• Superb fusion of arts and craftsmanship
• Hand-carved, carved and skeletonized enamel
• 2460 G4 / 1 movement developed and manufactured by the brand
• Original slide or jump time display
Flying is a human dream since ancient times. After countless magical, difficult and great attempts, this dream finally became a reality at the end of the 18th century. ‘Air Experiment’ successfully defeated gravity for the first time. How many unknown secrets can these experiments reveal for the sky that humans have long been yearning for and full of imagination? The brave and fearless hot air balloon pilots (aérostiers) in the early days kept on going to the sky by burning courage, talent and a little madness. People are joyfully sending off these amazing hot air balloons slowly. Vacheron Constantin’s Métiers d’ Art series Les Aérostiers hot air balloon watch is a work that pays tribute to this scene in history. The brand’s hand-carved masters completed a pioneering work on the dial: exquisite hand-engraving and micro-engraved hot air balloons were suspended and embedded on the translucent hollow enamel background. Hot air balloon flight feat.
Vacheron Constantin strives to interpret the wonderful story of aerial adventure in an innovative way. In addition to exquisite carving techniques, the dial also uses a hollow enamel process, which is the first time that the brand has used this rare process. The fusion of craftsmanship coincides with the brand’s philosophy of inheriting traditional craftsmanship and artistic accomplishments. The new Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Master Series Les Aérostiers hot air balloon watch is equipped with the 2460 G4 / 1 caliber developed and manufactured by the brand, and combines the artistic beauty and superb craftsmanship through unique display methods: the original movement design ensures time The display is integrated with the aesthetic design of the entire dial.
Carved gold balloon
The masters of hand-carving at the Vacheron Constantin workshop experienced a veritable challenge: adding layering to the original two-dimensional pattern, and adding color through polishing. Each hot-air balloon takes at least three weeks to make to fully present the subtle features and decorative details of the prototype. As a result, the dial presents a miniature landscape made of many wonderful patterns.
The sculpting technique requires the removal of excess material to present a ‘relief’ effect. Because of the irreversibility of this process, extremely delicate and skilled operating skills are required. The hand-sculpture master first traced the layers using copper engraving technology, and then carefully carved on rare materials to create smooth and round effects. This step constructs the pattern of balloons, baskets, and lines of rope. The carving knife used for engraving needs to be sharpened continuously to achieve the required precision effect during use. The subsequent polishing process is more complicated, with all the small details including characters, animals and balloon decorations to be considered. At this time, each master of arts and crafts will use his own unique methods and tools: small stones, brushes, sanding paper and files, which make the different gold textures show a rich gloss level, thus showing a unique visual effect.
Color magic of openwork enamel
Vacheron Constantin’s Métiers d’ Art Les Aérostiers hot-air balloon watch dial with transparent texture sky blue, dark blue, turquoise, brown or burgundy as the background, showing a light and ethereal effect. For the first time, the brand has adopted this special enamel technique, which is mastered by only a few enamel painters. The layout of the hollow enamel is similar to the filigree enamel, and its manufacturing method without the support of the base is the same as the miniature stained glass window. The balance between the different colors is extremely delicate, and the polishing process of the partition is also ingenious.
Each watch is also equipped with a digital dial and strap in the same color as the background color. The inner bezel used to fix the enamel is also decorated with engraved patterns inspired by balloon ropes, and is made of 3N, 4N or 5N gold materials, depending on the model.
Exquisite movement shows superb skills
The translucent effect of the hollow enamel allows the wearer to enjoy the transmission mechanism and turntable of the 2460 G4 / 1 movement. This unique hand-wound movement features a hands-free time display. The digital dial delicately displays the time through the four windows between the hollow enamel patterns on the dial edge. Four different digital dials clearly show the hour, minute, day of the week, and date-the first two are sliding and the last two are jump-type. Through the transparent case back, the wearer can also appreciate the finely modified and polished movement, and the polishing level adheres to the tradition of superb watchmaking skills. The golden oscillating weight is also engraved with the series’ unique micro-arch hot air balloon pattern, which complements the hot air balloon theme.
