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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Vacheron Constantin Sponsors Major Art Event and Unveils New Timepieces

Art lovers and watch lovers mingle inside the Vacheron Constantin Fifth Avenue boutique.

NEW YORK — Vacheron Constantin’s jewel box of a boutique was aglow on a recent cool, crisp evening. Inside, art enthusiasts mingled with timepiece lovers within the lightly colored space highlighted with dark wood tones, straight lines and minimal furnishings.

The March 2 gathering then moved a couple blocks north to the 1900 French Renaissance building that houses The Lotos Club, one of the oldest private literary establishments in the U.S. The building and its uniformed staff begs formality even though inside it is a cozy and comfortable space. Books of every conceivable subject were stacked from nearly floor to ceiling in shelves around the main dining room where the guests had dinner.

The guest at The Lotos Club.

The venerable Swiss luxury watch company held the gathering for two reasons:

First, it served as a preview for The Armory Show, an annual international contemporary and modern art fair that opened Thursday and runs till Sunday, in which Vacheron Constantin is a sponsor. Prior to dinner, Paul Morris, the founding director of the show, gave guests a preview of the art that will be on display and a presented a brief history of its modest beginnings at the former Gramercy Hotel to its move to the 69th Street Regiment Armory and finally to its current home at Piers 92 and 94.

Metiers D’Art Les
Univers Infins Fish
The second reason was to unveil the newest Vacheron Constantin timepiece collections to its loyal U.S. customers as well as art buyers—in particular, considering the brand’s sponsorship of an art event, the Metiers D’Art Les Univers Infins collection. It features three artistic dials based on the work of famed Dutch graphic artist, M.C. Escher and his use of tessellation—which uses a two-dimensional plane with a repeating geometric shape with no overlaps and no gaps. The Dove Watch, Fish Watch and Shell Watch employ several techniques including cloisonné enameling, gran feu champlevé gemsetting, engraving and guilloché work to create the repeating images.

Patrimony Traditionnelle
14-Day Tourbillon
Also making its premier U.S. appearance was the Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon, featuring the longest power reserve of any tourbillon in creation today, according to Vacheron Constantin, and is also the first Vacheron Constantin watch to be approved based on the new 2011 Hallmark of Geneva criteria.

Malte Small Seconds
In addition, there was the newly redesigned Malte collection, introduced in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the tonneau-shaped watch.

The timepieces, which were first unveiled two months earlier in Switzerland, were set up in displays throughout the dining room. Later they were presented on trays for the guests to view.