Current Time: Clocks and Crafts

Posted November 23, 2022, 11:14 am

Watchmaking and craftsmanship have always gone hand in hand. The clock is an area of ​​expression that allows for the use of many ancestral techniques. And each time the difficulty is higher, because you have to adapt the technique to the small surface offered by the watch face. Thus, little masterpieces are born to be worn on the wrist.

Vacheron Constantin: Homage to great civilizations

Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin has been associated with the Louvre Museum since 2019, and this year chose to create an event by showcasing four Métiers d’Art watches, each of whose dials pay homage to the ancient civilization. It took two years of exchange between the artists, curators and historians of the French museum to bring these five cases of four automatic watches, each in pink gold or white gold, to life. Among the four models offered in each of these boxes, there is a reference decorated with a bust of Augustus, which depicts the period of the Julio-Claudian Roman Empire, considered to be the most concentrated of heritage and ancient know-how. 27 BC to 68 AD).

The 42mm case of this 18K white gold piece features a self-winding mechanical caliber reflector. 2460 is designed to display the hours as well as the day of the week and the date in an aperture on the periphery of the dial.

This arrangement frees up a large area of ​​the dial and gives artists a lot to express themselves. Here, an option is taken to stick a blue-green enamel in the center of the dial and to decorate the circle with a micromosaic inspired by the 4th century Roman mosaic discovered in Lod, Israel. It took seven different types of gemstones to create the delicate pattern, divided into 660 tesserae, one by one by hand. The outer frieze in patinated white gold was inspired by a frieze found at Sous in Tunisia. Finally, the bust of Augustus is in white gold in microsculpture, its patina giving the whole an aged appearance. This unique painting is worn on an alligator leather strap.

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See Cartier – Crash Tigrée Metamorphoses: Great zoomorphic art

With its stunning shape and original colors, this watchmaker’s jewel captures the imagination and in turn inspires an equatorial plant, an underwater coral, a mollusk, a wave in the water or even a fantastic animal between a zebra and a tiger. Art lovers will say that it came from the canvas of a surrealist artist. True, one could see a certain connection with the famous soft watches. This marvel underlines how much time has been a game of wit and perfection for Cartier with a great consolidation of rare know-how. In this piece, shapes and colors come together to create a work of incredible complexity.

First created in 1967 – exactly 55 years ago – in the heart of Swinging London, Crash de Cartier has always attracted the attention of watch lovers with its elegant appearance, where infinite sophistication shines in every detail. Asymmetrical, not to say curved, revolutionized professional codes and deconstructed watchmaking geometries. He himself considers jeweler Cartier as a watchmaker of forms. An art object that explains time, this reference appears in eternal metamorphosis. To give it this dynamism and the feeling that it has a life of its own required great talent and tenacity on the part of the artists responsible for its realization. Several enamel techniques, some new, combine to create volumes and gradations of colors and materials.

On the bezel, the enamel is called champlevé and is inserted between rows of diamonds. Beneath the domed glass in the shape of an oblong shuttle, the dial achieves a synthesis of commerce as it is engraved, enameled and adjusted. Consisting of a total of 50 individually numbered pieces, this pure horological sculpture is controlled by a Swiss-made quartz caliber, so that the mechanics of the time are not forgotten or withdrawn. .

Price on request

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