The Métiers d’Art collection is probably my favourite Vacheron Constantin line, because it is where they give full flight to celebrating dial arts, often in unexpected ways. In late 2016 Vacheron Constantin introduced the ‘Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières’ series of limited edition white gold pieces, whose particular flight of fancy is aerial night views over their home town of Geneva, Paris, New York, and now, Beijing (the last photo at the end of this post).
This series is characterised by Grand Feu champlevé feu enamel dials onto which Japanese artist Yoko Imai has worked. Between the raised gold ridges which show the cartography of the streets, parks, rivers and lakes are thousands of particles of luminous gold powder that vary in intensity against the dark dial, to give a representation of an aerial view of the night lights of a famed and recognisable part of each city.
As well as the use of the grains of gold there is also the use of diamond, platinum and pearl powders to create the sparkling night effect and give the dials some variance, dimension, and texture.
All of the Métiers d’Art Villes Lumières models come in a 40mm white gold case. Inside is the automatic Calibre 2460C with a 22 carat gold oscillating weight and forty hour power reserve.
So you can look more closely at the dial work, each watch comes with a loupe. Each city model is limited to twenty pieces, and they are available exclusively through Vacheron Constantin boutiques.