Despite the tough economic climate, Asia, specifically Hong Kong and China, remain two of the biggest markets for Swiss watch brands. And to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which will be in late January, 2017, Vacheron Constantin is introducing two new and extremely limited watches. Ladies and gentlemen, may we introduce to you the Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art The legend of the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Rooster watch.
Vacheron Constantin’s Métiers d’Art collection represents the company’s most artistic timepieces. Watches from this esteemed collection are often made with some form of extremely complicated art and craft techniques such as gem-setting, enameling, engraving, painting, and so on. The new Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art the Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Rooster watch is no different.
This isn’t the first time Vacheron Constantin created a watch to celebrate the Chinese zodiac. Readers familiar with Vacheron Constantin’s Métiers d’Art collection will probably remember last year’s Métiers d’Art Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Monkey watch. Well, the design of the new Métiers d’Art the Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Rooster watch closely follows the design of the former.
The new Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Rooster comes in a 40mm platinum or 18K 5N pink gold case, which are both water resistant to 30 meters.
The dial features motifs of flowers done in the style of Chinese paper-cutting called jiǎnzhǐ (剪纸) in Mandarin. The art of paper-cutting dates back to as far as the second century and shares many similarities to Scherenschnitt in Switzerland and Germany.
The flowers are etched directly into the metal and are made to look three-dimensional thanks to various accentuating reliefs and subtle stage-setting. The end result, according to Vacheron Constantin, is that they appear to be floating directly above the dial and under the crystal.
The base of the dial is Grand Feu enamel, an age old technique that requires the application of enamel in successive layers. Enamel is favored because its color hardly fades, so the watch should look as it does now even many years later. In the center of the dial sits a rooster made out of either platinum or gold, matching the case material, and it is, as you would expect, painstakingly engraved by hand.
The hours, minutes, day of the week, and date are read through four apertures located at 10, 2, 4, and 8 o’clock, respectively. Legibility is top notch, and enabling this is Vacheron Constantin’s 237-component automatic caliber 2460 G4. It beats at 4Hz, has a power reserve of 40 hours, and features the Hallmark of Geneva, which means it is finished to a very high standard. See much more about the Hallmark of Geneva, or Geneva Seal, in our in-depth report here. It also has a large 22k gold rotor that has been decorated with guilloche.
The Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art the Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Rooster watch – we recommend giving yours a shorter nickname – will be limited to just 24 pieces in total – 12 in platinum and another 12 in 18K 5N pink gold. It is priced at US$100,500. vacheron-constantin.com