Vacheron Constantin once again has strengthened its bonds and ties with the Chinese culture by creating the limited series of Métiers d’Art The legend of the Chinese zodiac with the sign of the rat. Vacheron Constantin has designed two new creations of twelve pieces each by combining the technical excellence of Caliber 2460 G4 and the beauty of artistic creativity together. They have kept in mind the collectors and passionate devotees of Haute Horlogerie when creating these Métiers d’Art The legend of the Chinese Zodiac, Year of the Rat watch.
The Year of the Rat is the first zodiac sign according to the Chinese Zodiac cycle and rats represent working diligently and thriftiness. Thus people born in a rat year are thought to be wealthy and prosperous and wearing a wristwatch with one’s zodiac is sure to bring good luck. The zodiac sign pig will be replaced by the rat on the Chinese New Year January, 25th 2020.
When designing these two watch models in the Métiers d’Art The legend of the Chinese zodiac with the sign of the rat collection they have used decorative techniques applied in watchmaking especially inspired by Chinese art, history, and culture. The authentic works of art of these watches reveal the marvelous creativity and the know-how techniques of the Manufacture’s master craftsmanship that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Vacheron Constantin has been nurturing special ties with China since 1845. Chinese first introduced the paper-cutting technique known as Jianzhi, a popular art boomed in Swiss culture through its famous Scherenschnitt paper-cutting. This popular artistic approach with a fresh version is highlighted in their latest watch collection namely “Métiers d’Art the legend of the Chinese zodiac, Year of the Rat”, as a result of the expertise of the master engravers and enamellers.
The foliage motif appearing on the dial is based on the classic Chinese icon and is engraved directly on the metal. The pattern is semi-entrenched and can be identified separately from its 18K gold base simply because of the clearly defined split levels applied to create a depth effect whilst making the foliage appear to be floating over the dial.
They have used Grand Feu enameling, an ancestral technique which has been preserved for generations and possessed by only a very few exceptionally skilled artisans. The enamel specialist by applying the enamel in continuous layers has been able to boost the unique shades of blue or bronze on the dial. The expertise that can only be acquired over long years of experience is used not only for acquiring the desired color of the dial but also to improve its ability to react to firing at temperatures between 800 and 900 degrees. The main feature of the self-winding watch, the hand-engraved platinum or pink gold rat is well-positioned at the center of the dial.
The Dark blue or brown strap, made of Mississippiensis alligator leather inner shell with large square scales which is hand-stitched with a saddle-finish gives a glamorous look to the Métiers d’Art The legend of the Chinese zodiac with the sign of the rat watch.
Caliber 2460 G4 makes it possible to create a unique and perfect stage-setting for the decorative arts, by giving the central dial motif a starring role. The display of this masterpiece consists of four apertures showing the hours, minutes, days and dates. These indications – the first two of the dragging variety and the last two of the jumping type – proudly represent the longstanding know-how of the Maison in designing and developing original displays. The interior features and the platinum or pink gold case back of the watch is clearly visible through the transparent sapphire crystal.
This watch is equipped with a 22 karat open-worked oscillating weight adorned with the Maltese cross-shaped emblem. All the movement components are finished finely according to the criteria of the Hallmark of Geneva, a quality label of which Vacheron Constantin is the most faithful representative. These masterpieces only available through the Vacheron Constantin Boutiques.