Anticipating the Year of the Horse: Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac


Another year and another watch from Vacheron Constantin dedicated to Chinese zodiac. For the upcoming Year of the Horse, the company has prepared a Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac timepiece featuring a gorgeous engraved horse that dominates the dial. Actually we’re talking about two watches, two versions, that is. The timepiece comes in either platinum or pink gold case, with different colored dials and straps. And it’s a very limited collection – only 12 pieces will be available for each version, solely in Vacheron Constantin boutiques.

Oscillating weight with decoration inspired by Maltese Cross

Functionally though, the two versions are pretty much identical. We’re talking about 40 mm cases, which have transparent sapphire crystal case-backs revealing the movement. This is where we find the 22-carat oscillating weight, visually enhanced with a neat geometrical pattern inspired by Vacheron Constantin’s iconic emblem, the Maltese Cross. As for the water resistance, the watch will do just fine in water up to the depth of about 30 meters, which sounds pretty reasonable for a watch like this.

Arguably the most important thing on this timepiece would certainly be the dial. This is where engraving and enameling met, and produced something extraordinary. The base for all this is 18 karat gold, which is first engraved to make leaves and bamboo stalks, using different accentuated reliefs to create a sense of depth. This is then coated with Grand Feu enamel, blue or bronze, depending on the particular version of the watch. The former is paired with the platinum case, while the warmth of the bronze nicely suits the pink gold case. At the center is the most prominent figure – the horse. Made of platinum or gold, it features very detailed hand-engraving which almost brings the whole thing to life.

So similar, yet so different

In order to have the horse figure clearly visible at all times, Vacheron Constantin used their hands-free system of indicator to display time. So, instead of traditional set of hands at central position, we can see the 4 windows with indicators, placed along the dial. The upper two show the hours and minutes; these are of dragging type. On the other hand, we have a couple of jumping indicators, showing the day and the date.

As for the movement, Vacheron Constantin used their caliber 2460 G4 with 27 jewels. This is a mechanical, self-winding movement which has a power reserve of approximately 40 hours. It beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and comprises a total of 237 parts.

Enameling and engraving at their best

Finally, we have the straps. Both versions of the Year of the Horse watch have stylish leather straps, made of Mississippiensis alligator – the platinum case version is paired with a dark blue strap, while the pink gold model gets a nice brown leather strap. These are hand-stitched straps, featuring stylish large square scales and a neat saddle-finish. Completing both straps, we have the folding clasps, made of either platinum 950 or 18 karat 5N pink gold, matching the respective cases.

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