There is no more satisfying a feeling for a man than when he pairs his favorite Swiss (or German) made watch with his impeccably tailored suit. Ok, so there may be more satisfying feelings but the suit/watch thing is definitely top five. Now, centuries old mechanical watchmaker Vacheron Constantin has taken this concept one gorgeous step further. Presenting the new Métiers d’Art Elégance Sartoriale collection.
For The Satorialist In You
When you look at the new Sartoriale collection for the first time you will probably assume that Vacheron Constantin has partnered with some high-end bespoke tailor and commissioned a series of unique fabrics for it to incorporate into its dials. I know that’s what I thought! And in part that is true, the watchmaker has partnered with Vitale Barberis Canonico, the oldest fabric maker in the world to debut the new pieces, however it’s not quite the collaboration you and I thought it would be. No, the dials you see before you are so much more special than that.
In total there will be five different dials available, each with its own unique appeal. What they all share in common however is the fact that each boasts a gorgeous hand- guilloché pattern that resembles the cloth of a finely tailored suit. That’s right, what looks like a piece of material is actually the result of hours – 6 to be exact – of careful work done by hand and then brought to life by the expert application of Grand Feu enamel.
That’s probably oversimplifying the process a little so I’ll let the good people at Vacheron Constantin explain it in a bit more detail:
The guillocheur has manually recreated the structure of the fabrics which is unprecedented in the watchmaking domain, notably by creating a finely gadrooned pattern around the rim of the dial, much like a hem. Incising these tiny grooves in thin gold plates called for hours of craftsmanship to make the most of light and depth effects by working with tenth of a millimetre precision.
Working within the constraints imposed by the complexity of the guilloché motifs and the unpredictable nature of enamel, the enamelling artisan has then sought the exact shade, while being careful to maintain a transparent, shiny and smoothly uniform appearance. Grand Feu enamelling was chosen despite its many inherent difficulties. This technique alone, combined with the use of translucent enamels, is capable of intensifying the guilloché motif so as to give the pattern thus produced its true vibrancy in a strikingly realistic effect.
Sounds impressive, right? You better believe it is! To make things even more difficult – because hey, why not, right? – Vacheron Constantin decided to incorporate a gold sub-dial offset at 3 o’clock that features an intricate tapestry-like motif. This motif is engraved using a special tool, before being frosted and varnished. Its alternating hollowed and raised areas create an embroidery effect and Vacheron Constantin likens its presence on the dial to that of a pocket square in finely styled suit. It is rimmed by a chapter ring and features two gold hands and, like any good pocket square, the design varies depending on the pattern of the suit.
It’s not just the dial that’s gotten all the attention though. Turn the watch over and you will be able to have a peek at the hand-finished mechanical manual-winding Caliber 1400, which has been stamped with the Geneva Seal. The 98 component movement offers nearly 40 hours of power in reserve when fully wound and is simply gorgeous to look at. Meanwhile, the polished case-back has also been designed to leave room for a personalised engraving, so you can really make this piece your own.
Presented in a 40mm round case in 18K white or 5N pink gold, each model is paired with a hand-sewn, alligator leather strap complete with half Maltese cross-shaped pin buckle. To really drive the sartorial theme home each model also comes complete with a pair of cufflinks that feature the matching motif of the watch’s subdial.
Available exclusively from Vacheron Constantin boutiques the Métiers d’Art Elégance Sartoriale collection offer five different dial patterns to choose from; the Prince of Wales check pattern; the Herringbone pattern; the Windowpane pattern; the Pin stripes pattern and the Tartan pattern. Pricing is set at $53,600.
Check out Vacheron Constantin for more.