THE ART OF
OPENWORKING
AT VACHERON CONSTANTIN

Since 1755, Vacheron Constantin has lavished equally meticulous care on both the inner and outer beauty of its creations. On the occasion of the SIHH 2014
(Salon international de Haute Horlogerie), the Manufacture is enriching its range of openworked watches and presenting its new men's and women's models, offering a masterful demonstration of its expertise.

DISCOVER THE THREE PHASES OF OPENWORKING
DISCOVER THE NEW OPENWORKED MODELS

I
The all-important initial touch of the watchmaker

The creation of an openworked watch begins with a lengthy consideration of the movement that is to be openworked as much as possible so as to reveal its inner beauty. This calls upon the experience of the finest master-watchmakers in hollowing out as much of the material as possible, while ensuring that the calibre remains perfectly functional. The conceptualisation, design and modelisation phases alone take several hundred hours, a figure that increases in step with the level of sophistication of the calibre, particularly in terms of complications.

II
Enter the artisans
Chamfering and hand-drawing

The artisans take over from the watchmaking and begin a long period of patient, accurate and rigorously disciplined endeavours. The mainplate, bridges, barrel and other mechanical parts that have been previously drilled and cut out occupy their nimble fingers for dozens of hours. Working by hand with each component in turn, the artisans create subtle contrasts between the finished polish of the chamfering that will catch the light, and the matt effect of the hand-drawing that will accentuate the radiance. While this is in itself a demanding task, it is rendered even more complex by the curved openings and interior angles – some narrower than 45° – favoured by Vacheron Constantin in its openworked watches, and which no machine could possible reproduce.

III
Hand engraving
Exalting the final result

The chamfering and hand-drawing are followed by the engraving itself. For around one full week for each calibre, the engraver incises and sculpts the material with meticulous strokes of the burin in order to create the original motifs imagined by Vacheron Constantin, giving them their delightfully rounded relief. Each gesture is highly accurate – in some cases to the nearest tenth of a millimetre – and the aesthetic sensitivity of the artist-watchmaker is finely attuned to instilling each component with unique character.

NEW OPENWORKED
MODELS

For men, watches combining sophisticated horological complications and entirely openworked calibres, representing genuine technical prowess dedicated to aesthetic beauty. For women, models in which the art of openworked is further enhanced by a combination of artistic crafts.

VIEW THE VIDEO
VIEW THE VIDEO

OPENWORKED MODELS IN THE COLLECTION

Previous Next