Vacheron Constantin Partners With the New York Met to Offer Real Art for Your Wrist

Vacheron Constantin has announced a partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) to offer special events and unique timepieces inspired by The Met’s vast collection.

Vacheron Constantin, the world’s oldest continuous watch manufacturer, announced a promising collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) last year. The partnership now finds expression in the “Masterpiece on your Wrist” program, offering bespoke watches with enamel dials recreating works from The Met’s collection. More than just watches, however, it aims to reflect a commitment to cultural legacy and the art of watchmaking, aiming to inspire through mentorship and bespoke timepieces.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), New York

The collaboration will span three years, offering special events and unique timepieces, extending Vacheron Constantin’s legacy of innovative craftsmanship and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s commitment to art education. Together, they set a new benchmark in the luxury watchmaking and cultural sectors, celebrating artistic innovation and the preservation of cultural legacies.

Vacheron Constantin Manufacture (Image: Maud Guye Vuillème)
Vacheron Constantin Manufacture (Image: Maud Guye Vuillème)

The “Masterpiece on Your Wrist” program in 2023 was born out of a mutual dedication to the preservation and transmission of knowledge and craftsmanship. It aims to align the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Vacheron Constantin with New York’s iconic Metropolitan Museum of Art. The brand is keen to point out key elements of the collaboration.

The Met Fifth Ave, Carroll and Milton Petrie European Sculpture (Image: Brett Beyer, Courtesy of The Met)
The Met Fifth Ave, Carroll and Milton Petrie European Sculpture (Image: Brett Beyer, Courtesy of The Met)

Reflecting shared values and goals, both institutions are deeply committed to engaging the artistic and creative community, celebrating creativity, and preserving artistic traditions. This common ethos is the foundation of their partnership, aiming to inspire through bespoke timepieces and educational initiatives.

Moreover, the collaboration supports The Met’s mission-driven activities, including a residence program for young artists, underscoring the original mission of The Met to educate New York artists and artisans. These initiatives are designed to foster mentorship, craftsmanship, and a lasting cultural legacy.

But what about the watches? Initially unveiled in 2019, the program has evolved to include one-of-a-kind timepieces featuring enamel dial reproductions of artworks from The Met’s collection. This extension of the partnership not only celebrates the artistic achievements of both past and present but also sets a new benchmark in the luxury watchmaking sector, with Vacheron Constantin’s expertise in miniature enamel painting and Métiers d’Art techniques taking center stage.

The making of enameling
The making of enameling
The making of enameling

At the heart of the “Masterpiece on Your Wrist” program lies the unparalleled opportunity for Vacheron Constantin’s clients to commission a bespoke Les Cabinotiers watch. This unique offering is distinguished by several key features.

Clients can choose an artwork from The Met’s esteemed collection for enamel reproduction on their watch dial, featuring masterpieces by luminaries such as Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh. The chosen artwork is then meticulously recreated using the intricate techniques of miniature enamel painting and grisaille enameling, showcasing the brand’s mastery in Métiers d’Art.

The commissioning process is augmented by a private tour of The Met, led by expert curators, offering an immersive insight into the chosen artwork. This is followed by a visit to Vacheron Constantin’s Manufacture in Geneva, where clients meet the master watchmakers and artisans responsible for bringing their unique timepiece to life. This journey not only deepens the client’s connection to their bespoke watch but also underscores the craftsmanship and heritage behind each piece.

Calibre 2460 SC, MET
Calibre 2460 SC, MET

The watches are powered by movements such as the manual winding caliber 1731, with a 65-hour power reserve, and the automatic caliber 2460 SC, each certified with the Hallmark of Geneva. These movements ensure that the watches are not only artistic masterpieces but also marvels of horological engineering.

Manual winding caliber 1731
Manual winding caliber 1731
Automatic caliber 2460 SC
Automatic caliber 2460 SC

By intertwining the worlds of art and horology, the “Masterpiece on Your Wrist” program offers an unmatched experience, akin to acquiring a piece of art. Clients receive certificates of authenticity for their timepieces, further solidifying the value and exclusivity of their commissioned work.

As I reflect on the broader implications of this partnership, it is evident that the synthesis of art and horology can offer exceptional and deeply personal connections to cultural heritage and creativity. The dedication to craftsmanship, embodied in the painstaking techniques of miniature enamel painting and Métiers d’Art, not only upholds the legacy of these time-honored practices but also encourages ongoing dialogue and exploration within the arts. As such, the journey embarked upon by Vacheron Constantin and The Metropolitan Museum of Art invites further investigation and engagement, promising a future where tradition and innovation continue to thrive in harmony.

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