As a part of Chinese traditional culture, the zodiac has been more and more accepted by the world. At the same time, the annual ‘Zodiac Great Conversion’ has also become a design gimmick for many brands. Among them, the watch industry The brand is no exception. In 2013, we ushered in the Chinese Year of the Snake. Vacheron Constantin added an extraordinary member to the Métiers d’Art series. The legend of the Chinese Zodiac. The year is a cycle, one per year, a total of twelve extraordinary timepieces. The first watch to be launched was the “Year of the Snake” watch, which represents the periodicity, temptation and elegance of time. The official model of the 950 platinum model is 86073 / 000P-9752, and the official model of the 18K rose gold model is 86073 / 000R-9751.
Since its founding in 1755, Vacheron Constantin has always been the leader in exquisite decoration technology, and has been persistent in the pursuit of craftsmanship. It is this enthusiasm that has allowed this watch manufacturer based in Geneva, Switzerland, to demonstrate its core values – including its constant pursuit of superior technology, and its openness and unconditional support for local and foreign artistic expressions around the world .
China’s paper-cutting art has been classified as a ‘intangible cultural heritage’ by the United Nations. According to the principle of paper-cutting, people cut out twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac on paper. This process needs to make full use of the blank space of the paper to maximize the paper-cutting process. Vacheron Constantin relies on its experienced and extraordinary craftsmen to take up this challenge and apply it to watchmaking. Through the cooperation of sculptors and enamel masters, this chronology of snakes is created in pink gold or Made of platinum, each limited to 12 pieces, available only at Vacheron Constantin stores.
The leaf pattern on the dial is derived from traditional Chinese images and is directly etched on metal. The pattern uses a semi-embedded design. Through a stage composed of multiple reliefs, it slowly rises from the golden base to create an attractive depth. The rising leaves are as elegant as floating on the dial. Beautiful.
It only took at least 30 hours to carve the part of the snake scales. Through this creation, the craftsman showed us a tangible artistic vision.
The serpentine pattern is inlaid in the center of the dial, it is quietly dormant, as if ready to circle out of the sapphire crystal surface at any time, the effect is shocking and lifelike.
This is followed by the Great Fire Enamel stage. Only a handful of artisans have mastered this technology invented in Geneva. By using several layers of enamel, the enamel master further enhances the visual expression of the blue or bronze dial. When the enamel dial is fired in a kiln at about 800 to 900 degrees Celsius, the color and response can still be tightly controlled, which requires a specific reasoning judgment, a technology that takes years to master. Then, before the last firing process, the last layer of enamel should be applied to give the dial a shiny glass texture and make the flower pattern more visible.
The Year of the Snake is the first timepiece of the Métiers d’ Art Chinese Zodiac Legend series watch, giving a unique soul to a watch with the Geneva Seal. The watch has four windows to display the hour, minute, day of the week and date. The first two displays are sliding, while the latter two are skipped, each appearing through four windows around the central dial pattern.
Métiers d’ Art Chinese Legendary Zodiac Series watches owe their superior craftsmanship to the 2460 G4 movement. Vacheron Constantin inherits its long tradition of designing with many original display functions. The self-winding mechanical movement used by the watch vibrates at 28,800 times per hour. It has a rotor made of 22K gold and decorated with vibrant geometry. Pattern, inspired by the brand’s historic symbol, the cross shape of Malta. All parts have been specially polished to meet the exacting requirements of the Geneva Seal. The Geneva Seal was created in 1886 and is one of the most demanding signs of fine watchmaking. It is world-renowned. This year marks the 125th anniversary of the Geneva Seal, and the original 12 guidelines have been updated. The new Geneva mark has been extended from the movement to the entire watch.
Summary: This watch can be called a top watch in terms of craftsmanship and perfect mechanical structure, but the limited number of 12 pieces each seems to have turned it into a myth. At the same time, I am afraid that we can only admire the pictures. In fact, whether such a watch is a marketing gimmick or a heritage of ancient craftsmanship, it shows us that human beings in the watchmaking industry continue to move forward without giving up the most traditional watchmaking concepts. It is precisely because of this that many brands can be invincible in many competing products.
950 platinum watch details:
vacheron / 27554 /
18K rose gold watch details:
vacheron / 27553 /