Vacheron Constantine Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Year of the Dragon
 

Vacheron Constantine Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Year of the Dragon

4 min read
Richard Brown

Brands

Vacheron

Categories

International Watch Shows

Richard Brown

Brands

Vacheron

Categories

International Watch Shows

With Watches & Wonders in Shanghai, it’s no surprise that a brand has released a watch inspired by the Year of the Dragon.

Vacheron Constantine Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese ZodiacVacheron Constantine Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Credit Vacheron

This offering is another super-limited release from Vacheron Constantin. Only 25 units of each design will be produced, with watch being unveiled today. Introducing the Vacheron Constantine Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Year of the Dragon.

For this model, the Maison uses two of its crafts, engraving and enamelling, to create an exquisite 40 mm case in 950 platinum or 18K 5N pink gold. The watch is powered by an in-house calibre 2460 G4 that embraces beauty and horological excellence.

Vacheron Constantine Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese ZodiacVacheron Constantine Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Credit Vacheron

In Chinese folklore, the snake or dragon symbolises nobility, strength, good luck and success. As it unfurls, the mystical creature is often seen grasping a pearl, the ancient symbol of knowledge and wisdom. 2023 was the year of the Rabbit and 2024 will be the year of the Wood Dragon.

So what better place to reveal this stunning watch than in Shanghai?

Two skills synonymous with Vacheron Constantin - Engraving and Enamelling

Vacheron Constantine Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese ZodiacVacheron Constantine Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Credit Vacheron

The fifty new Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac editions combine the finesse of the master enameller with the delicacy of the master engraver. First, the gold dial is sculpted with imagery to fit the legend, the dragon itself, air flow and clouds, all inspired by traditional Chinese artistic motifs. It takes over three days of intense detailed work to bring this figurine to life, embellished with 300 scales.

Each 25-piece limited edition features a slightly different dial colour, achieved through enamelling. The 40 mm-diameter case in 950 platinum features a deep blue Grand Feu enamel dial matched with a blue Mississipiensis alligator leather strap. The pink gold version features a brown Grand Feu enamel dial matched with a tone-on-tone Mississipiensis alligator leather strap.

Vacheron Constantine Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese ZodiacVacheron Constantine Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Credit Vacheron

Powering the Year of the Dragon is the in-house self-winding Calibre 2460 G4. The hands-free watch dial provides a fundamentally different view of the passage of time through four apertures opening onto the trailing hours and minutes, as well as the jumping day-date displays. Through a sapphire crystal case back the 2460 G4 reveals a 22K gold oscillating weight which is engraved with the Vacheron Constantin’s Maltese Cross emblem.

Christian Selmoni, the Style and Heritage Director for Vacheron Constantin, made the following observations.

We have indeed given particular importance to the Chinese calendar in our Métiers d’Art collections, presenting all the zodiac signs over the last twelve years. One of the reasons for this is that Vacheron Constantin's relationship with China is more than special and, above all, historical. Following the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, which ended the first Opium War, Vacheron Constantin, already a supplier of exceptional timepieces to court dignitaries, established its first commercial contacts in 1845, in a country we have never left since. This means that barely 90 years after its foundation, Vacheron Constantin was gaining a foothold in China, at a time when Swiss production of so-called Chinese watches was a real success, watches designed to withstand humidity, characterised by the richness of their engraved and enamelled decorations and which were sold in pairs. In Shanghai, we have a unique space with the "Maison 1775", a historic building in the Zhangyuan district that offers a unique immersion in the world of Vacheron Constantin over four floors. For Vacheron Constantin, this piece underlines the special links that unite our two cultures.

Vacheron Constantine Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese ZodiacVacheron Constantine Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Credit Vacheron

Technical Specifications:

  • Brand: Vacheron Constantin
  • Model: Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Year of the Dragon – Limited to 25 units
  • Price: £TBC Pieces only available through the Vacheron Constantin boutiques on enquiry
  • Material: 950 platinum/18K 5N pink gold
  • Movement: 2460 G4, manufactured by Vacheron Constantin, mechanical, self-winding, approximately 40 hours of power reserve, 237 components
  • Complications: Hours, minutes, day of the week and date in apertures
  • Crystal: Sapphire crystal
  • Dial: 18K gold, hand-engraved, Grand Feu enamelled, hand-engraved 950 platinum/18K 5N pink gold dragon
  • Size: 40mm diameter
  • When the reviewer would personally wear it: This is jewellery, not a watch in the true sense of the word so on that basis it could be worn whenever you want to show off unique jewellery.
  • A friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone who does not want a steel tool watch and wants to make an impact.
  • Best characteristics of the watch: This is a handmade, bespoke, gem which is a real head-turner. Also very smart release in the Land of the Dragon.
  • The worst characteristics of the watch:  There is no worst characteristic. It’s a beautiful creation. You’ll either love this or think it’s a narcissistic creation so it will all be down to personal taste.

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Richard Brown

About the Author: Richard Brown

I truly believe one of the best partners in exploration and adventure is a fine watch. Over 30 years of collecting, my fascination with the technical capabilities of both vintage and modern timepieces has never abated and it is a privilege to be able to share this passion through writing.

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