Year of the Rooster still has 4 more months to go. However what has happened has happened, now it is time to look forward to the upcoming Year of the Dog. Vacheron Constantin is the first out of the blocks with a new Métiers d’Art model to celebrate new Chinese zodiac year. The new Vacheron Constantin Year of the Dog is a limited edition with two models – a platinum blue dial with a white gold dog and a pink gold burnished red dial with a pink gold dog – with only 12 pieces of each made.
For the dial decorations, they used ancient art of paper-cutting, known in Chinese as Jianzhi. This is a method also close to Swiss paper-cutting art named, Scherenschnitt. The master engravers and enamelers at Vacheron Constantin workshop used a combination of these two methods to create the engraved foliage motif on the dial. The pattern is semi-embedded, when looked thru the sapphire crystal glass it appears to be floating over the dial.
To achieve the blue and burnished red of the dial, they used Grand Feu enameling technique. Grand Feu enameling is a time consuming and difficult task, during the course of work lots of dials get rejected even for small imperfections. Here to achieve the desired color, craftsmen heated the kiln between 800 and 900 degrees Celsius.
The center of the attraction – the dog, sits in the center of the dial. Made from platinum or pink gold for each version, it is sculpted to look like on the move with one paw up. They paid a lot of attention to details, like etched and engraved hairs and the vines that make it look like the dog is taking a walk in a garden.
There are four apertures on the handsfree dial to show hours, minutes, days and dates. The hours and minute indicators are dragging versions, while the days and dates are of jumping type – all powered by the in-house made Calibre 2460 G4 movement. The fine finishings of the movement is clearly visible through the sapphire crystal back.
Simple and complicated at the same time, the watch sits on a Mississippiensis alligator leather strap with alligator leather inner shell, hand-stitched, saddle-finish and a platinum or 18kt rose gold folding clasp. This 40mm watch is water-resistant up to 30 meters. It is delivered with a corrector pen and a magnifying glass.
There is no word yet on the retail price of the Vacheron Constantin Year of the Dog. Based on the price of previous Chinese New Year versions – be ready to pay about $100,000 for pink gold, and $125,000 for platinum. Check out the Métiers d’Art collection online.