From now until December 15, watch lovers can get bid on a bespoke one-of-a-kind Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinoties watch that is up for auction at the Louvre Museum. Held by the Louve and Christie’s (with the support of Drouot), the “Bid for the Louvre” auction (Dec. 1-15), benefits the Louve Museum in Paris and Vacheron Constantin has donated the timepiece for the cause. When the watch is sold, the bidder gets to select which item in the Louvre museum (painting or sculpture) he or she would like replicated on the dial of the watch. Ever wish to have the Mona Lisa on your wrist, or perhaps the statue of David? Now is your chance.
Once sold, the Les Cabinotiers watch will be hand painted in either miniature enamel or grisaille enamel by the brand’s master artisans. The buyer will meet the curators of the Louvre and the artists of Vacheron Constantin to determine the ultimate dial. All of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Louvre’s projects.
Not only will the buyer of the watch be able to select the art for the dial, but also, he or she can decide on the type of painting to be used to create the work of art. The miniature enamel “ Geneva technique” dates back to the 1700’s and is a particularly challenging feat because of the multiple paintings and firings it takes to achieve the depth and colors. Grisaille enamel dates even further back to the 1500’s and relies on superimposing Limoges white enamel on a gold dial base and then layering subsequent enamels and firing them in precisely timed cooks.
The successful bidder can also choose a case material from the noble metals of platinum, or white or pink gold, and can have an engraving on the case back. They also can choose their own strap material and color. The Les Cabinotiers watch is powered by the brand’s in-house Caliber 2460 SC. The watch will boast a transparent sapphire case back for viewing of the finely finished movement, including the 22-karat gold rotor in the shape of an open-worked Maltese cross – Vacheron Constantin’s logo. The watch will be sold with a certificate of authenticity from Vacheron Constantin and one from the Louve certifying that it is a reproduction of whichever particular artwork is selected.
“We are proud to be taking part, along [with] other artists and Maisons, in this exceptional auction,” says Louis Ferla, CEO of Vacheron Constantin. “Putting up for auction a Les Cabinotiers timepiece based on a masterpiece, a one-of-a- kind model personalized in accordance with the acquirer’s wishes, symbolizes the identity of our Maison and its mission to promote the sharing of culture and emotions.”