Swiss luxury watch brand Vacheron Constantin celebrates sartorialism in a new masculine line of wristwatches dressed to the nines and bearing the Hallmark of Geneva. Thanks to cleverly mastered traditional decorative techniques, the Manufacture gives its own unique take on the classic masculine wardrobe. Guilloché and enamelling techniques offer an immersion into the rich treasures of the art of tailoring.
At the exact watershed between style and technical expertise, the Métiers d’Art Elégance Sartoriale collection sets the stage for the fine art of savvy dressing. Through a subtle association of crafts, Vacheron Constantin reproduces on the dials an authentic colour chart of fabrics stemming from the masculine wardrobe.
A hand-guilloché decor picking up classic woven motifs occupies a moon crescent-shaped space. It is coated with translucent Grand Feu enamel in various colours. The hours and minutes are displayed on a subdial rimmed with mother-of pearl, a nod to shirt buttons.
At its centre, a pattern created using a tapestry machine draws the gaze, like a silk pocket square against a suit. Caliber 1400, a mechanical manual-winding movement developed and produced by the Manufacture, powers the five models composing this new collection.
The Métiers d’Art Elégance Sartoriale comprises five models featuring a variety of patterns. The Prince of Wales check plays on superimposed squares connected by vertical and horizontal stripes, enhanced by a raspberry red coloured translucent enamel.
The herringbone motif creates a subtly well-ordered and eminently sophisticated effect, accentuated by a lavender-toned enamel and its variously contrasting zigzag motif.
The regularity and the geometry of the windowpane pattern are emphasised by a warm grey enamel. The slim vertical pin stripes pattern shimmers beneath a soft linen colour.
Finally, the tartan motif with its criss-crossing horizontal and vertical grooves is coated with a cerulean blue.
The Vacheron Constantin master artisans have devoted a lengthy period of research and repeated trials to achieving a finish resembling finely woven cloth in accordance with the sartorial spirit. The guillocheur has manually recreated the structure of the fabrics which is unprecedented in the watchmaking domain, notably by creating a finely gadrooned pattern around the rim of the dial, much like a hem.
Incising these tiny grooves in thin gold plates called for hours of craftsmanship to make the most of light and depth effects by working with tenth of a millimetre precision. Working within the constraints imposed by the complexity of the guilloche motifs and the unpredictable nature of enamel, the enamelling artisan has then sought the exact shade, while being careful to maintain a transparent, shiny and smoothly uniform appearance.
Grand Feu enamelling was chosen despite its many inherent difficulties. This technique alone, combined with the use of translucent enamels, is capable of intensifying the guilloché motif so as to give the pattern thus produced its true vibrancy in a strikingly realistic effect.
Vacheron Constantin has further heightened the complexity of the task by adding a gold subdial offset at 3 o’clock with a tapestry-like motif which, depending on the versions, picks up Paisley type, floral or geometrical tie of pocket square patterns. The tapestry technique works like a pantograph.
The motif is engraved using a finely adjusted dedicated graving tool, before being frosted and varnished. Its alternating hollowed and raised areas create an embroidery effect at the very heart of the enamelled surface. It is rimmed by a chapter ring swept over by two gold hands.
The round case in 18K white or 5N pink gold measures 40 millimetres in diameter. The alligator leather strap with its carefully chosen colours, crafted in keeping with the hand-sewn, saddle-finish tradition, is a nod to the work of fine bootmakers and prolongs the sartorialism of the watch all the way through to the half Maltese cross-shaped pin buckle. To accompany this collection, Vacheron Constantin also introduces a pair of cufflinks picking up the subdial tapestry motif.
The polished case-back leaves room for a personalised engraving. Only an offset circular opening on the case-back provides a glimpse of the mechanical manual-winding Caliber 1400. With its 98 components and its 20 jewels, this 20.65 mm thick movement beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) has an almost 40-hour power reserve.
Its finishing is hand-crafted according to the stringent criteria governing the Hallmark of Geneva; the flat surfaces are adorned with Côtes de Genève, the sharp edges are chamfered and hand-polished, as are the flat-headed screws.
Collection: Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Elégance Sartoriale
1400U/000G-B215 – Prince of Wales Check Pattern
1400U/000R-B159 – Herringbone Pattern
1400U/000R-B216 – Windowpane Pattern
1400U/000R-B217 – Pin Stripes Pattern
1400U/000G-B218 – Tartan pattern
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepieces
Only available in Vacheron Constantin Boutiques
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
20.65 mm (9’’’) diameter, 2.6 mm thick
Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour)
Hours and minutes
18K white gold/18K 5N pink gold
40 mm diameter, 8.2 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 meters)
- Prince of Wales check pattern: Hand-guilloché “Prince of Wales check” pattern under raspberry red-coloured translucent Grand Feu enamel. Champagne-coloured tapestry gold dial at 3 o’clock, hour circle in mother-of-pearl, black painted Roman numerals
- Herringbone pattern: Hand-guilloché “herringbone” pattern under lavender-coloured translucent Grand Feu enamel. Champagne-coloured tapestry gold dial at 3 o’clock, hour circle in mother-of-pearl, black painted Roman numerals
- Windowpane pattern: Hand-guilloché “windowpane” pattern under warm grey translucent Grand Feu enamel. Champagne-coloured tapestry gold dial at 3 o’clock, hour circle in mother-of-pearl, black painted Roman numerals
- Pin stripes pattern: Hand-guilloché “pin stripes” pattern under linen coloured translucent Grand Feu enamel. Champagne-coloured tapestry gold dial at 3 o’clock, hour circle in mother-of-pearl, black painted Roman numerals
- Tartan pattern: Hand-guilloché “tartan” pattern under royal blue translucent Grand Feu enamel. Champagne-coloured tapestry gold dial at 3 o’clock, hour circle in mother-of-pearl, black painted Roman numerals
Burgundy/dark brown/warm grey /brown/dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
Clasp: 18K white gold/18K 5N pink gold buckle; Polished half Maltese cross-shaped