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Experience “The Anatomy of Beauty”

An alliance between decorative arts and watchmaking techniques.

Without perfect technical mastery, watchmaking would not fulfil its primary function with all the required reliability and ingenuity. Yet without artisans’ creativity, it would probably never have escaped the confines of mechanical sciences. It is precisely this encounter between the decorative arts and purely horological knowledge that has made timekeeping a separate activity, as well as a field of expertise unique to Vacheron Constantin. Ever since its origins, the Manufacture has distinguished itself with timepieces in which the sense of Beauty is expressed through an anatomy whose aesthetics are matched only by its perfect technical arrangement. This experience titled “The Anatomy of Beauty” retraces these inseparable links that have consistently characterised the Vacheron Constantin approach to watchmaking.

Vacheron Constantin

Nineteenth century Europe was a prolific period for watchmaking. The marine chronometers of the master watchmakers “endorsed” by the various royal courts became indispensable instruments in the conquest of the seas. Mechanisms featuring astronomical complications came down from belfries to be housed in watch cases small enough to fit in a waistcoat pocket. Watches’ precision continued to improve as metallurgy was refined and new types of escapement were developed. Nonetheless, such technical advances cannot be understood without the public being able to appreciate them and, above all, wanting to own the most accomplished creations.

Vacheron Constantin
Pocket watch in finely chased yellow gold set with amethysts, guilloche gold dia - 1822

“The Anatomy of Beauty” Experience Areas

1. OUR HERITAGE: A LEGACY AS PRECIOUS AS TIME
Journey into the watchmaking universe and be immersed in the brand’s exceptional history.

2. THE ANATOMY OF BEAUTY
Attentiveness to detail is second nature at Vacheron Constantin. Discover how extraordinary thoroughness is expressed in the meticulous finishing and details performed by our master artisans.

3. SCIENCE AND COMPLICATIONS
An immersive journey to the heart of Vacheron Constantin, highlighting 5 complications that give life to its special timepieces.

Artistic collaboration with The Cityshake Art Studio
To capture the extreme sense of precision that comes along with the concept of “Anatomy of Beauty”, innovation art studio CITYSHAKE expresses the 5 complications through digital artworks that can be contemplated at the macro and micro levels.

Macro: The macro level of the artwork mimics faithfully the movements and functionality of the complication
Micro: The unlimited sense for details is conveyed by structures in which we can zoom endlessly as if the search for details and perfection was infinite.

Our Heritage: A legacy as precious as time
The advent of the 20th century witnessed a major upheaval in watchmaking. Already appearing on women’s wrists as jewellery watches, wristwatches gradually supplanted pocket models to become widespread and democratised as an indispensable instrument in daily life. In other words, by becoming visible to all and even clearly ostentatious, the watch was given a new emotional charge as a field of creative expression. Already renowned for the impeccable quality of its simple or complicated calibres, Vacheron Constantin from then on initiated a tradition of continual innovation in the architecture of its special-shaped ‘form’ watches and their embellishment. Artistic crafts are given pride of place, with a vast range of styles made possible by the techniques of guilloché, enamelling, miniature painting, gemsetting, lacquering, openworking, etc. These skills, inherited from the past and constantly enriched, as well as the most accomplished technical mastery in the field of mechanical watchmaking, constitute the very essence of the Maison. These timepieces from the Maison’s heritage encompass over 200 years of creations and technical excellence. A history that has seen Vacheron Constantin constantly perpetuate and renew its artistic vision since its founding in 1755.

Pocket watch in finely chased yellow gold set with amethysts, guilloché gold dial – 1822
The shell style, an excellent illustration of the Rococo period, inspired both the Mannerist grottos of Tuscany in the 16th century and the artisans at work on models such as this Vacheron Constantin pocket watch. To create this relief decoration in a solid gold case, the engraver used the pounced ornament technique, which consists of carving out domes, beads and rosettes, which are then smoothed down with a file. A subtle colour-gradient setting with amethysts then adds depth to the sea urchin motifs.

Vacheron Constantin

Tour de l’lle – 2005
To celebrate the Manufacture’s 250th anniversary, Vacheron Constantin presented this watch with 16 complications on a double-face display, considered one of the most complicated wristwatches in the world and produced in a very small series of 7 pieces. It took the Vacheron Constantin design-engineers and the watchmakers over 10,000 hours of research and development to create this sheer masterpiece of horological technique, named in reference to one of the historical sites of the venerable firm, located next to the current Maison Vacheron Constantin on the Quai de l’lle.

