The Métiers d’Art series produced by Vacheron Constantin every year not only has beautiful women’s watches, but also men’s watches, and the history of men’s watches is even more Long time, at this year’s Geneva Haute Horlogerie exhibition, Vacheron Constantin launched four men’s watches at the same time as four men’s watches, named Mécaniques Ajourées (engraving machinery), although the entire men’s watch family does not have Women’s watches are as glorious, but the energy it consumes is comparable to women’s watches.
At first glance, these four watches are indeed a lot lower-key than women’s watches. The difference between them is that the scales are available in black, gray, and blue. There is also a black diamond version. Of these four watches, the most The beautiful version is undoubtedly the blue version. The design of this series of watches is inspired by the central clock on the railway station. With the development of the railway system in the 19th century, the main stations in Europe at that time became mutual exchanges and cultural exchanges. symbol of. With the continuous development of the Industrial Revolution, the way people treat time has also changed dramatically, so when people go out, they need a unified time as a reference standard. Then the large central clock of the railway station appeared, and the huge and striking Roman numeral time scale provided a unified time standard for the train arrangement and passenger travel of the station.
Later, due to aesthetic and technical considerations, the station building, which almost represents progress and innovation, has also undergone large-scale reconstruction. The original complex and compact structure of the station was transformed to be more concise and lively. The arched doors and windows and smooth ribbed vaults from the Gothic architecture met people’s requirements for the transparency and waiting of the waiting hall, and also dispersed the passenger flow. the goal of. The roman numeral scales displayed by the engraving process not only exude the retro charm of the central clock in large European train stations in the late 19th century, but also carry the meaning of architectural aesthetics.
Unlike the colorful enamel dial on the female dial, these four models undoubtedly choose a more low-key and restrained monochrome enamel. Although the color has become less, this does not mean that the difficulty of making it will be reduced. All of the watches are selected without exception, the great fire enamel technology that Vacheron Constantin is best at. Enamel is an ancient skill. The production of enamel dials must be completed by hand. Even if today’s technology has developed to such a developed level, there is still Any mechanical equipment can replace the enamel technician. Especially for the big fire enamel, the enamel master carefully painted the decorative color on the outer ring below the Roman numeral scale with a stroke of enamel glaze. A little carelessness will destroy the overall beauty of the ring pattern.
In particular, it is a more difficult challenge to use the dark fire enamel process to create a deep black effect of light and shadow transition, because the darker the color, the more light is reflected, and even small flaws can be exposed. However, in order to highlight the mellowness of black, the enamel master must create a completely smooth and uniform surface, so as to avoid excessive bubbles in the subsequent enamel firing processes. Of course, this is not only for black, but the other two colors are also in this way!
This watch not only has a long design meaning, its biggest highlight is undoubtedly the engraved movement it is equipped with. The 4400SQ movement on this watch is the engraved version of Vacheron Constantin’s most famous manual movement 4400, and it is also the first time for Vacheron Constantin. Try to sculpt the classic home-made movement. In order to cope with the big watch trend, Vacheron Constantin launched the successor to the 1400 movement in 2009. Compared with the 1400, the most obvious difference is that the diameter has increased by 8 mm. The subsequent change is the power reserve. From 40 hours to 65 hours. Compared with the 1400 movement, the 4400 hides the large steel wheel and exposes the small steel wheel, but the small steel wheel is not polished with a more textured satin surface, but is commonly polished. The wheel train is no longer divided and becomes A whole splint, and no pallet fork shock.
So to be honest, I am really not particularly cold with the solid version of the 4400. Although this movement surpasses the predecessor in practicality and inherits some of the legacy of the predecessor in the overall style, the overall style is more modern and technical. Although I have no right to comment on whether this style is good or not, I always feel that the unique tradition and softness of Vacheron Constantin are missing. And for the deleted details I mentioned above, some people may say that these places are irrelevant, but I believe that the essence of top-level watches is to see how a brand handles those insignificant places, because top-level watches are not count Cost is best for everything.
But when I saw the engraved 4400SQ movement, I completely dispelled all my prejudice against the movement. Its beauty surprised me, especially the triangular engraving of the barrel and balance wheel. It’s so sharp. Although the two movements are of the same origin, I can’t find any solid version of the movement. It is a completely new movement. Its appearance seems to make me return to the former European train station. He couldn’t help raising his head and looked up at the glass dome that is unique to Gothic architecture and supported by arches.
After hundreds of hours of careful carving, this movement is not an exaggeration to say that it has completely exceeded the artistic limit of the carving process. Nearly half of the material on the 4400 solid movement was successfully excavated. We must know that engraving will reduce the material of the part, and the reduction of the material will inevitably lead to the deformation of the part, which means that the risk of deformation of the movement part increases. Double or even more, but with its rich experience and deep skill, the watchmaker continuously trims each part over and over again, and ultimately guarantees that all parts can work together flawlessly. Project pioneering. If you accidentally correct the transition, it can only be troublesome for the engraver to re-carve it again.
In order for Vacheron Constantin to create a unique three-dimensional light and shadow effect in architectural aesthetics, Vacheron Constantin has worked hard on carving. Like other engraving creation processes, this movement allows watchmakers to use existing solid movements. Shang also experienced a long process of conception, design and molding. After the creation was completed, the sculptor abandoned the previous practice of engraving the main technology board and the movement splint with a micro handsaw before using a file to manually grind and chamfer. Instead, by carefully engraving the entire circumferential surface of the movement, it creates a real three-dimensional visual effect comparable to sculptures.
The sculptor took inspiration from the ribbed vault of the train station’s interior hall in the late 19th century, and carved a fine circular arch pattern on the movement with a charming arc using a carving knife in his hand. This circular arch pattern completely subverted The straight lines of the engraving movement condensed more complicated chamfering techniques and manual polishing processes. Sometimes in order to create clever interlaced textures, some small internal angles less than 45 degrees can only be completed by human hands. At the same time, in order to capture more light in the polished area and make the entire movement look more transparent, some places must be polished by hand to achieve a matte effect, so the engraving process of the movement’s skeleton only needs to cost at least After three days, through the ingenious combination of different manual polishing techniques, this movement not only showed its unique relief effect perfectly, the entire watch also passed the authoritative certification of the “Mark of Geneva”.
Although Vacheron Constantin did not launch the first overall engraving movement until 1924, Vacheron Constantin never stopped its unremitting pursuit of this field, not only the pioneer of the field of engraving technology, but also the leader and innovator of this field, so We sincerely hope that Vacheron Constantin will launch more and more exquisite carvings in the future! (Picture / text watch home Mao Zhuang)