The department of Métiers d’Art at Vacheron Constantin is dedicated to crafting timepieces using decorative techniques with a focal point on exhibiting the fine art of miniature painting, engraving, gem setting, and enameling. At the Watches and Wonders 2023 Shanghai, the Maison revisits the Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art collection with a new addition depicting its artistic tribute to an outstanding exploration.
This time, we get a series of 4 limited editions of 10 pieces each paying homage to the Explorer Naturalists who ventured on remarkable maritime milestones aboard the English ship Beagle in the early 1830s. The timepieces are an ode to the shared ethos of adventure, exploration, and discovery deeply fostered by these naturalists and the skilled artisans at Vacheron Constantin.
Across the collection, an exquisite fusion of hand-engraving and enameling unveils a dual narrative of artistic mastery complemented by the mechanical prowess of the meticulously crafted self-winding 1120AT/1 caliber.
Exploring The Explorer’s Watches In Detail
Infused with inspiration drawn from the realms of art, history, and culture, the timepieces within the Métiers d’Art Tribute to Explorer Naturalists collection will allow wearers to embark on a voyage reminiscent of the intrepid naturalists who traversed the world’s oceans in pursuit of scientific discoveries.
Turning your wrist into a mini gallery, these timepieces combine the talents of Vacheron Constantin’s engravers, enamellers, guilloché specialists, and jewelers. The artisanal two-part dials within the 41mm white gold or pink gold cases are sat aboard the 5.45 mm-thick in-house self-winding Caliber 1120 AT/1. The movement proudly bears the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, a symbol of unrivaled quality and unwavering reliability.
The movement with a unique time-telling technique displays satellite hours on the bottom dial. The hour wheel is equipped with three arms, each bearing four Arabic numerals in turn directed by a cam bearing the profile of the Maison’s Maltese cross emblem. This unique mechanism allows the hour numerals to embark on a poetic journey across a canvas adorned with exquisite artisanal craftsmanship, their positions elegantly revealing the minutes, offering a well-orchestrated aside from the conventional minute hand.
The Journeys In Focus
Centerstaging art and exploration, the quartet of timepieces within the Métiers d’Art Tribute to Explorer Naturalists launched at Watches and Wonders 2023 Shanghai evoke the era of an undiscovered world.
Retracing the maritime journey of Explorer Naturalists, the timepieces invite aesthetic purists and inspire them with these scientific odyssey naturalists:
- Métiers d’Art Tribute to Explorer Naturalists Cape Verde (January 1832)
The two-part tableau at the heart of this 41mm white gold timepiece depicts the majestic silhouette of the Beagle all engraved on gold and gliding across a miniature-painted ocean. The lower half of the dial blossoms with a naturalist bouquet. This edition gets a blue alligator strap secured by a white gold buckle.
- Métiers d’Art Tribute to Explorer Naturalists Straits of Magellan (1833/1834)
The flourish of vegetation discovered at the Straits of Magellan inspires this horological masterpiece as the lower part of the dial showcases palm leaves mingled with ferns. The delicate pink gold case also reveals the engraved side profile of the majestic Beagle.
- Métiers d’Art Tribute to Explorer Naturalists Tierra del Fuego (1833-1834)
In this iteration, the artisans at Vacheron Constant chose to showcase the enchanting flora and fauna discovered by the Explorer Naturalists at the southernmost tip of the South American continent. This is manifested into an engraving of a butterfly and two birds on the upper part of the dial well accentuated with a vivid portrayal of an enameled ancient terrestrial map of Tierra del Fuego on the lower part.
The 41mm white gold case gets a pairing of a green alligator strap.
- Métiers d’Art Tribute to Explorer Naturalists Cape of Good Hope (May 1836)
The return passage of the legendary voyage of the beagle takes center stage in this limited-edition piece of which only 10 will be conceived with the engraved details of a plumage of birds and an iguana set on a backdrop of vivid foliage. An enameled showcase of the Beagle’s legendary passage across the Cape of Good Hope graces the lower dial part.
This pink gold case timepiece is born on a green alligator strap.
A Delicate Artisanal Inception With A Historical Connection
With the launch of the Métiers d’Art Tribute to Explorer Naturalists collection, the Genevan Manufacture acclaimed as one of the horological Holy Trinity pursues the incredible journey into the history of discoverers with the four 10-piece limited editions exalted by sumptuous engravings and miniature paintings.
These timepieces sure rekindle an aesthetic of the legendary Vacheron Constantin Mercator while exhibiting a renewed passion for exploration, technicity, and craftsmanship.
7500U/000R-B992: Détroit de Magellan
7500U/000G-B993: Terre de Feu
7500U/000R-B994: Cap de Bonne-Espérance
Developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin
22K gold oscillating weight with tapisserie decor
28 mm (12 ½ ‘’’ diameter), 5.45 mm thick
Approximately 40 hours of power reserve
2.75 Hz (19,800 vibrations per hour)
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
Dragging hours, minutes
18K white gold / 18K 4N pink gold
41mm diameter, 11.68 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 meters)
18K white gold, two-level dial, Grand Feu miniature enamel
Hand-engraved 18K white gold applique
Dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
18K white gold / 18K 4N pink gold buckle
Polished half Maltese cross-shaped
Limited series of ten timepieces per reference.
Models are available exclusively through the Vacheron Constantin Boutiques.