“The Anatomy of Beauty”
Caring for details is second nature at Vacheron Constantin. This extraordinary thoroughness is expressed as much in designers’ aesthetic choices and orientations as in the meticulous finishing performed by each craftsperson. All the components of a Vacheron Constantin watch benefit from this particular attention, even those that remain invisible once the movement has been assembled. A keen eye will note the fine guilloché work on a dial or the gemset minute track; it will recognise the contours of the Maison’s Maltese cross emblem on bracelet links; it will notice the small flame-blued screw serving as a seconds indicator on a tourbillon carriage and the mirror polishing on a minuterepeater hammer; it will appreciate the artisans’ deft touch when bevelling a plate or rounding off a bridge; and finally, it will admire a miniature enamel painting depicting a ship tossed on a stormy sea streaked with lightning. At this experience, learn how the concern for details is the basis for an anatomy of beauty in which nothing is left to chance.

Vacheron Constantin

Métiers d’Art – Tribute to great civilisations – 2022
The Persian Empire of Darius the Great, the golden age of Ancient Egypt, the Hellenistic period of Ancient Greece and the rise to power of Augustus, the first Romain emperor, are the historical anchor points of Vacheron Constantin’s new Metiers d’Art watch series. As part of the partnership with the Louvre initiated in 2019 and following intense collaboration with its curators and historians, the Maison has developed a series of four timepieces based on the museums’ ancient collections. True symbols of each era, these artistic masterpieces are at the centre of an exceptional watchmaking show staged by skilled craft makers.

Vacheron Constantin

Historiques 222 – 2022
A true icon of the 1970s, the Historiques 222 is a contemporary reissue of the historic model. With its monobloc tonneau-shaped case topped with a grooved bezel, this timepiece with integrated strap continues to showcase its robust, functional, and sporty spirit with timeless elegance, thanks to the purity of its lines and finesse of its curvature. The case is decorated with a Maltese cross at 5 o’clock and has an open caseback, allowing the caliber to be admired in full view with an oscillating weight specially redesigned for this model.

Science and complications
Since its founding in 1755, Vacheron Constantin has perpetuated watchmaking expertise drawing upon the mastery of the most advanced knowledge and technology. This demanding know-how, which the Manufacture has continually enriched throughout its history and continues to explore, is illustrated through 5 of horological complications in this “SCIENCE AND COMPLICATIONS” section – tourbillon, split-seconds chronograph, retrograde, perpetual calendar and minute-repeater.

From pocket watches to the art of wearing time on the wrist, they reflect the wealth of Vacheron Constantin’s technical repertoire and the desire to continually nurture the expertise accumulated over the centuries. Thanks to the miniaturization of calibers and their constant technical evolution, Vacheron Constantin has demonstrated tremendous artistic creativity. The result is a signature touch in which a taste for innovation meets a keen sense of elegance.

Vacheron Constantin

Split seconds chronograph, 18K yellow gold pocket watch – 1939
The split-seconds chronograph was invented in 1872 to measure actions that start at the same time but do not last the same period, for instance sporting events or intermediate times. The present 18K gold pocket watch displays a silvered dial with an external tachymeter scale allowing to calculate a speed in Kilometres or Miles and can be used at sea or on land. To use the tachymeter, you must have two precise reference-marks, such as two milestones separated by a distance of 1000 meters. This complication was particularly popular among horse race aficionados. Indeed, during these sport events, betting could represent an important amount of money.

Vacheron Constantin

Patrimony minute repeater ultra-thin – 2013
At just 8.10 millimeters thick, this minute repeater watch in 18K pink gold is the epitome of watchmaking elegance. Vacheron Constantin archived the unique, heavenly chimes of this timepiece, allowing the owner to recapture its original sound at any time. This excellence is also demonstrated by the silent ring mechanism which ensures the gongs chime at regular intervals. Its manually-wound movement offers a power reserve of nearly 3 days.

Vacheron Constantin
Patrimony minute repeatr ultra-thin - 2013

Sum-up
Vacheron Constantin presents the “The Anatomy of Beauty” experience in ArtScience Museum Singapore, from 16 October to 2 November 2022, Vacheron Constantin watches from the 19th century to the present day will be on display, showcasing the alliance between decorative arts and watchmaking techniques.

Experience “The Anatomy of Beauty”
ArtScience Museum, Level 4
16th October to 2nd November 2022
Open to public
Tickets can be booked on the ArtScience Museum website
https://www.marinabaysands.com/museum/exhibitions/vacheron-constantin.html

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