May 25, 2015
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Watches: Vacheron Constantin presents trio of 'Temple of Flora' timepieces

May 25, 2015

The Swiss watchmaker has added three new models to its "Métiers d'Art Florilège" collection. Their illustrations are reproductions of paintings and engravings in Robert John Thornton's 1799 botanical masterpiece "Temple of Flora." Three very limited edition timepieces are available.

These three new models are inspired by three plants referenced in the Robert John Thornton classic: the Renealmia, which originated in Latin America, the Rose Centifolia, a hybrid of several wild varieties from the Caucasus and Iran, and the tulip that is found at the base of the Himalayas.

Extremely precise craftsmanship

Several crafts (master-guillocheur, miniature painter, enameller, setter) were brought together to recreate these works, whose replication necessitated hours of trial and error, all executed in an extremely meticulous manner by experienced artisans.

After a detailed study of the 216-year-old artworks, the three rectangular images that would best fit in a round dial were selected. Then, using the guilloché, cloisonné and translucent enamel, the craftsmen and designers were able to recreate the effects of light and colors. Vacheron Constantin explains that it was crucial that both engraver and enameller agree on the choice, as the guillocheur has to engrave each discrete element on to the dial to provide the textured finish upon which the enamel will be overlaid.

This trio of watches is equipped with a hand-wound mechanical movement developed and produced by Vacheron Constantin: the 4400 caliber. Housed in a37mm 18K white gold case, it shows hours and minutes and has a  65-hour power reserve.

Two versions of each model are available. The five special collectors' version will be set with 60 baguette-cut diamonds (around 1.4 carat) and an alligator-skin strap secured by a white gold pin buckle which features 12 baguette-cut diamonds (0.52 carats). The remaining 20 of each model will be set with 64 round-cut diamonds (around 0.89 carats) and an alligator-skin strap secured by a white gold pin buckle which features 21 round-cut diamonds (0.52 carats).

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