École Boulle, one of the largest European art and design schools and Vacheron Constantin, reputedly the world’s oldest watch manufacturer have announced an unprecedented partnership agreement.
On this occasion, Christophe Hespel, École Boulle Director, and Juan-Carlos Torres, CEO Vacheron Constantin, presented a programme entitled “Métiers d’Art et design: échange d’expertise et de compétence” (Artistic crafts and design: sharing expertise and competence) between École Boulle and Vacheron Constantin, which is scheduled to continue until 2017.
Through this partnership, the watch Manufacture wishes to pursue its commitment to passing on values and skills, as well as its determination to promote and guide up-and-coming generations.
This project highlights the close ties between the two institutions that are keen to maintain, preserve and develop artistic crafts along with their excellence and their creativity. This association is built around the transmission of these skills, the rigorous discipline of each operation, as well as profound respect for workmanship and for artisans. This joint endeavour will involve around 45 students being trained in the fields of design and artistic crafts.
The initial phase of this programme consists in two creative projects entrusted to students at École Boulle as well as the faculty members supervising them. The first involves designing one or several luxury presentation boxes for Haute Horlogerie watches, based on their diverse roles encompassing protection, presentation and stage-setting in boutiques. The second relates to visuals of watch dials from the Métiers d’Art Fabuleux Ornements collection.
These two designs will be unveiled at the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin and then actually produced in the workshops of the Manufacture, a fine means of enabling École Boulle’s students to see their ideas take shape.
The confidence shown by the watch Manufacture in the students of École Boulle is a major challenge for the institution which, like Vacheron Constantin, has always given pride of place to the transmission of knowledge, along with innovation and showing trust in young generations.
This partnership with École Boulle is part of the Vacheron Constantin Institute for Human Capital and Crafts Development. Created in 2013, the Institute is designed to safeguard skills and attentively follow the work of the men and women who daily strive to perpetuate a name that has been writing some of the finest chapters in Haute Horlogerie for almost 260 years.
About École Boulle
Founded in 1886, École Boulle is one of France’s most important training centres for applied arts, artistic crafts and design. The school’s various departments, which have been gradually established over the decades, currently form a coherent whole built around two main divisions: artistic crafts, which trains designer-artisans via two-year training courses after their baccalaureate; and design, based on the BTS and DSAA diplomas.
The main professions, alongside those of object design, communication design and interior design, include cabinet making, marquetry, jewellery making, engraving, chasing, bronze sculpture, and many others. The school’s artistic crafts section encompasses 13 different professions. Over 1,000 students take their initial training there. In addition, the school is also engaged in intensive further training activities and for several years has been developing experimental training programs dedicated to advanced studies for graduates having earned the artistic crafts diploma or the applied arts superior diploma. One of its main current fields of development lies in international expansion, expressed through a number of agreements with other schools, with companies. This approach involves a variety of delegations and exchange experiences in Japan, South Africa and other areas, as well as partnerships with leading firms targeting specific creative objectives or design proposals. It is within this framework that the connection with Vacheron Constantin was established.