Vacheron Constantin: The Collection MÃ©tiers d'Art "Les Masques"
Two things convinced Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller of the project's, its beauty and significance as he and the Vacheron Constantin team headed by Juan-Carlos Torres were able to share their common passion for beautiful objects and also the manufacture's philosophy.
Twelve masks were selected from the Barbier-Mueller collection for small-scale reproduction in gold. They repose at the centre of each timepiece in a collection that extends over two thousand years and also four continents.
As Vacheron Constantin understands perfectly well the value of time, the company respected patiently the time needed to create such exceptional pieces. They took plenty of time for questioning, reflection and invention so as to assure themselves that the spirit of this special tribute to ancient societies.
A complete set of the twelve timepieces reproducing the twelve masks - from the limited edition of 300 exceptional timepieces - is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, an exhibition sponsored by Vacheron Constantin and called "A Legacy of Collecting: African and Oceanic Art from the Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva" in tribute to Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller.
According to these unique timepieces, each wristwatch is equipped with an automatic Calibre 2460G4 movement, manufactured by PoinÃ§on de GenÃ¨ve, through which time can be read without any hands (by means of a set of wheels and gears, four discs indicate the hours, minutes, day and date in windows) leaving in the centre of the dial the masks as the central attraction remaining as sculptures, as silent guardians of ancestral secrets.
Michel Butor's was the one who gave voice to the masks through magnificent short poems in prose dedicated to each mask. The writer's lines rise as mysterious messages that can only be read when the light strikes it from a certain angle. This effect was achieved by vacuum metallization, a sophisticated technological process in which the gold letters are sprayed onto a sapphire crystal.
OCEANIA â€“ INDONESIA
Island of Lombok, Sasak people
Hard wood, traces of white pigments
Height: 21.5 cm
Former collection of Mathias Komor
I dance the duration the wait
patience the resistance
to suffering and to evil
the slowness of the days and nights
resignation but vigilance
the hasty passage of the months
and the devouring of the months
ASIA - CHINA
Zangs-Bag facial Mask
Tibet region, Tantric Buddhism. 16th-17th century
Partially-gilt copper, pigments
Height: 22.2 cm
With my ornaments I surround
the emptiness opening in your eyes
and in your mouth a third
eye appearing on the forehead
to guide you in your labours
in the labyrinth of your lives
and those of your children
who continue your adventures
AMERICA â€“ MEXICO
State of Guerrero
Mezcala culture (300 â€“ 100 BC)
Height: 12.8 cm
At regular intervals
during the dance I come and strike
the heart whose pulse
races at the screams
reverberating off the walls
that protect us from the ghosts
of felines and enemies
who venture onto our land
AFRICA â€“ GABON
Western Gabon, Fang people
Soft wood covered with white kaolin, specks of crystallisation
Height: 31 cm
The line of my nose extending
between the eyebrows on my forehead
and on the other side to
my chin across my mouth
is like an arrow fi red
by a bow towards the celestial heights
beyond the clouds
or naturally the bird
into which your soul changes
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On May 20, 2009, the Korean Vacheron Constantin's market officially launched Quai de lâ€™ile collection in Cine de Chef. The collection was launched through a selective press conference and launcheon in which guests were specially attended during a gala dinner where the Quai de lâ€™ile was introduced as a symbol of the ultimate luxury.
Hosts were welcomed in the main hall where they could encounter Quai de Iâ€™ile watches for the first time. They were next guided to the theatre right next door moved by the mystic dial and dynamic design of the Quai de Iâ€™ile collection. Mr, Yann Bouilonnec, Asia Pacific managing director made a speech to announce the launching of this new collection in Korea market and then all the guests could go through the revolutionary technology. The stunning animation, the understanding of the respected values, the personalization and security made, from the Quai de lâ€™ile collection laucheon, a very fine one in which guests were specially attended.
During dinner glamorous and dazzling models showed the watches walking around tables and letting the guests appreciate the close look of the timepieces being able to try them on as well as configuring their own personalized watches by the simulating programs in the tablet PC.
[Source: Vacheron Constantin Press Release]Â
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