VACHERON CONSTANTIN. AN IMPRESSIVE AND EXTREMELY RARE 18K GOLD LIMITED EDITION AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH DAY, DATE AND 18K GOLD HAND ENGRAVED MICRO SCULPTURE OF A CHINESE QIDAN ANTIQUE MASK FROM THE BARBIER-MULLER MUSEUM
VACHERON CONSTANTIN. AN IMPRESSIVE AND EXTREMELY RARE 18K GOLD LIMITED EDITION AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH DAY, DATE AND 18K GOLD HAND ENGRAVED MICRO SCULPTURE OF A CHINESE QIDAN ANTIQUE MASK FROM THE BARBIER-MULLER MUSEUM
VACHERON CONSTANTIN. AN IMPRESSIVE AND EXTREMELY RARE 18K GOLD LIMITED EDITION AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH DAY, DATE AND 18K GOLD HAND ENGRAVED MICRO SCULPTURE OF A CHINESE QIDAN ANTIQUE MASK FROM THE BARBIER-MULLER MUSEUM
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VACHERON CONSTANTIN. AN IMPRESSIVE AND EXTREMELY RARE 18K GOLD LIMITED EDITION AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH DAY, DATE AND 18K GOLD HAND ENGRAVED MICRO SCULPTURE OF A CHINESE QIDAN ANTIQUE MASK FROM THE BARBIER-MULLER MUSEUM
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> Some watches are pictured with straps made of en… Read more
VACHERON CONSTANTIN. AN IMPRESSIVE AND EXTREMELY RARE 18K GOLD LIMITED EDITION AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH DAY, DATE AND 18K GOLD HAND ENGRAVED MICRO SCULPTURE OF A CHINESE QIDAN ANTIQUE MASK FROM THE BARBIER-MULLER MUSEUM

METIERS D’ARTS LES MASQUES MODEL 2007 EDITION, REF. 86070/000J-9294, CIRCA 2008

Details
VACHERON CONSTANTIN. AN IMPRESSIVE AND EXTREMELY RARE 18K GOLD LIMITED EDITION AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH WITH DAY, DATE AND 18K GOLD HAND ENGRAVED MICRO SCULPTURE OF A CHINESE QIDAN ANTIQUE MASK FROM THE BARBIER-MULLER MUSEUM
METIERS D’ARTS LES MASQUES MODEL 2007 EDITION, REF. 86070/000J-9294, CIRCA 2008
Movement: Automatic
Dial: With micro sculpture in 18k gold hand engraved and colorized to reproduce an antique mask of a Chinese Qidan from the Barbier-Muller museum
Case: 40 mm.
With: Vacheron Constantin 18k gold deployant clasp, sales tag, Vacheron Constantin Certificate of Authenticity, Vacheron Constantin Certificate of Origin and Guarantee Certificate, Vacheron Constantin service booklet
Remark: In unworn condition, the Metiers d’Arts “Les Masques” Collection Edition is a limited edition of 25 sets of 4 timepieces. Each year during 3 years from 2007 to 2009, Vacheron Constantin will propose 25 sets of 4 new masks.
Special notice

> Some watches are pictured with straps made of endangered or protected animal materials such as alligator or crocodile. These endangered species straps are shown for display purposes only and are not for sale. Christie’s will remove and retain the strap prior to shipment from the sale site. At some sale sites, Christie’s may, at its discretion, make the displayed endangered species strap available to the buyer of the lot free of charge if collected in person from the sale site within 1 year of the date of the sale. Please check with the department for details on a particular lot. > Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory, tortoiseshell and crocodile. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

Brought to you by

Alexandre Bigler
Alexandre Bigler Vice President, Head of Watches, Asia Pacific

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Lot Essay

The remarkable sets of ‘Tribal Masks’ by Vacheron Constantin bring together art, culture and the finest watchmaking like never before. Reproduced from life-size masks housed in Geneva’s famous Barbier- Muller Museum, the first four watches of this exceptional series of Metiers d’Art timepieces were made in 2007 featuring masks from China, Alaska, the Congo and Indonesia.

These highly exclusive horological works of art, mesmerizing in their beauty and breathtaking in their level of traditional craftsmanship embody primitive aesthetics at their finest. As a highlight of the ‘Champion Collection’, this wonderful complete set of Métiers d’art Tribal Masks has been preserved in exceptional condition and is offered complete with the full set of accessories.

Celebrating their 250th anniversary in 2005, Vacheron Constantin decided to explore the idea of creating a series of culturally significant wristwatches. The theme of tribal masks was inspired by the Geneva based Barbier-Mueller Museum, the worlds finest museum of primitive art, who were approached in order to form a close collaboration with the company to bring these works of art from diverse cultures to a wider audience. In 2007, an incredible series of watches featuring tribal masks called ‘Métiers d’art les Masques’ was announced. These extraordinary watches were presented in boxed sets of four, each watch featuring a different mask from one of the four continents, Asia, the Americas, Africa and Oceania. The project was completed with the inclusion of verses by the French poet Michel Butor done in a spiral of gold letters on the sapphire crystal dials that give voice to the masks when the light strikes at certain angles. In order to give the mask full prominence, the time and date functions are ingeniously displayed discreetly by rotating discs in four windows.

The Masks
The sapphire crystal dial is applied with the amazingly lifelike micro sculpture mask hand made in 18K gold which has been engraved and coloured to faithfully reproduce the antique mask as closely as possible.
In many primitive cultures, masks have a double function as both aesthetic and ritual objects. Some are believed to allow communication with the spirits of ancestors or to be the physical manifestation of ancient rituals. Respecting the importance and cultural significance of these masks to their respective peoples, Vacheron Constantin’s craftsmen took great care not to distort their original character and identity. Using a combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern technologies, the poetic sensibilities of the masks is accurately captured with subtle contrasts accentuating the delicacy of the finishing.

This superlative ‘Tribal Masks’ set with reassuring and unimpeachable Champion Collection provenance is likely to be the only example of this treasure of Vacheron Constantin’s Metiers D’Art craftsmanship to be offered at auction for the foreseeable future and represents an unmissable opportunity for both watch and art collectors.
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