SIHH Van Cleef & Arpels 2011, Part 2/2

During the trip in balloon, it goes through Africa and the Arctic is the subject of the following two cases for women, I was particularly moved by this issue, and I found it particularly clever.
Today, it's probably these two regions that have best preserved their ecosystem, and we are currently witnessing an unprecedented offensive against the natural, both in Arctic and Africa.
Expansion of desertification, extinction of rare species (The Cheetah, the fastest land animal, is on the verge of extinction), chemical pollution delocalized from rich countries (in Somalia, Guinea).
Our beloved French president Nicolas Sarkozy had said about Africans, they were enter enough in history, in Senegal, there a few years ago. He believed that Africans were not civilized enough, not having a presentable GDP, poor Africans...

But Africans have a real wealth, not quantifiable on capitalistic criteria, they have preserved a wide nature of richness and beauty unmatched, and though it does not appear in a accounting balance sheet, VCA honors the real wealth through this sets.
The Arctic is in a different situation, but runs the same danger because of global warming, ice melt, they will soon open new shipping routes that will allow the exploitation of offshore fields, metal nodular, uranium, and especially , supreme irony, hydrocarbons, to further increase global warming. Similarly VCA tribute to the region in danger.
Later in the article, I examine the values carried by these new collections of VCA, the bucolism, and ecology, are prominent.

First Part:

 Enough logorrhoea, stop bullshit, talking about essential subjects, speak horlogical:


The hippopotamus, under peacefu outside l, is oneof the most dangerous animals of Africa:

 The dial is made of inlaid gold (for the foliage?), email Champlevé, jewelling on the hippos body, but mostly flowers carved in mother-of-pearl.

Swin with it (but no too close) on WatchO:

The elephant:

 Same techniques are used, notice the elephant tusk made in mother-of-pearl.
The layout of the elephant calf was the subject of particular attention in order to present the éléphante mother face.

Trumpet it on WatchO:


The giraffe: 

 About animals eyes, this is true for all the dials of this series, the eyes are in email, and not in Onix.
The giraffe is at my taste is the most successful of the series, the layout of the elements of the scene is particularly wise and moving.

Head-Up on WatchO:


The least succeessful, I think, contrasts are poor,scenography is a little puffing, a little ldisappointment.

Je valide l’inscription de ce blog au service Paperblog sous le pseudo watchonista

Run on WatchO:

The set:

The artic:


My favorite overall the penguins:

 The work of the icebergs in mother-of-pearl, is simply fabulous, it is true for the whole set, but it is on this watch that it is most impressive (with the arch of the she-bear and its bear cubs), perhaps that as it is the only dial which does not put a female and its small, but a complete family,it affected more than my male instincts, the work of engraving is nevertheless impressive, the massive use of black enamel, plays perhaps also, unless it's the subtle arrangement of mandarin garnets and yellow sapphires
The most beautiful piece in any case of all the set of this year 2011, in all subjectivity.

Join the WatchO family:


The seals:

 Note the asthonithing work on mother-of-pearl, as well the sky and it's iridescent reflecs, as the ice-barrier are fascinating, significant detail, the enamel is treated onthis part with a technique which borrows more from the email paillonné, To achieve the effects of gradients in the sea , also note the effects of shades of the icebergs on the sea.

In the Naaaavvvyyyy:

The whales:

A glass plate (sapphire?) is fixed over the protagonists of the scene, then that usually I don't like this kind of use of bridges / needles sapphire in watches, I must confess my kind surprise at this nice piece The treatment of glass and the mother-of-pearl is very effective and consistent.
The only big problem of this watch is the water spray treated in émail champlevé , which wastes a little the 3D effects of the dial and the serenity of the scene, this spread steals the highligt at the whale-calf, trying to be too totally connected on the nacre, they miss a little (a very little) the aesthetic, what a pity!

Dive whith whales on WatchOnista:

At last, the greatest land predator, the white bear.

 The sea is also treated it seems according to an intermediate technique of enamelling, once again,work on the ice arch of ice is very, very impressive, the arrangement of the bear cubs appears particularlyjudicious to me, so much the scene seems alive.

Teddy bear attack on WatchO:

At last the set:

 The Arctic is the best set of this year, contrasts are crazy in the same panel of colors, the sumptuary work of mother-of-pearl, the originality of the techniques of decoration (it is a little more redundant in the African box), the melancholy issued by the iridescent reflects of this fabulous mother-of-pearl, scenography, perfect straps, this box is total, undoubtedly a great success.

