From creation to exception
They are endowed with the unique gift of creating emotion. They are Engravers, Enamelers, Guillocheurs, Gemsetters and Watchmakers. They have a talent that no machine could ever replace. They are the artists of time, the time that accompanies each of their actions as the work comes to life in their hands. Passed on from generation to generation, from father to son, master to apprentice, their expertise has endured within the Maison since 1755. Telling extraordinary stories from the movement to the dial and offering an artistic vision of time, these are the feats accomplished by our Master Craftsmen.
The Master Engraver: artisan of form
Watchmaking offers engraving an exceptional range of expression. Present on the cases, dials and even the tiny components of movements, this age-old art infuses each piece with its unique character. Burnishers, gouges, scrapers, rivet snaps and chisels are found on the workbench of the Master Engraver... which write, cut, sculpt, polish and stamp the material, guided by the hand of the craftsman. Using movements accurate to the nearest tenth of a millimeter, they shape the curve and depth of the motif. Engraving ensures that a work of art will remain literally etched in history and living memory.
Relief engraving, high-relief or bas-relief, intaglio or champlevé engraving and chiseling... The engraver and chiseler draws on a rich palette of techniques and processes for modeling metal. With rare dexterity, they shape the scene or motif with infinite patience.
The Master Guillocheur: artisan of depth
Clous de Paris, barleycorn, sunburst, grosgrain, vieux panier… these names spark the imagination. An art of the hand and machine, guilloché work subtly plays with light to lend depth to a surface. These finely carved motifs with exceptional regularity and delicacy are the work of extremely talented Master Craftsmen. With an expert hand, the Master Guillocheur achieves strikingly beautiful, symmetrical or figurative motifs—one of the particularities of the Maison, whose expertise extends well beyond classical guilloché work.
A sense of imagination
By transmitting whimsical movements to the tool, playing with form, spacing and weaving, the Master Guillocheur can give free rein to their imagination and draw roses, dotted lines, waves or ripples. With each stroke performed one after the other, the dexterity and artistic sensitivity of the guillocheur are crucial.
The Master Enameler: artisan of color
This Métier d'Art is so rare that only a few Master Craftsmen in the world have mastered the required skills. To create or faithfully reproduce designs or miniature patterns on the dial, talent is not enough and a great many years of training are necessary to master each enameling technique whether it be Grand Feu, cloisonné or champlevé. Finally comes the crucial stage of firing, which allows the enamel to fuse to the matrix. The pattern is revealed in all its intensity and is no longer at the mercy of time, which is why Vacheron Constantin perpetuates this refined art in keeping with the great Geneva tradition.
The alchemy of perfection
Whatever the process used in Grand Feu enameling, the Master Enameler deposits a few enamel grains of the chosen color using a brush. Depending on the complexity of the design and the number of colors, it may need to be placed in the kiln over 20 times. The experience of the Enameler then plays a vital role. They know that each color may require its own secret treatment, which they will seek to decode over the course of their entire life.
The Master Jeweler: artisan of light
Watchmaking and jewelry are intimately linked. When these two worlds are in tune with one another, it results in unique and coveted masterpieces. The jeweler shapes precious metals and decorates them with stones to transform their creations into exceptional pieces. Patience and concentration are vital in setting the perfect stage for these stones and enabling them to sparkle with dazzling radiance. Oscillating between technique and emotion, the Master Gemsetter injects the pieces with soul, perfecting their personality.
Working with extremely fine layers of gold, the Master Jeweler must adapt to the constraints imposed by the functional nature of the watch, while respecting the stones and the metal. Using their traditional tools, they work with both strength and restraint as they risk chipping a diamond or worse, breaking a stone.
Tribute to the Great Explorers
The Master Watchmaker: artisan of time
A beautiful hand: this is the name sometimes given to the Master Watchmaker. Through them, the hours reveal their personality and follow a steady rhythm. The watchmaker offers time the leisure to challenge the laws of gravity with a tourbillon, the freedom to travel through the centuries with a perpetual calendar, to be measured in infinite precision with a chronograph... Sensitive to the beauty of the watch, they challenge themselves to find technical solutions to serve high standards of aesthetics. A perfect illustration of technicality in its most beautiful expression.
The mechanics of time
The Master Watchmaker works by repeating countless maneuvers inherited from time immemorial. Mastering each step, they adjust each watch component one at a time. Able to create the simplest to the most complicated mechanisms, they tirelessly pursue a quest for excellence that allows them to reconsider their methods and push the limits of what is possible.