Vacheron Constantin Égérie: Women’s Reflections17 November 2020
The watch is a predominantly male accessory, that’s a fact. It is equally true that some brands, more than others, reserve a special place for women in their collections. One of these brands is Vacheron Constantin.
Vacheron Constantin honors this commitment not only through cultural initiatives, such as the selection of female models from its private collection recently exhibited in its Milanese boutique in Via Verri, but also by periodically creating collections in which women are the final beneficiary and the authentic fulcrum.
ÉGÉRIE BETWEEN HAUTE COUTURE
This trend is confirmed by the Égérie collection, presented last February. Vacheron Constantin defines it as “the encounter of two worlds, Haute Horlogerie and Haute Couture, through the prism of craftsmanship, precision, excellence and beauty.” Watch Insanity had the privilege of experiencing it by getting exclusive shots of it, allowing us to understand well the definition given by the Maison.
The femininity underlined by the collection begins with the name, which recalls that of the nymph Egeria. Mythological adviser and wife of the Roman king Numa Pompilius, she was famous for her grace but also for her ability to wisely guide her husband’s choices. A manifesto of Vacheron Constantin’s woman who combines beauty and grace with character and will.
The influence of Haute Couture, recalled by the Maison, is clearly visible on the dials of the Égérie collection, with a delicate interplay of textures and intertwined shapes, alternating flat and subtly raised areas; a pleated effect reminiscent of fabric; a singular asymmetry borne by a fluid design. The off-center dial at 2 o’clock, a diamond halo resembling slender braiding and accentuating the feminine shape of the case, the gold Arabic numerals, daintily scalloped like lace, contribute to giving the timepiece a very airy and feminine lightness.
CIRCLE AND DIAGONAL LINE
The aesthetic code that characterizes Égérie can be found in two design details: the intertwined circles and the diagonal line. Intertwined circles determine the off-center dial, as mentioned above, becoming the distinctive feature of the collection. The integration of the date or moon phases in the dial at 2 o’clock also becomes an integral part of the diagonal line, which goes from the Vacheron Constantin logo at 8 o’clock to the dial and crown, positioned between 1 and 2 o’clock. The crown is adorned with a cabochon-cut moonstone or a rose-cut diamond, depending on the model.
Vacheron Constantin Égérie collection has five references: two self-winding with date (steel or pink-gold case), two self-winding with moon phases (steel or pink-gold case) and a very precious one with moon phase and diamond-paved.
ÉGÉRIE SELF-WINDING AND MOON PHASE
Even in the Self-Winding and in the Moon Phase models, preciousness is not left aside. The 35mm case of the self-winding watch is enhanced by the bezel overstitched with 58 diamonds, while the ring surrounding the dial at 2 o’clock – in pink or white gold – is overstitched with 34 stones. The dial itself is a precious work composed of concentric circles and its centre and periphery are graced with a pleated pattern created in the guillochage workshop of the Manufacture, using the historical “tapestry” technique. Through long and extremely subtle operations, the artisan adjusts the gears of a 1904 pantograph-type machine in order to reproduce a large-format motif in a miniature version on the dial. The expertly wielded tip of the burin gives rise to the draped-effect motif of the Égérie dial. This decoration is the result of several months of research and development.
Evidence of the fact that more and more women are appreciating watches for their mechanics and not just for their aesthetics, the self-winding Égérie is powered by the in-house 40-hour power reserve caliber 1088. The sapphire crystal case-back reveals its Haute Horlogerie finishing: a hand-crafted Côtes de Genève motif as well as a skeletonized oscillating weight, inspired by the shape of the Maltese cross, visible through the sapphire crystal back.
The Égérie Moon Phase has a 37mm case and the off-center dial displays the moon phases, framed by a circle in pink or white gold decorated with 36 diamonds. In this model, the moon phases craft deserves to be noted: the satellite, made of white gold on a delicate starry sky, emerges from a curtain of mother-of-pearl clouds. Here too, the movement is the in-house 1088 L caliber with a 40-hour power reserve, decorated with the same grace as that of the self-winding.
The self-winding and moon phase steel versions come with a polished metal bracelet, while the pink-gold ones are offered with three interchangeable leather straps.
THE MOST PRECIOUS MOON
Finally, the most precious reference. The Égérie Moon Phase Jewellery features a 37mm white-gold case paved with 292 diamonds, while 510 diamonds also cover the dial. The winding crown is decorated with a rose-cut diamond. The moon is made of mother-of-pearl, just like the clouds. The profusion of gems continues on the strap and satin-brushed clasp. The caliber that sets the watch in motion is the same automatic 1088 L as the Moon Phase in steel or pink gold.
At the end of this overview, it is easy to agree with Vacheron Constantin when it presents Égérie as an “inherently versatile” collection, dedicated to “elegant women who enhance their look with a bold touch.” Because audacity, in this case, rhymes with class and with love for beautiful and carefully crafted objects. Even and especially when these are watches.
By Davide Passoni