Watches: Vacheron Constantin The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Year of the Horse

By Thierry Ané on November 15, 2013

I have the greatest respect and admiration for the creations of Vacheron Constantin’s Métiers d’Art collection. Over the years, the brand has shown its exceptional expertise in all sorts of decorative arts: all the techniques of enamelling, miniature painting, gem-setting, the art or Maqui-e, miniature reproduction, marquetry, engraving… It really seems that the brand’s know-how has no boundaries! And, perhaps more impressively, they have managed to combine several of these artistic skills to produce breathtaking pieces of art.

In the Chinese calendar, the year 2014 is the year of the Horse (more specifically it takes over the snake on January 31st 2014) and Vacheron Constantin has just introduced a new tribute in the ongoing saga of “The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac”: the Year of the Horse.

Like the Year of the Snake last year, the watch is available in two versions, each of which is strictly limited to 12 pieces. The first model is crafted in pink gold and is fitted with a brown alligator strap while the second version matches a platinum case with a blue alligator strap.

As expected for the watches of the Métiers d’Art collection, the most remarkable feature of both versions is the dial that required the combined efforts of Vacheron Constantin’s engravers and enamellers. Centre stage is a nicely engraved horse in either pink gold or platinum that sits on the middle of a hand-engraved gold dial coated with bronze (pink gold version) or blue (platinum version) Grand Feu enamel.

To obtain such an unobstructed space on the dial for the decorative arts, Vacheron Constantin relies another time on the automatic 2460 G4 calibre that only requires four small apertures at the opposite corners of the dial to display the time information. The hours and minutes are provided by means of dragging discs in the upper two windows while the date and day of the week are indicated in the last two windows by jumping discs

In my opinion, another brilliant aspect of the Métiers d’Art line is that it contains thematic sub-collections that are revealed on a period of time spanning several years. During three years I was waiting for the new set of four watches from the “Les Masques” collection. Similarly I was excited every year to discover the new additions to “The Great Explorers”, “La Symbolique des Laques”, “Les Univers Infinis” or the “Hommage à l’Art de la Danse” to name a few.

With “The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac” sub-collection started last year I may be in for the long haul: if they see the collection through to completion we have ten more years to go!