Vacheron Constantin’s New Release Blends Swiss Innovation with Chinese Heritage
Founded in 1755 in Switzerland – the mecca of timepiece craftsmanship – Vacheron Constantin has redefined luxury watches for centuries. Now, its release – the Métiers d’Art The legend of the Chinese zodiac with the sign of the tiger – is the epitome of such impeccable design. Appropriately coinciding with last month’s Year of the Tiger, the watch pays tribute to Vacheron Constantin’s storied history of celebrating Chinese culture while also providing the stunning technical features enthusiasts have come to expect.
Since the mid-19th century, the esteemed Swiss label has enjoyed close relations with China. Recently, the luxury marque has produced limited numbers of Métiers d’Art models, each celebrating the reign of an animal according to the coinciding Chinese zodiac. Previous models have marked the year of the dog and horse, but this year’s brilliantly intricate tiger design reflects the invincible power, authority, and strength that symbolizes the animal.
The brand’s penchant for perfection has ensured its continued innovation, but the release of these 12 unique models also calls back to the rich Chinese heritage from which it’s inspired. Chinese artists first introduced the trademark paper-cutting technique known as Jianzhi; a popular art echoed in Swiss culture through the now-famous Scherenschnitt paper-cutting. Today, this same artistic approach, highlighted in the Métiers d’Art The legend of the Chinese zodiac, offers a fresh interpretation thanks to the expertise of the master engravers and enamellers at Vacheron Constantin.
The vegetal motifs that appear on the dial are based on classic Chinese iconography are etched directly in the metal and stand out from the stunning gold base, making it appear to simply float over the dial. The tiger itself, made of platinum or pink gold, is hand engraved and delicately applied to the dial centre in a manner that could only be achieved after years of expertise.
As for the watch itself, the Calibre 2460 G4 delivers the perfect stage for such a distinctive, decorative design by offering the central dial a starring role, unencumbered by excessive detailing. Easily visible through the sapphire crystal back of the platinum or pink gold case, the 22-carat oscillating weight features a decorative feature inspired by the Maltese cross emblem, blending a variety of iconic cultural symbols. Of course, as with all Vacheron Constantin pieces, each movement component is finely finished in accordance with the criteria of the Hallmark of Geneva.
With yet another addition to its history of celebrating Chinese heritage, Vacheron Constantin once again manages to harken back to the past while still looking towards the new year ahead, both in its symbolism and its commitment to innovation. Centuries of excellence and unrivalled craftsmanship have delivered the latest edition of Métiers d’Art The legend of the Chinese zodiac, now representing the strength and beauty that define the tiger. Perfect whether purchasing for yourself or gifting to a loved one, Vacheron Constantin has created a timepiece that strives to be as enduring as the history from which it was inspired.