Throughout its history, Vacheron Constantin has demonstrated a deep commitment to the arts. After a successful collaboration with the Louvre, the brand has opened a new exhibition at its New York Flagship store titled “The Anatomy of Beauty®“, a celebration of Haute Horology and contemporary art. The brand creates an immersive experience through a curated collection of extraordinary watches alongside more significant-than-life depictions of coral, and the artwork, These Waters, by New York artist Melissa McGill.
A metaphorical and physical journey, McGill’s These Waters takes center stage with coral structures and skeletonized watch movements to create harmony, such as the steady rhythm of the earth’s water waves as depicted in the artwork. The watchmaker’s two-story atrium is consumed by five large-scale photographs of New York’s Hudson River on glass. Panels lean against each other and the wall creating a stunning conversation between light, reflection, transparency, shadow, and ephemerality. The artwork aims to start a dialogue about our relationship with water.
The watches for this exhibition come from archives as well as current collections. Some timepieces are intricately decorated with gemstones, guilloche, enameling, and engraving, while others are skeletonized, flaunting the meticulous attention to detail while creating the watch. This detail-oriented and stunning skeletonization work is magnificently shown in the new Vacheron Constantin Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar. The contemporary gold timepiece is magnified by a sapphire dial inviting the guests to witness its ultra-thin and skeletonized perpetual calendar caliber 1120 QPSQ/1.
Vacheron Constantine displays some of the rarest pieces, like the platinum limited edition Skeleton Minute Repeater reference from 2006. The caliber 1755 beating inside the timepiece consists of 330 parts, at only 3.30 mm thick. The sapphire crystal dial shows the decorative hand engraving of the wheels and bridges. This Skeleton Minute Repeater visually brings to mind the intricate details of the underwater corals and the technical expertise in complicated watchmaking.
The exhibition further explores the intricacy of technical creativity, with the modern Égérie ladies’ collection showcasing an exquisite dial pattern inspired by a tapestry technique made using the art of guilloche and expertly set with diamonds. The exhibition displays an 1822 yellow gold pocket watch expertly set with precious amethyst stones in a delicate wave pattern. The gold dial displays an engine-turned center and 12 Roman numerals, and an outer minute track. The “The Anatomy of Beauty®” exhibition also includes twelve masks from the Barbier-Mueller Museum‘s collection depicted through a sculpted gold plate on each watch dial. Each timepiece is equipped with a 2460 G4 beating heart caliber and features written poetry by Michel Butor to depict the civilization represented.
“The Anatomy of Beauty®” explores the level of attention, dedication, and passion Vacheron Constantin imbues in the minutest of details through a lens of contemporary art and magnified imagery of the organic beauty found in our waters. The exhibition will be at Vacheron Constantin’s New York Flagship store from April to September 2022.