Swiss luxury watch manufacture Vacheron Constantin has created « DIPTYQUES » A HISTORY OF COLLABORATIONS, an exhibition presented in its Geneva boutique from January 14th to March 26th 2019 before travelling around the world.
Seventeen timepieces from the Vacheron Constantin private Heritage collection pay tribute to the encounters that have punctuated the history of the Maison. They retrace the saga of these incredible collaborative endeavours resulting in technical and artistic breakthroughs that have in turn given life to exceptional horological creations and instruments, thereby writing significant chapters in the history of Fine Watchmaking.
« DIPTYQUES » A HISTORY OF COLLABORATIONS is all about personalities bound by a sense of kinship, mutually enriching visions and complementary skills. People such as Jacques-Barthélémy Vacheron, a technically gifted watchmaker who was the grandson of the Maison’s founder; and astute businessman and intrepid traveler François Constantin, who combined their talents in 1819.
This encounter, of which the bicentenary is being celebrated in 2019, gave rise to the signature of the Maison, a subtle balance between horological excellence and stylistic virtuosity, and to its motto: “Do better if possible, and that is always possible”. Diptyques tells the story of how the ensuing encounters in turn contributed to ever greater advancements.
From Emile Plantamour to Albert Pellaton, from Raymond Moretti to Michel Butor, intellectual and manual intelligence lie at the heart of this extraordinary watchmaking epic, driven by a taste for challenges and passion. Human beings are both the architects and artisans of these large-scale projects. They embody this visionary, enlightened thought, as well as the expertise that is its logical extension.
Hired by Vacheron Constantin in 1839 as a watchmaker specialising in mechanics and construction, Georges-Auguste Leschot invented the revolutionary pantograph, designed to standardise the production of watch movements and to enable industrial-scale component manufacture.
In 1932, Louis Cottier developed the world time display indicating the time zones by means of an ingenious rotating disc device. Ferdinand Verger, a renowned jeweller with a knowledge of watchmaking, made a Fabergé egg for the tsar in 1880 comprising a Vacheron Constantin movement. His sons proved themselves worthy heirs by making watches with complications and richly decorated clocks until the 1930s.
In 2010, Anita Porchet, an expert in the art of miniature enamelling, created a masterpiece for the Maison: a watch identically reproducing the ceiling of the Opéra Garnier as painted by Marc Chagall.
Vacheron Constantin thereby highlights these numerous synergies. Each is a challenge, a bold move, a wild dream come true through the genius of these watchmakers and artisans. Each is a unique brick in the Haute Horlogerie edifice to which Vacheron Constantin contributes, as a trailblazing pioneer and inveterate builder.
“DIPTYQUES”: A HISTORY OF COLLABORATIONS exhibition
From January 14th to March 26th 2019
Vacheron Constantin Boutique, Place de Longemalle 1, Geneva.
Monday to Friday from 10am to 6.30pm and Saturday from 10am to 5pm