Venice, from 10 April through 1 May 2022
Vacheron Constantin is participating in the 2022 edition of Homo Faber in Venice, an international exhibition dedicated to the magic of craftsmanship, celebrating artisanal talents in a wide range of disciplines.
"Homo Faber is an expression first coined during the Renaissance and it celebrates the infinite creativity of human beings. This exhibition will provide a panoramic view of fine craftsmanship, with the sole guiding principle being what humankind can do better than machines. "Michelangelo Foundation.
Sensitive to perpetuating and passing on artistic crafts, Vacheron Constantin is participating in the exhibition, alongside guest of honour Japan. The Maison has taken its place alongside perfumers, watchmakers, jewellers, kimono makers and bootmakers in the pavilion dedicated to the world of luxury, under the title "Details: Genealogies of Ornament".
A longstanding Japanese tradition
The relationship between Vacheron Constantin and Japan dates back to the 19th century. Some of the timepieces in Vacheron Constantin's private collection feature Japanese-inspired decorations and ornamentation and certain examples are displayed on the Vacheron Constantin booth at Homo Faber.
Les Cabinotiers Minute repeater ultra-thin Thunder God and Wind God
In reference to the welcome given to Japan and the close ties binding Vacheron Constantin with this country, the Maison drew inspiration from Japanese mythology in creating the two Les Cabinotiers Thunder God and Wind God timepieces presented at Homo Faber.
The dials refer to a painting by famous 16th century Japanese artist Sōtatsu, considered a national treasure in his home country. The white gold cases, featuring fine line intaglio-type engraving on the bezel, middle and lugs, feature minute repeater slide pieces set with precious stones. These timepieces are driven by in-house Calibre 1731, an ultra-thin minute repeater movement measuring just 3.90 mm thick.
The 18K yellow gold dial is first adorned with intaglio-type fine line engraving to reproduce an irregular chequered pattern featuring matt and shiny surfaces creating the illusion of gold leaf decoration. A layer of transparent flux fired in the kiln is then applied to protect this base, which is thus ready for miniature enamel painting. Between six and seven firings were necessary to stabilise the colours of Fujin and Raijin on their clouds. A layer of overglazing flux, given a final polish using the lapping technique, concludes a process requiring a hundred hours of meticulous craftsmanship measuring just 3.90 mm thick.
In-house Calibre 1731 (a reference to the year Jean-Marc Vacheron was born) powers these two musical timepieces. Its main characteristic is its extreme thinness for a minute repeater movement. At only 3.90 mm thick, it is nevertheless equipped with a barrel ensuring an impressive 65-hour power reserve. It took four years to solve the conundrum of how to create a minute repeater movement combining slenderness, pure acoustics, aesthetic elegance, reliability and robustness. Nor is the technical prowess confined to the ultra-thin challenge, since Calibre 1731 is also equipped with a completely silent flying strike governor (unlike conventional pallet lever-type governors), whose role is to regulate the rate at which the hammers strike the gongs.
The Louvre Museum alongside Vacheron Constantin
The framing-gilding workshop of the Louvre Museum has created a quadriptych inspired by scenes from Japanese mythology, which can be found on the two single-edition timepieces from the Maison.
Representing a true masterpiece, the four finely moulded oak wood panels assembled using keyed joints were especially created for the occasion.
VACHERON CONSTANTIN AND THE LOUVRE
United in their vocation to preserve various facets of the human heritage, Vacheron Constantin and the Louvre offer an initiatory journey to the heart of the crafts that powerfully express their vocation.
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