Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers “Bid for the Louvre”: A bespoke, one-of-a-kind Les Cabinotiers watch up for auction at the Louvre Museum

A partner of the Louvre Museum since 2019, Vacheron Constantin is auctioning a Les Cabinotiers watch at the “Bid For the Louvre” sale organised online from December 1st to 15th by the Louvre Museum and Christie’s, with the support of Drouot. More than a watch, this model represents a unique opportunity for its buyer to enjoy an unforgettable experience poised at the intersection of art and craftsmanship, between Paris and Geneva.

Vacheron Constantin is supporting the Louvre Museum in the “Bid for the Louvre” auction from December 1st to 15th 2020 exclusively on the Christie’s website, from which the entire proceeds will be donated to the museum’s solidarity projects.

Example of a creation that can be done in grisaille enamel, inspired by Guillaume Coustou’s sculpture of the Horse Restrained by a Groom, called Horse of Marly.
Example of a creation that can be done in grisaille enamel, inspired by Guillaume Coustou’s sculpture of the Horse Restrained by a Groom, called Horse of Marly.

Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers watch is the only horological lot among the unique and exclusive pieces put up for auction. This participation was a natural choice for the Manufacture, testifying to its profound attachment to art and culture as well as its concern for safeguarding and passing on heritage in all its forms.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Bid for the Louvre The Loves of Paris and Helen
Example of a miniature enamel rendering of The Loves of Paris and Helen, by Jacques- Louis David, kept at the Louvre Museum

The acquirer of this exceptional piece will have the opportunity to personalise it through full participation in its creation, along with experts and master craftsmen of Vacheron Constantin and Le Louvre.

In addition to the dial, which will reproduce an artwork from the Louvre Museum, they will be able to choose the case material – platinum or pink or white gold – to have an engraving made on the officer-type case-back; and to opt for a strap from among the many possibilities of materials and colors. This timepiece will be powered by in-house Calibre 2460 SC, crafted according to the demanding standards of Vacheron Constantin and Haute Horlogerie in terms of both reliability and finishing.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d'Art – Chagall & l'Opéra de Paris "Tribute to famous composers" watch. Miniature enamel dial reproducing a detail from the ceiling of the Opéra de Garnier in Paris painted by Marc Chagall in 1964.
Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art – Chagall & l’Opéra de Paris “Tribute to famous
composers” watch. Miniature enamel dial reproducing a detail from the ceiling of the
Opéra de Garnier in Paris painted by Marc Chagall in 1964.

The adventure for the successful bidder will begin in Paris, during a private visit to the Louvre led by its best expert, in order to select with him/her the masterpiece that will be reproduced in enamel on the dial, from among the paintings and sculptures conserved in the Museum. According to the choice made and the client’s preference, the Vacheron Constantin Master enameller will use the miniature enamel or grisaille enamel technique.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d'Art "Hommage à l'art de la Danse", Grisaille enamel dial, reproducing works from Edgar Degas.
Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art “Hommage à l’art de la Danse”, Grisaille enamel dial, reproducing works from Edgar Degas.

The delicate skill involved in miniature enamel – in its version known as the “Geneva technique” dating from the18th century – is reserved for the most experienced artisans mastering both pigments and fire. One of the main challenges consists in composing a colour palette compliant with the original shades of the work, while remaining keenly aware that the multiple firings in the kiln at over 800°C are liable to alter its colour and brilliance.

Grisaille enamel is a craft that appeared in the 16th century and consists of superimposing touches of a rare white enamel – called Limoges white –on a layer of dark enamel coating the gold dial base. Each layer of enamel is then fired in a kiln, while scrupulously respecting pre-defined firing times to the nearest second.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Bid for the Louvre watch

Closely involved throughout the creative process, the acquirer of this unique Les Cabinotiers watch will be able to choose from several personalisation options during a private visit to the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin in Geneva, where he/she will meet the creative talents of the design studio, the master watchmakers, as well as enamellers and engravers working on his/her watch.

A platinum, pink gold or white gold case, engraving on the case and officer case-back, a choice of strap – material, colour, stitching and marking – are just some of the many possibilities available to personalise this exceptional timepiece powered by the Manufacture 2460 SC self-winding calibre.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Bid for the Louvre watch movement rotor

The transparent case-back will reveal a 22-carat gold oscillating weight open-worked in the shape of a Maltese cross, the symbol of Vacheron Constantin, as well as hand finishing, bevelling, circular-graining and polishing – all performed with the greatest respect for watchmaking expertise.

At the close of this exclusive experience, the purchaser will receive their watch, accompanied by two certificates of authenticity: one from Vacheron Constantin; and another from Le Louvre Museum certifying the reproduction of the artwork.

Examples of potential creations based on masterpieces kept in the Louvre Museum:

The Three Graces, goddesses of plant life and beauty, companions of the god Apollo /2nd century AD/ Heads restored in 1609 by the sculptor Nicolas Cordier/ Discovered on Mount Caelius in Rome (Italy)
The Three Graces, goddesses of plant life and beauty, companions of the god Apollo /2nd century AD/ Heads restored in 1609 by the sculptor Nicolas Cordier/ Discovered on Mount Caelius in Rome (Italy)
Self-Portrait with her daughter by Elisabeth Vigée le Brun
Self-Portrait with her daughter by Elisabeth Vigée le Brun
The Battle of Anghiari by Pierre Paul Rubens
The Battle of Anghiari by Pierre Paul Rubens
Jupiter striking down the vices by Paul Véronèse
Jupiter striking down the vices by Paul Véronèse
Aphrodite, known as the Venus de Milo
Aphrodite, known as the Venus de Milo
Autumn by Giuseppe Arcimboldo
Autumn by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Technical details

Model: Les Cabinotiers “Bid for the Louvre”

Movement
Calibre 2460 SC
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Mechanical self-winding movement
26.20 mm (11¼’’’) diameter, 3.60 mm thick
Movement power reserve: approximately 40 hours
4 Hz (28’800 vibrations/hour)
182 components
27 rubies
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece

Indications
Hours, minutes and central seconds

Case
Platinum or 18K 5N pink gold or 18K white gold
Officer-style hinged case back, personalized engraving at client’s choice
40 mm diameter, 9.42 mm thick

Dial
Miniature enamel or grisaille enamel depending on chosen artwork
18K 5N pink gold or 18K white gold hands

Strap
Mississippiensis alligator leather strap or calfskin leather, personalized stitching and color
18K 5N pink gold or 18K white gold pin buckle

Presentation box
Les Cabinotiers model

Edition
Unique piece

Other details
Certificate of Authenticity for the reproduction of the masterpiece issued by Le Louvre
Certificate of Guarantee issued by Vacheron Constantin
Poinçon de Genève Certificate