Vacheron Constantin Celebrates The Year Of The Dog
The Chinese lunar calendar is due to begin its next cycle on February 16, 2018, ushering in the year of dog, which replaces the current year of the rooster. Long praised for its loyalty and reliability, the dog is the 11th entry in the 12-year Chinese zodiac and Vacheron Constantin is celebrating its arrival with two references of a specially produced timepiece, each limited to just 12 pieces worldwide.
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The new Métiers d’Art “The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Dog” watches both feature the self-winding Calibre 2460 G4 movement, which has a somewhat unusual display format. In lieu of hands, the hour, minute, date, and day of week are indicated via four apertures spaced out around the edge of the dial. For the hours and minutes, two dragging discs are used; the day and date, meanwhile, use jumping indicators that switch instantaneously at midnight. Technical twist aside, such a layout allows the métiers d’art involved to be presented front and centre on the dial.
Creating the dials in these timepieces required a combination of multiple artisanal crafts. To begin, the gold dial base is first engraved to produce foliage motifs in relief. The “sunken” portions of the dial were then gradually filled in with grand feu enamel over multiple firings as with champlevé enamelling.
The result is a deep, lustrous layer of enamel that contrasts with the engraved foliage, which remains elevated above it. This forms the background of the watch. The highlight here is, of course, the dog itself, rendered in either platinum or pink gold to match its case material. Each dog motif is first engraved by hand—like the dial—before being affixed to the dial’s centre as an appliqué.
Every timepiece is certified with the Hallmark of Geneva, and comes with a corrector pen for the indicators, as well as a magnifying glass with which one can admire the dial’s details. The watches are boutique exclusives, with just 12 pieces each in platinum and pink gold.