By Lifestyle Editor
Since its founding in 1755, Vacheron Constantin has devoted great importance to arts and culture. The partnership with the Louvre Museum that began in 2019 betokens a celebration of beauty driven by the Manufacture’s constant concern for safeguarding and passing on of heritage.
A bespoke Les Cabinotiers watch was auctioned off at the "Bid for the Louvre" sale organised to benefit the museum's solidarity projects in December 2020, initiating a new offer entitled "A masterpiece on the wrist". After two years featuring a wealth of discoveries including the winning bidder’s private visit to the museum and the Manufacture in order to discuss the project with the Louvre's experts and the Maison's Master Artisans, the adventure gave birth to a single-piece edition watch: Les Cabinotiers – Homage to Pierre Paul Rubens, La lutte pour l'étendard de la Bataille d'Anghiari. Its miniature enamel dial faithfully reproduces the eponymous drawing by Peter Paul Rubens.
In 2021, the collaboration between the Manufacture and the prestigious museum also featured a chance to explore of the art studios of the two institutions through a series of videos illustrating a parallel between the work of their respective master artisans. This was followed in 2022 by the launch of a series of four watches inspired by the museum's antique collections: Métiers d'Art – Tribute to Great Civilisations. In 2023, the partnership between Vacheron Constantin and the Louvre will be further expanded with a new Les Cabinotiers offer titled "A Masterpiece on the Wrist" and which will enable clients to choose from among the museum's works of art the one that will be reproduced in enamel on the dial of their watch.
A long-term partnership
After its support for the 2016 restoration of the clock named The Creation of the World – a major work of 18th century precision horology presented to King Louis XV in 1754 and deposited with the Louvre by the Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon – Vacheron Constantin entered into a partnership with the Louvre in 2019. This collaboration echoes the respective legacies of the two institutions, which share the same respect for history, culture and heritage. This year, the Manufacture is pleased to announce the continuation of this important partnership.
Since its founding in 1793, the Louvre has been both a showcase for the finest masterpieces of our common heritage and home to contemporary creative talents. It shares with Vacheron Constantin a concern for long-term perspectives, excellence and dialogue between past and present-day artists.
"I am delighted with this collaboration, which is full of fruitful exchanges between our teams and marked by a shared desire to serve Beauty", points out Laurence des Cars, President and Director of the Louvre. " Born in the Age of Enlightenment, our two institutions share the mission of passing on a passion for art, heritage and the excellence of ancestral craftsmanship. While firmly rooted in history, they are resolutely open to the contemporary world.”
This partnership with the Louvre confirms Vacheron Constantin's cultural commitment, covering areas specific to centuries-old, world-renowned institutions, for which the archiving, conservation and restoration of heritage are determining factors. This attachment to the splendours of the past and to the transmission of know-how is synonymous with great respect for the craftsmanship that is essential to Vacheron Constantin's creations as well as to the Louvre's activities.
The incredible story of the 2020 "Bid for the Louvre" auction
In December 2020, Vacheron Constantin took part in an auction to support a vast project of educational workshops at the Louvre, with 100% of the proceeds going to support Le Studio, a place of discovery and sharing open to all in order to help people familiarise themselves with the museum, its collections and its crafts, including an introduction to the techniques of the plastic arts.
In this spirit, Vacheron Constantin offered a unique experience, embodied by a single-piece edition bespoke Les Cabinotiers watch whose dial was to be personalised with a miniature or grisaille enamel reproduction of an artwork kept in the Louvre and chosen by the buyer. Guided by the museum's experts, the successful bidder also had the privilege of a private tour of the museum and the Cabinet des Dessins, a place accessible to the public by reservation only, in order to determine the work to be reproduced. This is where the original drawing finally chosen – La lutte pour l'étendard de la Bataille d'Anghiari, by Pierre Paul Rubens – is kept.
"This work features extraordinary volumes in which the strength of the characters and horses contrasts with the softness of the drawing featuring the ink work of the tone-on-tone wash and the sepia”, says Vacheron Constantin's master enameller.