Vacheron Constantin has a full suite of Métiers d’Art replica timepieces featuring lavish decoration in enamel and other artisanal techniques, but the Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières centres on an unusual theme: nighttime aerial views of New York, Paris or Geneva.
While Vacheron is more than familiar with champlevé enamel – the technique of carving out recesses ready to take deposits of grand feu enamel – it called upon the unique skill of Parisian artist Yoko Imai to apply precious powders on top of the final enamel surface, reflecting the night-time illumination of a cityscape. Imai has carved out her own niche by developing an artistic style of calligraphy using inks mixed with diamond and pearl powders.
Someone at Vacheron Constantin has clearly been inspired by just such a bird’s eye view as its new fake VC Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières collection seeks to reveal the nocturnal splendour of Geneva, Paris and Manhattan on its dials. The effect has been achieved using two metiers d’art techniques; one traditional and one entirely new to the world of decorative watchmaking.
Using tiny diamonds, pearls as well as flecks of gold and platinum – the technique is similar to that found in traditional Japanese lacquerware known as maki-e – Imai creates the impression of lighted streets and boulevards.This creates the cityscapes bordered in gold, with the nighttime illumination done by Japanese artist Yoko Imai.
So perhaps my own memories of Paris have introduced a level of bias, but the City of Light seems to lend itself particularly well to Imai’s aesthetic, with an invigorating glow radiating outwards from the Arc de Triomphe. The city that never sleeps seems to have nodded off by comparison.
Favourites from this series will be as subjective and personal as any decision you are likely to make in a watch boutique. Cities resonate with us depending on our own experience of them.
Each of the 40mm 18ct white gold pieces within the special fake VC Métiers d Art Villes Lumières collection is Poinçon de Genève certified and driven by an automatic 4Hz Caliber 2460 SC movement with 40 hours of power reserve.