Les Cabinotiers Cloisonné Enamel « The Caravel » 1950

Press Release

Les Cabinotiers Cloisonné Enamel « The Caravel » 1950

A poetic depiction of a ship borne by the waves, Les Cabinotiers – La Caravelle 1950 is a one of-a-kind creation featuring a cloisonné enamel dial crafted by the Atelier Anita Porchet. This masterpiece of miniaturisation is framed by a 39 mm 4N pink gold case, equipped with the Manufacture 4400 movement. The model is inspired by a 1950 watch belonging to the Vacheron Constantin heritage.

With this one-of-a-kind Les Cabinotiers – La Caravelle 1950 model, Vacheron Constantin sails off from the mainland on the ship of the great historical explorers. It was indeed aboard caravels, the first medieval ocean-going vessels, that Bartolomeu Dias arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in 1487 and that Christopher Columbus discovered America five years later. Here, however, the adventure takes a more artistic twist with the creation of an enamelled dial evoking the epic voyages of these intrepid sailors. In crafting it, the artisans of the Atelier Anita Porchet, which has become a benchmark in the profession, were able to draw inspiration from a rare and precious watch belonging to the Vacheron Constantin heritage and dating from 1950 (reference. 4308).
 

Vacheron Constantin Inspiration Piece

An ancestral technique

Just as on the original model, the technique employed is that of cloisonné enamel, a skill that originated in ancient Egypt and spread far and wide thanks to Byzantine goldsmithing. It consists in defining the contours of the pattern to be created by means of thin metal strips or gold wires fixed on the surface to be enamelled. The alveoli thus formed are filled with the enamel powder which is then vitrified by successive firings. The richer the colour palette in terms of different colours, the more enamel applications and firings are required – with the ever-present risk that a new trial by fire might damage the work already done. Finally, the enamelled plate is smoothed or polished to reveal the gold "partitions" and the final design.
 

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Cloisonné enamel « The Caravel » 1950

A nautical nod

On this model, the rich hues of the dial are further enhanced by the brilliance of the gold baton-type hands sweeping over the applied gold Roman numerals and round hour markers. As a final nod to this age of maritime feats, a gold paillon (spangle) appearing on the enamelled surface depicts Polaris, the pole star or North Star formerly used by sailors together with their sextants for the all-important calculation of positions at sea. And to keep the caravel sailing in due style, the model is equipped with the manual-winding Manufacture 4400 calibre powering the hours and minutes hands, operating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. Extremely thin at just 2.80 mm, it is housed in a 39 mm case in 4N pink gold.
 

Summary

With this one-of-a-kind Les Cabinotiers – La Caravelle 1950 model, Vacheron Constantin sails off from the mainland on the ship of the great historical explorers. Here, however, the adventure takes a more artistic twist with the creation of an enamelled dial evoking the epic voyages of these intrepid sailors. In crafting it, the artisans of the Atelier Anita Porchet were able to draw inspiration from reference 4308, a rare and precious watch belonging to the Vacheron Constantin heritage and dating from 1950. Just as on the original model, the technique employed is that of cloisonné enamel, a skill that originated in ancient Egypt. As a final nod to this age of maritime feats, a gold paillon (spangle) appearing on the enamelled surface depicts Polaris, the pole star or North Star formerly used by sailors along with their sextants for the all-important calculation of positions at sea. And to keep the caravel sailing in due style, the model is equipped with the manual-winding Manufacture 4400 calibre powering the hours and minutes hands, operating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. Extremely thin at just 2.80 mm, it is housed in a 39 mm case in 4N pink gold.