With a string of new watches for women, there can be little doubt that 2020 is a year for the ladies at Vacheron Constantin. After all, and contrary to what many may believe, the Geneva firm has always given time a feminine touch. Keeping pace with history and manufacturing techniques, inspired by its designers’ creativity, the brand has long played a role in reinventing watches for women. Indeed, it made its very first lady’s watch in 1810: a quarter-repeating pocket watch that was commissioned from the manufacture by a woman. Numerous other creations have followed since then, mirroring artistic currents, the fashions of the day and social mores. From the most unusual to the most delicate, they each share that touch of creative elegance for which Vacheron Constantin is renowned.
Welcome to Yiqinq Yin
This scrutiny of women’s wrists has continued this year, starting in February with the launch of Égérie, a collection of automatic and moon phase models for daily wear, fitted with mechanical movements and the option of a carpet of diamonds for the moon phase version. A few weeks later, at Watches & Wonders Geneva, connoisseuses of mechanical movements were treated to the Traditionnelle tourbillon, Vacheron Constantin’s first ever automatic tourbillon wristwatch for women.
Also at Watches & Wonders, the brand unveiled The Singing Birds: four one-of-a-kind creations from its Les Cabinotiers department. Satellite hours are shown on a “dragging” display, on a dial that leaves pride of place to magnificent depictions of songbirds in champlevé enamel. All that was missing was a face to represent this exploration of time “for her”… revealed at the end of May in the person of Yiqinq Yin, a youthful prodigy in Haute Couture who now represents the Égérie collection. French of Chinese descent, she joins the “One of not many” campaign of young talent who accompany the brand’s creations.
Designer Yiqing Yin joins Vacheron Constantin
And there was more to come. Just days after Watches & Wonders Shanghai, at end September, the Geneva firm presented a new interpretation of the Heure Romantique, a model from the Heures Créatives collection, unveiled in 2015 at Watches & Wonders in Hong Kong. The collection has been described as striking up a conversation between three major artistic periods: Art Nouveau, Art Deco and the 1970s. Its Heure Romantique, Heure Discrète and Heure Audacieuse watches form a delightful trilogy for three women who, despite very different appearances, share the same sense of elegance.
Art Nouveau, whose natural, flowing forms brought a fresh aesthetic to the early 1900s, informs the Heure Romantique watch. Imagined as a symbol of femininity, its case “takes the shape of a dainty 18k white gold flower whose curves are set with 104 diamonds on two levels. This refined craftsmanship is further accentuated by the airy leaf-type lug design.” And should we need reminding that Vacheron Constantin ranks among watchmaking’s elite, the movement under the striated back mother-of-pearl dial is the manual-winding Calibre 1055. Assembled from 115 parts, it measures 15.70mm in diameter and 2.10mm high. A bejewelled interpretation of a watch from 1916, Heure Romantique carries on the conversation that Vacheron Constantin has been having with women for more than two centuries.