Vacheron Constantin Enters The World Of “Haute Manufacture” With Its New Égérie Collection
Introducing three exciting new timepieces that you didn’t know you needed until now!
In haute couture, the relationship between designer and muse is a time-honored one. The muse provides a point of view and clarity for each collection. Think of the relationship between Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn — it’s impossible to imagine the gamine actress without picturing her in one of Givenchy’s little black dresses in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Just like, model Betty Catroux became synonymous with Yves Saint Laurent’s androgynous 1970s style. Or singer Grace Jones was the perfect canvas for Azzedine Alaïa’s bandage dresses in the 1990s.
Now, with Vacheron Constantin’s new Égérie collection of luxury watches for women, it’s the ateliers of the world’s top fashion houses that serve as a muse to manufactures, watchmakers, and gem setters. And whether you’re an Audrey or a Grace, the versatility of the Égérie family means there is a watch for you.
Vacheron is calling this new approach to watchmaking, “Haute Manufacture.” Historically, the maison has always applied the highest standards of skill, precision, and beauty to its timepieces. The Métiers d’Art watches, the Cabinotiers workshops, and the impressive jewelry watches of the Heures Créative collection already showcase the brand’s unsurpassed commitment to craftsmanship.
While a strong thread connects these three new Égérie watches to Vacheron’s past, what makes them modern and necessary is their acknowledgment of the ever-evolving world of high fashion.
For example, the Vacheron Constantin Égérie Self-Winding is the most minimalist of the three watches. But as any couturier will tell you, simple is often the hardest thing to pull off.
What makes the entire Égérie collection stand out is its off-kilter silhouette. The 35mm, pebble-shaped case and asymmetric display of these timepieces project a lot of personality just through these basic, but bold elements. Vacheron’s designers further embellished this beauty with 58 diamonds around the bezel and a cabochon-cut moonstone on the crown. The subtle glow of the moonstone punctuates the softness of the opaline silverwork of the dial.
Then, there is a tip of the hat to the women behind the scenes at any fashion atelier— the seamstresses. At any haute couture house, there can be as many as 100 artisans (also known as petites mains or “little hands”) draping, embroidering, and shaping materials until the garment embodies the designer’s vision.
The dial of the Égérie Self-Winding is composed of concentric circles, which recall a pleated pattern. According to Vacheron, it took months of experimentation by the manufacture's guillochage workshop to create this “tapestry” technique. The flowing lines of the numerals recall skilled embroidery, while the leaf-type hours and minutes hands remind us of the fine needles used by the nimble fingers of the petites mains.
The Égérie Self-Winding is also a most adaptable watch, coming with three different interchangeable leather straps for the 18K pink gold version, and a polished and fluid metal for the stainless steel version.
This automatic timepiece keeps the beat with an in house 1088 calibre with a 40-hour power reserve — well suited for a modern woman’s non-stop lifestyle.
Haute couture is a means of expression. Designers use different signatures and reference their archives to create garments reflecting the design codes of their particular house. Likewise, Égérie takes the aesthetic codes cherished by Vacheron Constantin but updates them for the contemporary customer.
For example, the manufacture has been offering off-center displays since the early 19th century, notably by using the theme of two intertwined circles. The Égérie collection makes this motif its signature. With the Égérie Moon Phase, the interlocking rings are amplified by a diamond bedazzled bezel and balanced by an offset crown and moon phase window, which is anchored by the Vacheron Constantin playfully placed between the 7 and 9 indices.
There are two versions of the Égérie Moon Phase, one in steel and the other in 18K pink gold, and both with a 37mm case and a 1088 L self-winding manufacture caliber. Each iteration offers the pleated, silvered dial, and again, the gold comes with three different leather strap options.
And then there’s the brilliant Égérie Moon Phase Diamond-Pavé. If these watches were presented at Couture week, this piece would be the wedding gown at the end of the défilé.
The dial of this 18K white gold watch is set with 292 round-cut diamonds. The applied gold roman numerals are expertly applied on top of this dazzling field of stones. The crown is also topped with a 0.17ct rose-cut diamond. The moon is made of mother of pearl moon and surrounded by translucent sapphire crystal clouds.
In yet another tribute to the world of high fashion, the night blue Mississippi alligator leather strap has been given a satin finish. The Égérie Moon Phase Diamond-Pavé also comes with a second blue satin band.
There are so many reasons that the Égérie delights us so. Like a muse enabling an artist to imbue creations with a strong character, these timepieces have a playful presence that allows its owner to express her own personality through the watch.
Vacheron Constantin's Égérie Collection will be available in all Vacheron Constantin boutiques and authorized points of sale starting March 1st, 2020.
(Images provided by Vacheron Constantin)