INTRODUCING: The Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Collection pays tribute to legendary explorersZach Blass
With the Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art collection, even those uninitiated with watchmaking can clearly see the artistry and hand craftsmanship of the watches. Inspired by art, history, and culture, the collection leverages the master craftsmen and intricate techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. Each dial is quite a masterpiece, serving as a canvas of artwork that is so high in quality it could be displayed in a museum. The Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art collection takes inspiration from the Miller Atlas, a Portuguese atlas from 1519. This collection of three watches serves as a third entry in a trilogy of highly limited edition models in tribute to great explorers, with the first two collections created in 2004 and 2008 respectively.
The cases are each made of polished 4N pink gold, 41mm in diameter and 11.68mm thick. With a front view of the watches, you’ll see a mirror polished bezel ring that steps down to other polished rings of precious metal. This “Three Stairs” case design, along with the narrow lugs, creates a classic profile that results in a watch that effectively looks like an older more traditional watch enlarged for the modern marketplace. While I would not expect owners of the watches to wear such high-craftsmanship timepieces in the water, it is nice to know you can wash your hands wearing these works of art as each of the cases are water resistant up to 30 metres (effectively splash-resistant).
The three watches, and their dials, zero in on three different territories and the explorers who traversed them – Bartolmeu Dias (South Africa), Vasco Da Gama (India), and Pedro Alvares Cabral (Brazil). Beneath the sapphire crystal, with black printed Vacheron Constantin branding at the 12′ position of the crystal, is a white gold dial plate covered with a beige enamel undercoat. All of the visible drawings on each dial are enamel painted, which is pretty incredible considering the detailing achieved at such a micro scale. The borders of each dial’s geology are formed with hand-applied gold powder, and the edges of the upper dial plate are treated with 5N PVD. While there is a lot going on with each dial, the time is still rather easy to read. The minutes scale is radially laid out from around 12′ to 6′ with numerals indicating every 10th minute and dots indicating the fifth minutes between them. As for the hours, the movement’s satellite hours complication will display the hour numeral and rotate it around the minutes scale to indicate the full time.
The leather strap with each watch is made of blue alligator leather. The strap is fastened to the wrist via a case-matching pink gold deployant clasp with Maltese cross buckle. Another nice added touch is Vacheron Constantin has gone the extra mile, securing the strap to the lugs via screws in favour of spring bars.
Inside each of the 2021 Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art watches is the in-house automatic caliber 1120 AT/1. The satellite hours caliber is finished to the Geneva Hallmark standard, with each of the bridges and the balance cock exquisitely bevelled by hand. The movement is also finished with Côtes de Genève and circular graining, executed in a top-tier manner. As for power reserve, the 19,800 vph caliber will run for at least 40 hours on a full wind when not worn. Selfwinding the caliber is a solid gold engraved winding mass finished with a polished Sunday motif against a frosted precious metal backdrop with Vacheron Constantin branding engraved on the outer rim of the rotor.
2021 Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art collection pricing and availability:
The 2021 Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art collection will be available in April 2021 exclusively at Vacheron Constantin Boutiques. Each of the three configurations is a limited edition of ten watches. Price: TBC