By Asaph Low

Vacheron Constantin And The Met Present A Masterpiece On Your Wrist

The partnership brings famous artwork housed at The Met down to the scale of a Vacheron Constantin timepiece

In partnership with

The partnership brings famous artwork housed at The Met down to the scale of a Vacheron Constantin timepiece

Roughly six months into Vacheron Constantin’s newly forged artistic and cultural alliance with New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), the two organisations are presenting the “Masterpiece On Your Wrist” project, the first of many projects to come dedicated to safeguarding and passing on knowledge and expertise. This one is extra special because it allows you to wear a literal masterpiece on your wrist.

While the program is a unique offering, “Masterpiece on your Wrist” is not new to Vacheron Constantin after its first launch in 2019 with The Louvre. The bespoke program revolves around two touchpoints: A unique single-piece edition Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers, which features an enamel dial reproduction of a masterwork housed in the world’s preeminent museums.

The partnership with The Met brings many iconic and beloved artworks from the famed American museum into the program catalogue. Masterpieces such as Wheat Field with Cypresses by Vincent van Gogh, Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies by Claude Monet and Northeaster by Winslow Homer or sculptures such as Diana by Augustus Saint-Gaudens were selected to demonstrate the various options available and brought to life by Vacheron Constantin’s revered Métiers d’Art department.

Celebrating decorative techniques applied in watchmaking, watches in the Métiers d’Art collection are enhanced by the maison’s master artisans, whose technicity and artistry are passed down from generation to generation. Here, a client’s selected artwork is faithfully reproduced in Miniature Enamel Painting or Grisaille Enamel. The former involves meticulously hand-painting intricate artwork onto a base layer of baked enamel. Paint is applied in thin layers of individual colours and fixed through successive firings in a kiln. After completion, the artisan seals the painting with a transparent enamel flux, enhancing its brilliance and depth. Miniature enamel painting stands out for its ability to replicate dramatic details, movement, and vibrant colours, making it the ideal technique to imitate brushstrokes and impasto effects of Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Winslow Homer’s paintings.

On the flip side, grisaille enamelling is favoured for its unparalleled ability to evoke depth, luminosity, and dimensionality. Thanks to the predominant monochromatic guise and shading, it excels in creating the illusion of sculptural relief. Master artisans begin with a typically dark or black enamel base before translucent layers of Limoges white enamel are overlaid to create a spectrum of grey tones. As the layers build up, a chiaroscuro effect simulating the interplay of light and shadow on three-dimensional forms comes to life, ideal for Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Diana sculpture.

Commissioning clients will enjoy a private tour of The MET alongside its experts and curators, during which a masterwork of choice will be selected. A trip to Vacheron Constantin’s Plan-les-Ouates headquarters beckons next as clients get to meet master watchmakers and artisans who will craft the project before the experience culminates in the bespoke timepiece.

Beyond selecting the watch’s aesthetical elements, clients are also given free rein in the calibre selection. Three of Vacheron Constantin’s finest movements are available, namely the Calibre 2755 TMR with a minute repeater, power reserve, tourbillon, hours, minutes and small seconds on tourbillon; calibre 1731 with minute repeater, hours and minutes or the three-handed calibre 2460 SC hours with all bearing the prestigious Poinçon de Genève.

Apart from “Masterpiece on your Wrist”, Vacheron Constantin and The MET will continue developing a series of joint projects designed to showcase their respective rich heritages and ability to keep cultural legacies alive for future generations.