Watches: Vacheron Constantin Hommage à l’Art de la Danse – The Dancer on Stage

By Thierry Ané on November 9, 2013

Since its founding in 1755, Vacheron Constantin has undoubtedly released its fair share of stunning timepieces. In my opinion, however, none exemplify the excellence of this Manufacture better than the timepieces belonging to the Métiers d’Art collection.

Fine Watchmaking artistic crafts have become increasingly popular and many brands are now surfing on this trend by introducing watches which dials are adorned with enamel, straw or wood marquetry, fine gem-setting, stone mosaic, sculpted mother-of-pearl… In this field, however, Vacheron Constantin remains in a class of its own.

Earlier this year, Vacheron Constantin has presented a series of three enamelled watches reinterpreting works celebrating ballet by French impressionist master Edgar Degas, to celebrate the tri-centenary of the Ecole Française de Danse. The “Dancer on Stage” timepiece that I will discuss today represents the fourth homage to the art of classical ballet and to the work of Edgar Degas.

Following in the footsteps of the first three models of this collection, the new watch houses the Vacheron Constantin self-winding 2460 SC calibre in a white gold officer case accompanied with a black alligator strap. With superlative finishes, this timepiece meets the new standards of the Poinçon de Genève (Hallmark of Geneva). Nevertheless, the beauty of the case and movement could easily go unnoticed so much the dial finesse and elegance catches our attention.

The dial in question uses the increasingly rare technique of Grand Feu grisaille enamelling to reinterpret a famous work by Degas. On a translucent brown enamel (it accentuates the depth effect compare to the more commonly used black enamel base and it is more faithful to Edgar Degas’s colour palette), the House artist adds touches of Limoges white enamel that is then drawn out (using such tools as needles, brushes or cactus thorns), so as to create a broad range of grey shades. The finesse of this Grand Feu Enamel painting reveals even the slightest details of the ballerina (look for instance at the folds of her tutus!).

Recent Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art collections were issued in series of three timepieces. “The Dancer on Stage” is released alone after a first series of three watches with no indication on how many more (if any) watches we should expect in this collection. Let’s just hope that this beautiful timepiece does not mark the end of such an interesting series.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: