The Chinese Zodiac is closely intertwined with geomancy and western astrology. It is a scheme and systematic plan of future action that relates each year to an animal and contains a 12-year cycle. These animal signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. It remains popular today in several East Asian countries including China, Vietnam, Korea and Japan. Many watchmakers make it a feature every year to make a special watch with the corresponding zodiac. For the year of the Rooster, Vacheron Constantin announces a Métiers d’Art watch.
2017 ushers in the year of the rooster, phasing out the previous Monkey that was released earlier this year. Vacheron Constantin’s Métiers d’Art The legend of the Chinese zodiac consequently updates itself with the Rooster edition. The Rooster will take over from that of the monkey at the Chinese New Year on January 28th 2017. Bearing the Hallmark of Geneva, these two new creations, realized in twelve models each, combine the technical excellence of Caliber 2460 G4 with the artisanal dials unique to Vacheron Constantin.
Vacheron Constantin’s staple of watches which run on the Caliber 2460 G4 are most significant for the use of digital time and calendar display, instead of analog. Functionally, it creates more space between the dial and the crystal, which allows a heightened 3D mini sculpture of the zodiac animal to be handcrafted on the dial. Aesthetically, it throws emphasis on the art rather than time keeping, centering the Rooster in the middle of the dial set to an elaborate background.
The foliage motif appearing on the dial and based on classic Chinese iconography is etched directly in the metal. The pattern remains semi-embedded and stands out from its gold base by a subtle stage-setting of variously accentuating reliefs creating a depth effect. This makes the vegetation appear to be floating over the dial.
With the rooster engraving, on which the details of the feathers measure a mere fraction of a millimetre, the artisan provides a tangible expression of the artistic vision behind this creation. Then comes the stage of Grand Feu enamelling, a technique invented in Geneva and which remains the exclusive preserve of a rare breed of artisans. By applying the enamel in successive layers, the enamel specialist further enhances the visual intensity of the colored dials.
Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac collection owes its superb scope for expressing the decorative arts notably to Calibre 2460 G4. In keeping with its longstanding tradition of offering a broad variety of original displays, Vacheron Constantin perpetuates the art of watchmaking by providing a hands-free display of time. It does so through four windows respectively revealing the hour, the minutes, the day and the date. The first two indications are of the dragging kind and the last two of the jumping type, and each appears through one of the four apertures arranged around the central dial motif. Beating at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour, the mechanical self-winding movement is equipped with a 22-carat gold oscillating weight adorned with a dynamic geometrical motif inspired by the shape of the Maltese Cross, the historical House emblem.
If pit against the likes of other zodiac watches, this Vacheron piece is quite formidable. Its beauty is in its subtlety. The choice of warm glow colours, a proud Rooster with a striking posture, with the focus on its feathers and claws; coupled with daringness in digital time display and ingenuity of the movement command our respect for the brand once again. It is indeed a master of subtleties, a bastion of art.
Métiers d’Art The legend of the Chinese zodiac Year of the rooster
References 86073/000P-B154 86073/000R-B153
- Reference: 86073/000P-B154 86073/000R-B153
- Diameter (mm): 40.00
- Thickness (mm): 12.74
- Material of the case: platinum 950 / 18k pink gold
- Material of the dial: 18K gold hand-engraved and Grand Feu enameling; Hand-engraved platinum/18K 5N pink gold rooster
- Water-resistance (bar): 3
- Watch strap material: alligator Mississippiensis
- Watch strap color: dark blue
- Type of buckle: Deployant buckle
- Buckle material: platinum 950 / 18k pink gold
- Limited edition of 12 pieces
Calibre 2460 Specifications
- Reference: 2460 G4
- Energy: automatic
- Thickness (mm): 6.05
- Diameter (mm): 31.00 (11”’ ¼)
- Number of parts: 237
- Number of jewels: 27
- Frequency: 4 Hz ( 28,800 v.p.h )
- Power-reserve (hours): 40 approx.
- Indication: day of the week in aperture, date in aperture, minutes by aperture, hours by aperture
- Certification: Hallmark of Geneva