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An exceptional evening: Vacheron Constantin organised event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York

A partner of the Barbier-Mueller museum since 2007, Vacheron Constantin held an exceptional soirée at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, coinciding with the official inauguration of “African and Oceanic Art from the Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva: a Legacy of Collecting” – an exhibition dedicated to masterpieces from the family collection and supported by the Geneva-based brand.

This unique event was graced by the presence of Monique Barbier-Mueller and Juan-Carlos Torres, CEO of Vacheron Constantin, along with Marc Guten, International Director of Vacheron Constantin, Hugues de Pins, President of Vacheron Constantin North America, and Laurence Mattet, Director of the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva.

250 guests – comprising customers, collectors, art connoisseurs and friends of Vacheron Constantin – were hosted in New York’s largest museum and one of the most important in the world in terms of both its size and the quality of its collections.

During this evening, guests enjoyed a preview of the Barbier-Mueller Museum exhibition (on show in the MET through September 27th 2009). After that, inside the spectacular Temple of Dendur Room beneath the huge glass roof looking out onto Central Park, they were able to admire an exhibition of exceptional historical watches from the Vacheron Constantin heritage, as well as the two first boxed sets of “Métiers d’Art Les Masques” timepieces on show alongside the original masks of the Barbier-Mueller Museum. This display was further enhanced by a demonstration of artistic watchmaking crafts, and in particular those of Master Engraver and Master Watchmaker.

The highlight of the dinner was a dance performance by artists from the famous Juilliard School (featuring a sound and light choreography evoking the four continents from which the “Métiers d’Art Les Masques” creations). This was followed by the world-first presentation of the third and last set of four “Métiers d’Art Les Masques” timepieces – a collection celebrating the horological expertise and the tradition of artistic watchmaking crafts cherished by the watch brand. This eventful evening set the crowning touch to the “Métiers d’Art Les Masques” collection, paying tribute to the Barbier-Mueller family, as well as to human intelligence and dexterity, while once again testifying to Vacheron Constantin’s deep-felt attachment to art and culture, travel and discovery.

About the Vacheron Constantin “Métiers d’Art Les Masques” collection

Unveiled for the very first time at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in 2007, the Vacheron Constantin “Métiers d’Art  Les Masques” collection depicts the artistic crafts cultivated by the Geneva-based watch manufacture, and in particular that of Master Engraver. Each model features an authentic mask reproduced and miniaturized on a watch dial. The original masks that inspired this collection all stem from the private collection of the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva, the world’s largest private collection of primitive art. Three series – one per year, in a limited edition of 25 each – have thus been presented in boxed sets of four creations representing four different masks from 4 distinct regions of the world: Asia, the Americas, Oceania and Africa.

Each timepiece in this collection is equipped with the self-winding Vacheron Constantin Calibre 2460G and bears the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva. This movement enables hand-free read-off of the time. Driven by a complex set of wheels and gears, four discs appear through dedicated hour, minute, day and date apertures, thereby freeing up the dial centre for the artisans to give free rein to their creativity as expressed through the masks. A world-first viewing of the third and last boxed set of four timepieces was presented at the Metropolitan Musem of Art. The four masks reproduced and miniaturized in these watches are inspired by originals from Indonesia, the Tibet region, Mexico and the Gabon.