Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fourteen Historical Timepieces from Vacheron Constantin

The Manufacture Vacheron Constantin is showcasing the brand’s artistic craftsmanship with an exhibition now on at their Ion Orchard Boutique.

I headed down to the boutique on a Saturday afternoon and Ryan hosted me, showing me all the pieces and the era they are from. The exhibition showcases the long history of the Manufacture with pieces dating back to the eighteen hundreds.

For starters, Ryan showed me the India inspired pieces...A pocket watch circa 1831 in yellow gold with a flower motif and Champlevé enamelled case.

And the second India inspired pocket watch dating back to 1834. A 18K yellow gold, Champlevé enamelled case and in line engraving.

Then there was the Ottoman period pocket watch dated 1824. This example is a 18K pink gold case adorned with oval cut amethysts and half-cabochon turquoise appliques. This pocket watch is a quarter repeater with a pink gold dial.

And from the same period is a lady's pendant watch dated 1843. This 18K yellow gold, Champlevé enamelled cased pendant watch is decorated with a foliage bouquet and highlighted with pearls over an enamel backdrop and also with a diamond centre.

French inspiration is featured in the next two timepieces. First a lady's pendant watch dated 1909 which features a 18K yellow gold case with translucent enamel on guilloché back. The pendant is intricately decorated with a peacock feather guilloché pattern with the central motif picked out in diamonds.

And another lady's pendant watch dating back to 1911 but this one with a platinum case and chain. The case is decorated with applied geometrical motif set with diamonds.

Next are other Asian themed timepieces - one of which is my favourite on display. The lady's brooch-watch dated 1925 is a 18K yellow and white gold case with Japanese-inspired decorations in diamonds, rubies, coral, mother-of-pearl and black enamel.

Next is a piece dated 1923 with a 18K yellow gold china lacquered and enamel pocket watch. The winding crown is a pearl and the pocket watch comes with a black lacquer dial. This Art Deco pocket watch has enamel decoration depicting a bird. Additionally, the watch is done with black Champlevé enamelled dial and red enamel Arabic numerals.

Also during the Art Deco period are two very interesting pieces - one a pocket watch and another a wristwatch. The pocket watch can also double up as a table clock display and comes with shutters. The case is made of 18K yellow gold with coral, black and red enamel.

When open, the watch pops up featuring a silver dial time display. This piece is dated 1929.

Dated 1930, this Art Deco wristwatch comes with a spring loaded shutter. At first glance, the wristwatch looks like a bracelet...

The crown on the left opens the louvres showing off the time. The timepiece is in white and yellow gold with black enamel indexes on the bezel. The bracelet is in 14K yellow gold.

Greek heritage on show too - two pieces, one a gentleman's wristwatch and another a lady's pendant watch. The wristwatch is a 18K yellow gold timepiece with enamelled Greek fret pattern on the bezel. This timepiece is dated 1913.

The lady's pendant watch (1914) is one with a white and yellow gold case with caseback decorated with Greek cameo-inspired painted scene surrounded by diamonds and enamel.

The exhibition also featured 19th Century open work pocket watches. The first is a 1926 open work skeletonised movement 18K white gold pocket watch with rock crystal and black enamel indexes on the bezel. The movement is made of German silver.

Next is another skeletonised open work pocket watch dated 1986. The yellow and white gold pocket watch comes with an engraved gilt skeleton movement. I love the engraved movement and this is why this pocket watch was awarded the Prix de la ville de Genève in 1986.

These are museum pieces so they will remain in the display showcases. Although you are not allowed to handle the pieces, I still think it is a worthwhile trip to visit the Vacheron Constantin Boutique at Ion Orchard. One don't normally get to see such pieces unless you visit the museum in Geneva, so I suggest you visit the boutique while they are here on display. Exhibition is on till end September 2015. Thanks to Christine and Ryan for the arrangements.