In this new chapter, the most attractive plants from around the world blossom thanks to a cleverly orchestrated association of figurative guilloché, Grand Feu cloisonné enamelling, and gemsetting. The three new creations are the Renealmia, Rose Centifolia and Tulipe watches. We present today the Renealmia watch.
1799 saw the publication of a book that would become one of the most remarkable botanical illustration works ever published: The Temple of Flora by Robert John Thornton, including 30 or so folio-size plates by the greatest naturalist painters of the era as well as the finest British engravers.
The distinctive charm of the original engravings lies in the unusual or even monumental depiction of the plants, which are arranged at the heart of bucolic scenery marking the start of the romantic style. While The Temple of Flora is a didactic florilegium, it is above all a poetic work of which the lines – etched out in mezzotint, a tonal engraving process creating subtly graded shades, or in aquatint, a tonal printing process – are enhanced with hand-painted colours.
Vacheron Constantin united some of the finest artisans to illustrate the three new Métiers d’Art Florilège jewellery watches.
The master guillocheur drew the outlines of each plant life element on the gold dial plate: petals, stems, leaves, buds, pistils… He then guilloché-worked each flower by recreating the volume and the vivacity of each petal using a rose engine carefully safeguarded in the Vacheron Constantin workshops for more than a century. These three new creations comprise between 45 and 73 zones to be decorated, depending on the model.
It was independent miniature painter Anita Porchet who applied the enamel to the motif traced by the guillocheur, with the two artisans working in perfect harmony. The colours of the illustrations are crafted in Grand Feu cloisonné enamel.
The diamonds are of excellent (IF to VVS) clarity and superior (D to G) colour. The bezel welcomes no less than 60 baguette-cut diamonds (totalling 1.40 carats) in the five-piece limited edition exclusively reserved for Vacheron Constantin Boutiques, and 64 round-cut diamonds (0.89 carats) on the 20 watches comprising the main collection.
The watches are fitted with vividly coloured leather straps, secured by a white gold pin buckle which, depending on the model, echoes the diamonds on the bezel through settings featuring 12 baguette-cut diamonds (0.52 carats) or 21 round-cut diamonds (0.22 carats).
The Métiers d’Art Florilège trio is equipped with a mechanical hand-wound movement developed and produced by Vacheron Constantin. Calibre 4400 beats off the hours and minutes with perfect regularity at a cadence of 28,800 vibrations per hour and has an almost three-day (around 65-hour) power reserve. The decoration and finishing reflect the longstanding expertise of the Manufacture. The Côtes de Genève create ever-changing reflections on the mainplate, the polished screw heads gleam, the straight-grained angles accentuate the fine craftsmanship of an exceptional movement measuring 12.5’’’ (28.60 mm) in diameter. The latter is housed in a perfectly round white gold case with a transparent exhibition back protected by a sapphire crystal providing a chance to admire this intricate workmanship.
These watches are all certified by the Hallmark of Geneva.
A profusion of flaming corollas stand out against an opalescent milky white backdrop. This is the Curved Renealmia, which originated in Latin America and is now called “the flower of my soul”. This flower was historically much appreciated for its exotic extravagance. Its deep green leaves measure up to 60 cm and its clustered blooms play on white and red contrasts that end in striped red lips. Its soft and pleasant scent is similar to that of ginger. The subtle painted details on the dial of this model mingles beautifully with the generosity of Nature, subtly marked off by the gold wire of the cloisonné.
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