Among its novelties unveiled at the recently held SIHH 2014 event, Vacheron Constantin has presented a brilliant quartet of watches grouped under the name Fabuloux Ornaments. The four ladies’ timepieces are stemming from the Metiers d’Art series which is distinctive for its use of ancient artistic decorative crafts. As much as ten master artisans of various disciplines such as guillochage, engraving, glyptics, enamelling and diamond-setting took turns in embellishing the supremely looking open-worked timepieces in red or white gold casings. Each of four novelties draws its inspiration from an artistic technique which is characteristic for one of the four chosen cultural traditions from around the globe. These are: Chinese embroidery, Indian manuscript decorations, Ottoman architecture and French lacework. Moreover, each of them is made in just 20 copies, while the functioning is based on ultra-flat Caliber 1003 SQ/4 which bears the Geneva stamp as a certificate of the quality.
Skeletonized Movements as the General Theme of the Brand
Open-working is sort of a general theme of the timekeepers which Vacheron Constantin decided to premiere at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2014. This approach is also utilized in the Fabulexux Ornaments quartet, a new sub-series of the Metiers d’Art collection. Since it is a part of the lineage that celebrates traditional artistic crafts, it comes as no surprise that open-working is in these instances supplemented with the input of masters of various decorative techniques which are furthermore combined with the use of noble materials. The skillful artisans which the Geneva-based watchmaker chose for the project selected four decorative traditions of the world’s great cultures and made their own artistic interpretations of them. The end results of their meticulous and laborious work are wonderful portions of the four different dials, each made around the skeletonized sections that display the universally used lovely in-house movement.
As for the movement in question, it is Caliber 1003 or to be precise its skeletonized version Caliber 1003 SQ/4 made of 18 K gold. The ultra thin movement whose thickness measures to just 1.64 mm is stripped of all components that are not crucial for its unimpaired functioning. All that remains are engraved wheel trains that are joined in a form of a delicate lace. The exposed movement is also heavily decorated with chamfered and hand-drawn sections on both sides. When it comes to its functional properties, it should be said that the caliber is comprised of 117 components and that it is mechanical and manually wound, while its power reserve lasts for about 31 hours. The 18 jeweled caliber has the diameter of 9 ¼ lignes (21.1 mm) and it operates at the frequency of 18,000 vph, whereas its quality is guaranteed with the Geneva hallmark. When it comes to supported functions, the caliber provides only minutes and hours that are executed via two hands on the off-centered dials of four novelties.
All four watches that comprise the new Fabuleux Ornaments sub-collection are made with cases in the same size which is chosen to be befitting to a women’s wrist. In each of the instances, the diameter is 37 mm and the slim height is 8 mm. The cases are made in 18 K gold and possess water resistance to 30 meters. Three of the watches are white gold, while only the one inspired by the French lacework is in white gold. When it comes to the shared traits, there are also sapphire crystals for both front and the back sides and alligator Mississippiensis straps with standard buckles in the materials that match the cases. Moreover, there is the common fixed bezel which is encrusted with 64 diamonds with the total weight of 0.89 carats. However, this ensemble of precious stones is in two of the instances richer for additional diamonds that are set on their faces.
Indian Manuscript Watch
The first of four new timekeepers from the collection that celebrates artistic crafts is the based on the traditions of the Chinese embroidery. Apart from universally used skeletonized section with visible elements in the shape of the brand’s logo, it has a captivating Grand Feu enamel dial which is complemented with hand-engraved surfaces. The timekeeper with the reference number 33580/000R-9959 is paired with a dark blue attachment.
The second newcomer with the reference number 33580/000R-9906 draws its inspiration from marvelous arabesques that grace famous monuments of the Ottoman architecture. It displays lovely mourcharaby motif (wooden lattice) made of meticulously hand-beveled pink gold, combined with a white mother-of-pearl base. A cherry on top in the harmonious design is the presence of applied half-pearls. This novelty has a black wristlet.
The Chinese embroidery-inspired piece with the serial number 33589/000R-9904 is engraced with hand-engraving stone-cloisonning on pink opale. The floral-themed face is additionally adorned with glyptic sections of ruby, garnet and cuprite. The total mass of additional gems that embellish the dial is 1.4 carats. For the color of its attachment, the designers of the Geneva-set company chose the shade of bordeaux.
The fourth novelty is the only one with the white gold housing. This watch which bears the reference 33580/000G-9903 has a hand-guilloched face with translucent Grand Feu enamel sections. Its skeletonized portion is encircled with pink sapphires and diamonds which in the combination with the stones on the bezel bring to the total number of precious stones to 164 and the sum caratage to 1.2 carats. The final of the novelties has a violet wristlet. Just like all other newcomers from the new Fabuleux Ornaments quartet, this model is launched in a limited edition of 20 pieces.