Interpretation of five flying feats with gold carving skills
France, which brings together science, magic and dreams, is also a pioneer in the field of hot air ballooning. The Métiers d’ Art Master Series Les Aérostiers hot air balloon watch traces five exciting flying feats in history. At the end of the 18th century, these extraordinary initiatives not only fascinated the royal family, but also surprised the public.
The Métiers d’ Art Master Series Les Aérostiers hot air balloon watch-Versailles 1783, showcases the first high-altitude hot air balloon designed by Étienne de Montgolfier. The ‘air experiment’ carried three animals: sheep, rooster and duck, and their successful survival proved that the oxygen content at a certain height is sufficient. Below the plump 5N gold balloon, the hoop and swinging rope pattern carved in platinum and slightly damaged during landing are clearly visible.
Métiers d’ Art master series Les Aérostiers hot air balloon watch-Paris 1783, for the first time on a human ‘sky trip’. This high-altitude hot air balloon installation is still designed by Étienne de Montgolfier, and the dial is a subtle depiction of the two ‘sky travelers’. In the sky blue hollow enamel background, the gorgeous pink gold and white gold balloons are also engraved with the sun, constellation, iris, garland, badge and flying eagle pattern.
Métiers d’ Art Master Series Les Aérostiers hot air balloon watch-Paris 1784, this hot air balloon is equipped with a hot air balloon flight pioneer Blanchet (Blanchard) designed to control the hot air balloon flight track system. This ingenious ‘wing’ device can also be clearly seen on the dial of the watch. Although the final landing location of the flight was far from the plan, it provided a lot of inspiration for its inventors and other hot air balloon pilots.
Métiers d’ Art series Les Aérostiers hot air balloon watch-Bordeaux 1784, shows that the whole of France was involved in the grand event of conquering the blue sky. This flight test in Bordeaux carried a total of three travelers, which became an indisputable spectacular wonder at the time. The master watchmakers detailed the actual details on the dial, the balloon is decorated with a variety of fabrics and decorative patterns, and depicts a mythological scene.
Métiers d’ Art series Les Aérostiers hot air balloon watch-Bagnole 1785, tens of thousands of people witnessed the flight and thundered applause. The basket made of elegant white and gold seems to be suspended on a blue hollow enamel background, and the upper part of the balloon is colored by electroplating. Seven years after the flight, the hot-air balloon canvas was made into the clothes of Republican volunteers.
The Métiers d’ Art Master Series Les Aérostiers hot-air balloon watch not only vividly illustrates the multiple journeys of mankind to conquer the blue sky, but also shows the dynamic era inspired by the pioneering spirit. These scenes are reproduced artistically by the hands of Vacheron Constantin’s masters of arts and crafts. There are five watches in this series, each limited to five.
Métiers d’ Art Master Series Les Aérostiers Hot Air Balloon
Model 7610U / 000G-B210-Métiers d’Art Les Aérostiers Hot Air Balloon Watch-Paris 1783
7610U / 000G-B244-Métiers d’Art Les Aérostiers Hot Air Balloon Watch-Versailles 1783
7610U / 000G-B243-Métiers d’Art Les Aérostiers Hot Air Balloon Watch-Paris 1784
7610U / 000G-B246-Métiers d’Art Les Aérostiers Hot Air Balloon Watch-Bordeaux 1784
7610U / 000G-B245-Métiers d’Art Les Aérostiers Hot Air Balloon Watch-Bagnole 1785
Movement 2460 G4 / 1
Vacheron Constantin develops and manufactures itself
Automatic mechanical movement
31 mm in diameter (11¼ French cents), thickness 6.05 mm
Power reserve of about 40 hours
Vibration frequency 4 Hz (28,800 times per hour)
Display functions Hour, minute, day of the week and date
Displayed by the same color digital dial
Case 18K White Gold
40 mm diameter, 12.74 mm thickness
Case back with transparent sapphire crystal
Water resistance factor tested at 3 bar atmospheric pressure (about 30 meters)
Dial 18K Gold Hand Carved Balloon
Hollow enamel (plique-à-jour) sky background
Strap Double blue / green / brown / dark blue / burgundy Mississippi alligator leather strap, hand-stitched, saddle stitching, large checkered
Buckle 18K white gold folding buckle
Polished Half Maltese Cross Design
Each model is limited to 5 pieces and has a unique number
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