When Julien Marchenoir, Director of Strategy and Patrimony at Vacheron Constantin was in Paris for the official unveiling of the “Elégance Sartoriale” collection in March, he spoke to us not just of heritage but also of the” brand’s duty to promote the artistic crafts” that go into the making of extraordinary timepieces.
Transforming that statement into reality, the brand proves its commitment to the continuity, development and promotion of these rare handicrafts through collaborations with museums and heritage sites, and associations with specialized schools.
If Vacheron Constantin chose to unveil the “Elegance Sartoriale “ collection in Paris on March 30th, it was to coincide with the opening of the European Artistic Craft Days (JEMA/EACD) in France. For the sixth consecutive year, the brand is supporting the EACD that organizes exhibitions ranging from March to September in partnership with institutions and foundations across Europe. These increasingly popular events provide the public with an opportunity to discover the works of talented artists and artisans perpetuating no fewer than 217 arts and crafts.
Another example is the “Artistic crafts and design: sharing expertise and competence” programme at The Ecole Boulle in Paris. The school, founded in 1886 and today one of Europe’s largest for applied arts, artistic crafts and design, welcomes almost 1,000 students who train for 13 different professions, including marquetry, engraving, bronze sculpture, jewellery, and restoration. In collaboration with Vacheron Constantin, students are entrusted with creative projects supervised and supported by the designers and craft masters of the Manufacture, with the goal of accompanying them into the world of Haute Horlogerie.
One such project was awarded first prize for the “future of artistic crafts” by the INMA (French National Institute of Artistic Crafts, Paris): a sumptuous watch presentation box made of chequer tree wood, with exceptional engraving and an ingenious opening mechanism using gear trains. Final-year students: engraver Corentin Ollivau and woodturner Clément Demarson worked in tandem for 2,400 hours throughout 2015 to complete the box now on exhibit at the Vacheron Constantin Paris boutique at 2 rue de la Paix.
And for those who missed the unveiling in Paris of the “Elegance Sartoriale” collection, they can see it at the London Craft Week starting tomorrow, from May 3 – May 7. Over 130 events are planned across the city with demonstrations and workshops for the making of perfume, porcelain or fine arts and crafts. As founding partner of the Week, the high watchmaker will be right at home showing off its latest timepieces and their superlative demonstration of métiers d’art.
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