining on the enamel plate between the golden edges. Tiny powder particles, each with a different hue and brightness, interact with each other on a dark enamel surface. The finished part of the face plate near the center has the highest brightness, and then gradually weakens toward the outer layer of the face plate.
This face plate that combines art and craftsmanship must be made by hand for more than 3 months, so each face plate is unique. A magnifying glass is attached to the storage box to provide users with a careful appreciation of this beautiful pasta technology.
86222 / 000G-B105
From Geneva, Paris, to New York
The whole leaping journey started in Geneva. This is the cradle of watchmaking craftsmanship and various manual skills, which gave birth to the technique of micro-painting enamel. Vacheron Constantin was born in a loft studio in a log cabin in the St-Gervais district of central Geneva.
Then came to the ‘Light City’ Paris, the favorite city of artists, philosophers and writers, known for its irreplaceable elegance. The night view of Paris, as seen from the panel, includes famous landmarks such as Charles de Gaulle, Champs-Elysées, the River Seine, and the famous Eiffel Tower, all of which have gorgeous lighting effects created by gold carving.
Finally came to the gorgeous ‘Sleepless City’ New York. Countless precious powders sprinkled on the Great Fire Enamel faceplate outline the bright outlines of Manhattan Island, Central Park, the Hudson River, and Brooklyn. In this faceplate, the use of precious powder is also brought to the limit.
Ref. 86222 / 000G-B101 – Geneva
Ref. 86222 / 000G-B104 – Paris
Ref. 86222 / 000G-B105 – New York
18K white gold case, 40 mm diameter, sapphire crystal, case back, waterproof 30 meters. The name of the theme city is engraved on the back case. It is equipped with a 2460SC automatic movement, 27 stones, a frequency of 28,800 vph, a power reserve of 40 hours, and a 22K gold automatic disk. Geneva mark.