Vacheron Constantin shares with artistic crafts its profound faith in the richness of human nature and in its creative impetus. Since 2011, the Manufacture has associated its name with the annual Métiers d’Art Days which are dedicated to promoting and passing on the culture of over 200 sometimes centuries-old skills.
Proof of the growing interest among the public and professionals alike, the 2011 Paris event hosted more than 1,300,000 visitors during the three-day exhibition. In light of this unprecedented success, the 2012 Métiers d’Art Days are taking on a European dimension. Two large events, in France and Italy, in which Vacheron Constantin is taking part, will form a cultural bridge between the hand craftsmanship traditions of different countries on March 30th and 31st and April 1st.
In Paris, the “Memoires d’Avenir” exhibition will focus on the duty of transmission – a value dearly cherished by Vacheron Constantin. A dozen masters and their apprentices will be on hand to share their talents. On this occasion, for the first time, the Manufacture will present the three pieces of the “Métiers d’Art Les Univers Infinis”, in the company of a master gemsetter and his apprentices, and of two master guillocheurs (engine-turning specialists).
In Milan, the “Capi d’Opera” exhibition will pay tribute to the excellence of the artistic crafts in Lombardy, with the participation of numerous artisans. Partnering the event, Vacheron Constantin will have the pleasure of unveiling the third boxed set in its “Métiers d’Art La Symbolique des Laques” collection. A master lacquerer from the House of Zôhiko, founded in 1661 in Kyoto and with which the Manufacture has cooperated on this collection, will enable visitors to admire the ancient technique of Japanese “maki-e” lacquering.
Keenly aware of the importance of its heritage, the Manufacture is more than ever dedicated to encouraging the passing on of ancient skills. For more than 250 years, a tradition of manual workmanship alongside an unremitting quest for excellence has shaped its identity. The promotion of certain, oft little-known crafts, is an ethic that is central to each timepiece made by Vacheron Constantin.
Supporting an institution like the 2012 European Métiers d’Art Days serves to keep an exceptional heritage alive: one that gives rise to the most beautiful works of art, precisely because it is born of the human hand and nurtured by time.