Master craftsman

 
Timothy Barber
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A rare chance to see the magnificent creations from watchmaker par excellence Vacheron Constantin

A rare chance to see the magnificent creations from watchmaker par excellence Vacheron Constantin

FOR watch connoisseurs, the opening of Vacheron Constantin’s first London shop on Bond Street, means the opportunity to view watches only available at the firm’s own boutiques. These include the 1972 Prestige, a curved, asymmetrical masterpiece based on a classic watch from – you guessed it – 1972, containing the thinnest mechanical watch movement ever produced. With all the quirky stylishness of the best ‘70s designs matched with the kind of hand craftsmanship that positions the 250-year-old maison at the very pinnacle of high watchmaking, it’s an instant collectors’ item and the perfect dress watch for any elegant high achiever.

Vacheron Constantin is exhibiting this weekend at Masterpiece London, the art, design and antiques fair taking place in the grounds of the Royal Chelsea Hospital. Among other pieces on display and available to buy at the fair will be its enamel-painted Florilege watches, bearing artwork based on the plant drawings of 18th century British naturalist Robert Thornton.

London is for now the only place to see these exceptional pieces, which are to be exclusively displayed at the Bond Street boutique. There you will also find a full-time watchmaker restoring Vacheron watches at a workbench in the shop, as well as plenty of other dazzling pieces from one of Geneva’s greatest watch producers.

Vacheron Constantin, 37 Old Bond Street, W1S 4AB; vacheronconstantin.com. Masterpiece London, 27 June- 3 July, the Royal Chelsea Hospital, SW3 4SR; masterpiecefair.com.