A bespoke Les Cabinotiers watch up for auction at the Louvre Museum
Vacheron Constantin is donating a one of a kind, bespoke, Les Cabinotiers watch to the Louvre Museum. The objective is to raise funds as part of the ‘Bid for the Louvre’ online auction, run in conjunction with the Louvre Museum and Christie’s from 1.12.2020 – 15.12.2020
Virtually all watch companies choose to align themselves with stars of the silver screen, musicians or leading sports personalities. The chosen ambassador can heighten awareness, tap into the ambassador’s fanbase or act as some form of endorsement.
However, on this occasion, Vacheron Constantin has adopted a different approach. The esteemed firm is not only synonymous with the highest standards of watchmaking, it is also known for its mastery of artistic crafts. Whether it’s grand feu enamelling, guilloché or Haute Joaillerie, few firms can surpass the expertise of this venerated Maison. Therefore, it seems fitting that the Manufacture is a partner of the Louvre, a haven for priceless artworks.
The Genevan firm is donating a Les Cabinotiers timepiece for the ‘Bid for the Louvre’ online auction. All proceeds from the sale will go to the Louvre, in support of its ‘solidarity projects’.
For those individuals unfamiliar with Les Cabinotiers pieces, the watches are one of a kind creations and are invariably bespoke. The successful buyer can select an artwork from the Louvre Museum’s collection which will form the basis for unique dial creation, executed in miniature enamel or grisaille enamel. Moreover, the buyer will have a choice of case materials, including platinum, pink gold or white gold.
The Manufacture 2460 SC self-winding calibre sits at the heart of this bespoke watch, bestowing wearer convenience and the brand’s legendary finissage. Lastly, this timepiece will bear the prestigious Poinçon de Genève on its case, a further indication of the model’s no-compromise specification.
The brand’s press release
Vacheron Constantin is pleased to be supporting the Louvre Museum in the “Bid for the Louvre” auction from December 1st to 15th 2020 exclusively on the Christie’s website, from which the entire proceeds will be donated to the museum’s solidarity projects. Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers watch is the only horological lot among the unique and exclusive pieces put up for auction. This participation was a natural choice for the Manufacture, testifying to its profound attachment to art and culture as well as its concern for safeguarding and passing on heritage in all its forms.
“We are proud to be taking part, along other artists and Maisons, in this exceptional auction organized by the Louvre and Christie’s in support of the Museum’s solidarity projects. Our ongoing commitment to art and the transmission of savoir-faire – which has been expressed alongside the Louvre since the announcement of our partnership a year ago – takes on even greater significance within a global context that is troubled and challenging in more ways than one. Putting up for auction a Les Cabinotiers timepiece based on a masterpiece, a one-of-a-kind model personalized in accordance with the acquirer’s wishes, symbolizes the identity of our Maison and its mission to promote the sharing of culture and emotions”, says Louis Ferla, Vacheron Constantin CEO.
The acquirer of this exceptional piece will have the opportunity to personalise it through full participation in its creation, along with experts and master craftsmen of Vacheron Constantin and Le Louvre. In addition to the dial, which will reproduce an artwork from the Louvre Museum, they will be able to choose the case material – platinum or pink or white gold – to have an engraving made on the officer-type case-back; and to opt for a strap from among the many possibilities of materials and colours. This timepiece will be powered by in-house Calibre 2460 SC, crafted according to the demanding standards of Vacheron Constantin and Haute Horlogerie in terms of both reliability and finishing.
A work of art on the dial
The adventure for the successful bidder will begin in Paris, during a private visit to the Louvre led by its best expert, in order to select with him/her the masterpiece that will be reproduced in enamel on the dial, from among the paintings and sculptures conserved in the Museum. According to the choice made and the client’s preference, the Vacheron Constantin Master enameller will use the miniature enamel or grisaille enamel technique.
The delicate skill involved in miniature enamel – in its version known as the “Geneva technique” dating from the 18th century – is reserved for the most experienced artisans mastering both pigments and fire. One of the main challenges consists in composing a colour palette compliant with the original shades of the work, while remaining keenly aware that the multiple firings in the kiln at over 800°C are liable to alter its colour and brilliance.
Grisaille enamel is a craft that appeared in the 16th century and consists of superimposing touches of a rare white enamel – called Limoges white –on a layer of dark enamel coating the gold dial base. Each layer of enamel is then fired in a kiln, while scrupulously respecting pre-defined firing times to the nearest second.
Multiple personalisation options
Closely involved throughout the creative process, the acquirer of this unique Les Cabinotiers watch will be able to choose from several personalisation options during a private visit to the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin in Geneva, where he/she will meet the creative talents of the design studio, the master watchmakers, as well as enamellers and engravers working on his/her watch.
A platinum, pink gold or white gold case, engraving on the case and officer case-back, a choice of strap – material, colour, stitching and marking – are just some of the many possibilities available to personalise this exceptional timepiece powered by the Manufacture 2460 SC self-winding calibre.
The transparent case-back will reveal a 22-carat gold oscillating weight openworked in the shape of a Maltese cross, the symbol of Vacheron Constantin, as well as hand finishing, bevelling, circular-graining and polishing – all performed with the greatest respect for watchmaking expertise.
At the close of this exclusive experience, the purchaser will receive their watch, accompanied by two certificates of authenticity: one from Vacheron Constantin; and another from Le Louvre Museum certifying the reproduction of the artwork.
As a partner of the Louvre Museum, Vacheron Constantin is taking part in the “Bid for the Louvre” online auction organised from December 1st to 15th 2020 on www.christies.com by donating a bespoke one-of-a-kind Les Cabinotiers timepiece. More than a watch, it represents a unique opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable experience in both Paris and Geneva, poised at the intersection between art and craftsmanship. In Paris, during a private visit to the Louvre, the purchaser will have the opportunity to choose a work of art preserved in the museum which will be reproduced on the dial using the miniature painting or grisaille enamel technique. In Geneva, an exclusive visit to the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin will provide an opportunity to choose the personalisation options for this exceptional watch, the sale of which will serve to support the solidarity projects of the Louvre Museum. This unique offer is part of a larger and joint effort from leading luxury Maisons and contemporary artists to support the solidarity projects of Le Louvre. 100% of the sale proceeds will be donated.