The story of Vacheron Constantin begins in Geneva, Switzerland nearly 260 years ago.
Originally a talented independent watchmaker called Jean-Marc Vacheron founded the company in 1755. In 1785 his son Abraham took the helm and then 25 years later his grandson Jaques-Barthelemy. Subsequently he joined forces with Francois Constantin and operated under the name Vacheron & Constantin.
Over the years the company expanded into numerous international markets. They also created many innovations including the first watch designed to withstand magnetic fields. In 1979 Vacheron Constantin created an extraordinary timepiece called the Kallista. This exquisite watch had 118 emerald-cut diamonds and involved 6,000 hours of production. With an estimated (present day) value of $11 million this objet d art is one of the world’s most expensive timepieces. In 1996 the Richemont Group acquired the business and introduced several exciting new collections. The sublime Metiers d Art Les Univers perfectly highlights this point.
In 2012 Vacheron Constantin unveiled a second series in Metiers d Art Les Univers Infinis collection. This trilogy of watches (Angel Watch, Lizard Watch and Horseman Watch) is inspired by the work of the unbelievably talented Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher. With dimensions of 40mm x 8.90mm the watches should appeal to a broad unisex market. I should also imagine the timepieces would feel very comfortable to wear. Primarily this is down to the slender case and choice of luxurious 18K white gold in manufacture. Due to the exclusive nature of these watches and the limited numbers I suspect they would be reserved for special occasions rather than every day use.
All of the dials on the three models in the Metiers d Art Les Univers Infinis collection are completely unique and portray different themes. Angel Watch depicts a face of between angels and demons, Lizard watch is inspired by one of Eschers lithographs called the Reptiles and Horseman illustrates the majestic Ottoman horsemen. They also successfully incorporate engraving, marquetry, enameling and gem setting techniques. This meticulous process involves several hours of work by exceptionally skilled master craftsmen. Other impressive features are the delicate 18K white gold hands and indexes. Overall the composition is absolutely magnificent and utterly mesmerizing.
As well as designing aesthetically beautiful watches, Vacheron Constantin are also renowned for the quality of their movements. The Metiers d Art Les Univers Infinis collection are all equipped with the Caliber 2460 SC. This self-winding mechanism comprises 27 jewels, 182 components and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). It is also pertinent to mention the timepieces have a 22K gold rotor and are certified by the Hallmark of Geneva. The watch features hours, minutes, seconds and has a power reserve of 40 hours.
The wonderful Metiers d Art Les Univers Infinis collection are limited to 20 pieces (of each model) and have black hand stitched alligator straps with 18K white gold buckles.
By Steve Huyton
You can read more watch reviews by Steve at www.totalwatchreviews.com