Bespoke Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers watch sells at Christie’s “Bid for the Louvre” online auction for £280,000

By Tempus | 16 Dec 2020 | Design, Art

Vacheron Constantin donated the unique Les Cabinotiers timepiece in support of the Louvre Museum

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* The Louvre Museum in Paris | Photo credit: Olivier Ouadah

A bespoke Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers watch has sold at a virtual auction, hosted by global auction house Christie’s, designed to benefit the Louvre Museum, Paris. This one-of-a-kind watch, which sold for £280,000, was one of 24 luxury lots in the auction and included the opportunity for its buyer to work alongside craftsmen of Vacheron Constantin and the Louvre to recreate a work of art chosen from the famous art museum on its personalised dial.

“We are proud to be taking part, in this exceptional auction organised by the Louvre and Christie's in support of the Museum's solidarity projects," says Louis Ferla, Vacheron Constantin CEO "Our ongoing commitment to art and the transmission of savoir-faire – which has been expressed alongside the Louvre since the announcement of our partnership a year ago – takes on even greater significance within a global context that is troubled and challenging in more ways than one.”

The Swiss Watchmaker announced its partnership with the Louvre Museum in November 2019, aiming to maintain heritage in artisan practices while benefitting from being able to exchange knowledge and expert techniques to create exclusive timepieces that are works of art.

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* Vacheron Constantin Lourve mock-up dial

As part of their prize, the auction winner will be invited to personalise the timepiece, starting with a visit to The Louvre to select their favourite work of art. Their chosen work will then be replicated on the dial, using one of the manufacturer’s enamelling processes. The miniature enamel 'Geneva technique' dates back to the 18th Century, while the brand’s Grisaille Enamel is a 16th-century process that superimposes touches of rare white enamel onto a layer of dark enamel coating the gold dial base.

"Putting up for auction a Les Cabinotiers timepiece based on a masterpiece, a one-of-a-kind model personalised in accordance with the acquirer’s wishes, symbolises the identity of our Maison and its mission to promote the sharing of culture and emotions”, says Ferla.

Further customisations on offer include manufacture of the case material in a choice of platinum or pink or white gold, as well as engraving on the officer-type caseback. The piece is powered by an in-house Calibre 2460 SC transparent case-back showcases a 22-carat gold oscillating weight openwork in the shape of a Maltese cross - the symbol of Vacheron Constantin.

Hosted by global auction house Christie’s for the first ever 'Bid for the Louvre’s’ virtual auction, which ran from 1 to 15 December saw a record breaking £2,365,000, raised to support the Louvre Museum’s social and education programmes and the newly created studio space, set to open in fall 2021, dedicated to artistic and cultural education. The auction included sought-after designer Virgil Abloh’s unique creation in the form of an Off-White handbag, selling for £6,500, and a mesmerising Cartier diamond and emerald panther bracelet, which sold for £90,000.

Related: Masters of art: Blancpain shares the secrets behind its exceptional – and singular – Binchōtan technique

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* The auction winner will be invited to personalise the timepiece