Here comes a bespoke experience where art and the art of telling time meet, culminating in a timepiece like no other.
It is an experience like no other: Explore undisplayed masterpieces of the Louvre Museum in a private tour, meet the master watchmakers and master artisans at the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin, and own a bespoke single-piece edition Vacheron Constantin watch with a dial featuring an enamel reproduction of a piece of artwork kept in the Louvre, of your choice. This is the latest development in the renewed partnership between the two institutions.
Following the success of their creative collaborations since 2019, Vacheron Constantin and the Louvre Museum are expanding their partnership, borne out of the same respect for history, culture and heritage, with this new Les Cabinotiers offer – “A Masterpiece on the Wrist.” A certificate of authenticity from the museum will certify the reproduction of the chosen artwork.
This new offering comes after a successful collaboration of a similar nature that was initiated in 2020. In December that year, a bespoke Les Cabinotiers watch was auctioned off at the “Bid for the Louvre” sale organised to benefit the museum’s solidarity projects. Over the next two years, the winning bidder paid a private visit to the museum and the Cabinet des Dessins, a place accessible to the public by reservation only, in order to determine the work to be reproduced. This was followed by a visit to the Manufacture to discuss the project with the Louvre’s experts and the Maison’s Master Artisans. The result was the birth of a spectacular single-piece edition watch: Les Cabinotiers – Homage to Pierre Paul Rubens, La lutte pour l’étendard de la Bataille d’Anghiari. Its miniature enamel dial faithfully reproduces the eponymous drawing by Peter Paul Rubens.
Transcribing a drawing composed of ink and pen strokes onto a dial measuring 3.3 cm in diameter is a real challenge. You have to get inside the work and make it your own in order to find the level of detail while preserving the strength of the graphics”
Master Enameller at Vacheron Constantin
The Maison’s master enameller used the Geneva miniature painting technique to pay tribute to the original work. This ancestral technique of miniature enamelling with a Geneva flux undercoat involves adding a final transparent and colourless protection to the layers of vitrified enamel for brilliance and depth. Working with multiple instruments and drawing on the many secrets of enamel alchemy, he used brushes with three to four bristles, pointed tools as well as cactus spines.
An expert in blanc de Limoges, he incorporated this expertise of his, which is generally used in grisaille enamel, to create highlights with depth, and add more movement. Unprecedented and brilliantly executed, this combination of miniature enamel and grisaille enamel has allowed him to reproduce the sensitivity of the artwork with a multitude of interlocking micro-details identically replicated while retaining the graphics and specificities of the original work.
To recreate the extreme subtlety of Rubens’ drawing, all in very light and diffuse shades and half-tones, the master enameller used about 20 shades of brown, grey brown, sepia brown and cream brown, alternating with as many firings at 900°C – the first layers being fired just long enough to start vitrifying, and without altering the first shades.
The heart of this intricate timepiece is driven by Vacheron Constantin’s in-house Calibre 2460 SC, featuring an oscillating weight engraved with a depicting of the Louvre’s east-facing facade. Passed down from generation to generation within the Maison for more than 267 years, the masterful art of engraving has extended the artistic dimension of the 18K 5N pink gold watch, through its officer-type caseback engraved with 17th century “Cerca Trova” calligraphy.
The process and result of the creation of the bespoke single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers – Homage to Pierre Paul Rubens, La lutte pour l’étendard de la Bataille d’Anghiari watch combines history with artistic complexity, and attests to the vitality of the latest stage of the partnership between Vacheron Constantin and the Lourve.
Since it was founded in 1755, Vacheron Constantin has remained consistently committed to art and culture. By working with the Louvre Museum, the Maison can offer an experience that goes well beyond the simple personalisation of a timepiece; it is an immersion into the art and heritage of both institutions, on multiple levels.
Images courtesy of Vacheron Constantin, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.