Introducing a fresh tribute in the ongoing saga of the Métiers d’Art collection, Vacheron Constantin presents The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac. Next month at SIHH Vacheron Constantin will officially unveil its two new models from the series of captivating timepieces based on the 12-year cycle – The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac, dedicated to the Year of the Goat. A symbol of a vivacious, independent spirit, the sign of the goat will take over from the horse on February 19th 2014.
The Year of the Goat models are made in pink gold and platinum, and issued in two 12-piece limited edition series. Both creations are magnificently enhanced by enamelling and engraving. The leaf motif appearing on the dial and stemming from classic Chinese iconography, is etched directly in the metal. The pattern remains semi-embedded and stands out from its gold base by a subtle stage-setting of variously accentuated reliefs creating a depth effect. The raised honeysuckle flowers appear to be floating over the dial. With the goat engraving, on which the details of the fleece measure a mere fraction of a millimetre, the artisan provides a tangible expression of the artistic vision behind this creation.
Then, using Grand Feu enamelling, a technique invented in Geneva in successive layers, the enamel specialist further enhances the visual intensity of the blue or bronze-toned dial. The necessity of maintaining tight control of the colour and the reactions to the firing process that takes place in a kiln at around 800 to 900°C, calls for a specific way of reasoning that takes years to acquire. A final layer of enamel is then applied before a final firing operation that vitrifies the dial and lends a shiny glazed effect that gives added definition to the floral motif. The goat is delicately applied to the centre of the dial, exuding a sense of calm and serenity through the sapphire crystal.
Developed in-house as Vacheron Constantin’s top of the line automatic movement, the calibre 2460 G4 inside is self-winding, with all indications show in windows.
In keeping with its longstanding tradition of offering a broad variety of original displays, Vacheron Constantin perpetuates the art of watchmaking by providing a hands-free display of time. It does so through four windows respectively revealing the hour, the minutes, the day and the date. The first two indications are of the dragging kind and the last two of the jumping type, and each appears through one of the four apertures arranged around the central dial motif. Beating at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour, the mechanical self-winding movement is equipped with a 22-carat gold oscillating weight adorned with a dynamic geometrical motif inspired by the shape of the Maltese Cross, the historical House emblem.
All its parts are treated to exceptionally sophisticated finishing that meets the criteria laid down by the Hallmark of Geneva – one of the highest tokens of horological craftsmanship created in 1886 and recognised around the world. This requirement now applies to the entire timepiece, which is duly certified by the Hallmark of Geneva.