Paris la nuit
Unique watch case made in partnership with the Vacheron Constantin manufactory
Materials used: Macassar ebony, alisier, brass, silver, gold, satin calf
This partnership with the luxury watch manufacturer Vacheron Constantin was an opportunity to collaborate with Corentin Ollivau, an ornamental engraver, in order to create an exceptional setting on the theme of light cities. Since this box set will be displayed in the shop on rue de la Paix, the city we would be talking about here is Paris. It seemed essential to me to link our two businesses into a single whole, in order to give meaning to this project.
Thus it is of course by the decoration that we were able to make this case a support of history, but the form was not chosen at random either. The circular shape was induced by the turning process. The circle can mean finiteness, and we found this parallel relevant to the idea of vanity related to time and the watch. It can also symbolize the movement, which resonated with the movement of the watch.
Its particular form, based on a balance between the Full and the Void, has led us to take an interest in Taoist thought, which teaches us that the structure of an object (the Full) only enhances its full potential (the Void). Here the watch is fully highlighted once deployed, in the central vacuum of the case. The real structure may not be the wooden contour…. This emptiness animates the box as a heart would animate a being, it makes it unique and full of meaning.
We decided for the meaning of the engraved decoration to focus on the esoteric theme of the celestial geography of Paris, which brought us back to the birth of the city, at the time of Lutetia. The course of the sun above the Seine would have given the first inhabitants of the city a precise time index in their calendar: here again we found a connection with watchmaking. The development of the watch on its base, above the engraved representation of the Paris plan, can be a nod to the sun’s path over the Seine.
To be successful, this project required the intervention of several partners in addition to the manufactory, such as CNAM, MU-Tech and Jean-Baptiste Viot, a renowned independent watchmaker.
No less than 2400 hours were required to design, prototype and manufacture this case.