Watches & Wonders: Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers Collection Hits South Beach
This month, Vacheron Constantin is taking their unique examples of fine watchmaking on tour.
The Valhalla of a high-end luxury good is personalization. Whether it be a bespoke Savile Row suit or a customized Gucci Ophidia tote, buyers with big budgets want things that are truly tailored to their needs and desires.
And the ne-plus-ultra of high-end goods is getting your hands on a unique, made-to-order luxury watch. In the old days, haute horology houses would wait for clients to come to them. But now, with a global economy and a booming growth in online retailing, smart brands are now bringing their one-of-a-kind creations to their customers.
In the watch world, there are always different levels of exclusivity—think of the moment you realized that Rolex, while impressive, was not the best plus ultra of timekeeping. And even the most exclusive brands, there are levels of excellence that remain hidden to casual collectors.
But the world of luxury is shifting. The new generation of collectors is more comfortable shopping online and spends a good deal of time researching their purchases on the internet.
And brands are shifting to match the curiosity of their clients. Vacheron Constantin Cabinotiers — the super exclusive studio dedicated to unique, handcrafted timepieces. While VC is generally the preserve of wealthy watch collectors, the Cabinotiers site is attractive to future collectors because it throws light on the process of creating such high-end masterpieces.
ON THE PROWL
As watch brands seek to attract new and loyal customers in new ways, this digital transparency is one way to get new buyers hooked. But there's no substitute for holding an elegant watch in your hands.
So in February, Vacheron Constantin set out on a first-of-its-kind tour of its Les Cabinotiers unique timepieces in the United States. This tour was scheduled to make stops in Beverly Hills, Orange County, Miami (at Watches & Wonders), and New York.
It's not just the collectors that are excited about the road trip. "The fact that we can present these pieces to clients in
major markets of the U.S. is thrilling to me,” says Leslie Kobrin, President of the Americas for Vacheron Constantin. "I know watch collectors, as well as art and jewelry lovers, will be delighted for the opportunity to see these rare complicated and artistic timepieces in person."
This captivating collection features 20 unique watches showcasing a range of complications including perpetual calendars and armillary tourbillons.
We trust Vacheron Constantin to produce fantastic mechanics, but seeing the detail and sheer technique of such awe-inspiring artistic crafts as enameling, engraving and wood marquetry is the real magic of seeing these watches in person.
The tradition of the Cabinotiers dates back to the 18th century. Driven by client commissions, these master craftspeople were like alchemists mixing high jewelry making skills to push the boundaries of watchmaking.
And that tradition carries on at Vacheron Constantin carries on today.
Of course, every haute horology house has its own codes. One of the specialties of Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers collections is its finely detailed, hand engraved animal decorations. This year, the brand is showcasing variations with lion, tiger, eagle and snake motifs.
Again, these timepieces represent the collaboration between client and creatives. While each watch is unique, the artisans signature is apparent in the skill needed to execute these miniature portraits. To the owner of this bespoke piece, these animals are potent symbols of their own personalities or aspirations.
Powerful designs for powerful people
The Les Cabinotiers tour began in Los Angeles and moved to the Miami Design District boutique on February 14th.
The final stop on the Les Cabinotiers tour will take place in New York City from February 20-23 at Vacheron Constantin’s flagship Madison Avenue boutique. For appointments and sales, please contact each boutique directly.