Before concluding, the Makis, I hesitate to talk about this pieces, it move away far from watchmaking, is a piece purely women's watch, and totally jeweler, is a perfect illustration of the savoir-faire of VCA.
Finally, the criterion of sharing that out weighs my inability to make a serious comments that, dare I say, watchs:

The Makis on Watchonista:

Official video:

What emerges from these recent years, it is the new breath that de Quercize has instilled in place Vendôme House, while it was sleeping nicely, simply by not taking risks in theParisian jeweler corporation there is a creative festival, seriousness and energy of the in-house project is obvious, the funny fact, I think this is above all a management success,very little in relation to the themes espoused (the term is circumstantial ) VCA after this maazing feat, Ihad already analyzed these sets of themes, remember, made a comment a few weeks before the SIHH:


Let’s go back on this watch which rewarded Agenhor’s work in the watchmaking microcosm.

My small anlysis of this Poetic collection that I've produced for another article:


" VCA Poetic Collections are an alternative felted message too the actual raucous post-Hummer design with its Big Bang and Concord designed like tanks ( big screws, its «authentic» caoutchouc, its highly technical metals,etc.) in an involuntary Cyberpunk style.

VCA gets back to the first nostalgia – the rebirth of mechanical watchmaking.
In this sense, VCA magnifies the concept of neo-classical mechanical watchmaking. This passion for mechanical watches, is a nostalgia on the days of our ancestors, when we still believed in the future.
The creation of the Poectic collection is the essence of this nostalgia, in an exercise of poetic style, enchanting, idyllic, magical.
This choice is very clever, because it relies on the melancholy fiber widespread among watch enthusiasts.

Poetry: Opposed to the vulgar insolence of an era, VCA prefers the discreete elegance of the poet.

Enchantment: The science, the technology, the light, made God (and supernaturalforce ) obsolete, the forces of nature are just too tame. Finally, pagan pre-monotheistic values seem to be a refuge for all this technological power. Which symbol could be more positive than the fairy to symbolize the old forces of nature?

Bucolism: Especially through the Folie des Prés watch, or the fairy video performed by Laurent Piccioto, we can the notice that the message of VCA is bucolic.
As well as for Le Pont des Amoureux which borrow its identity to « Sisi Impératrice », we guess fields of golden wheat and green forests full of magic in the background.This bucolism, is concomitant with the rise of environmental concerns!

Melancholy, nostalgia: In a changing world, decried traditional values are now a shelter.
Now, the art used by VCA for the decoration of its watches is a new form of neo-classicism, soothing to end customers sometimes stressed by the weight of days.

Femininity: The femininity of VCA watches opposes directly to the phallic presumptuousness of brands full of mat metals, of protean screws, of "authentic" caoutchouc, The femininity of VCA watches, it is not the feminism, it is the eternal feminine of Romy Schneider in Sisi.
Little Add: Once can constat, there, through the couple's baby/mother used in sets Africa /Arctic, that this issue is very important.

 Magic: Through complications made by Agenhor among others, and thanks to the "elastic teeth", the magic is here.

While the other Jewellers are just reducing and setting men watches, VCA smartly sets its watches, using exclusive complications plates mounted beneath exceptional enamel dials. VCA’s jewelry complications, are more than decorative, they ares functional.
The addition of beauty and functionality is the beginning of the magic watchmaking.

Through these values, VCA knows how to reach the child who is in us and its original onirism."

Today, VCA attack the steampunk, with the retro Sci-Fi of Jules Verne.

VCA makes a wonderful achievement this year, while the watches came out very few, we have right in the same year, to a poetical complication, Cinq Semaines en Ballons, and 12 pieces au cadran extraordinaire (internal designation),without speaking of the Makis high jewelry. .
Although these sets are made in 22 copies it is a feat to achieve so much on a year.
The quality of the project is obvious. Having taken such a turn to the range, turned to very actual themes , while leaving the ghetto of overjewelling, to go run the fields and woods of the horological onirism .
All this points indicate more prosaically an excellent analysis of the actual societal tendances of the direction of VCA and optimal collaboration with subcontractors (Stern Creation, Agenhor, etc. ..),and a true desire to make beautiful.
Even if, moreover, the range of classics watchs had to be dusted off (It will come soon according to Linda), this Cinq Semaines en Ballons and this Arctic Set will rock my dreams for a long time.

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