From January 18 to January 22, the 26th Geneva International Haute Horlogerie Awards kicked off at the Palexpo Exhibition Center. Christian Selmoni, artistic director of Vacheron Constantin’s product research and development department, represented the brand at the event. After explaining the latest creation of SIHH2016 on site, Christian Selmoni accepted an interview with Watch House to talk about the brand’s artistic creation, superb craftsmanship and love for different cultures.
Watch House: Vacheron Constantin’s annual masterpiece series are breathtaking. What principles are based on the establishment of the theme?
Mr. ChristianSelmoni: The creation of new products of the master series is not a temporary decision every year, but to determine that the style has been prepared for many years. In this series of timepieces, you can find some elements that have not been used before.
Home of Watches: Which is more difficult to achieve, such as engraving, enamel art and gem setting? What are the technical difficulties?
Mr. ChristianSelmoni: Each of these processes has its own difficulties. For example, the engraving process, whether it is to describe the curve, or the decoration, all need to use imagination to achieve what kind of image. It must be designed and planned in advance. Applying the same force on the metal surface is the difficulty of this process. As for the enamel art, it is necessary to strictly control the firing temperature and time of each enamel. If it is not in place or overtime, it will cause the firing to fail. Finally, the gem setting is subtle, using light and shadow and light refraction to maximize the brightness of the diamond. The most difficult to achieve is enamel art, because the temperature control and the fusion of various enamels must be considered. The enamel art is divided into filigree, infill and micro-painting, etc., with varying degrees of complexity. Sometimes the production of a watch requires the integration of multiple enamel arts.
Watch House: What positive impact does your love of different cultures and arts have on your work? Will it help the creation of the watches mentioned above?
Mr. ChristianSelmoni: In this regard, the brand does not define a framework, and it can only be created in certain types of art or culture. On the contrary, the brand gives a lot of freedom, and I can actively use my own knowledge of different cultures and The love of art, free play, combining them with the creation of brand timepieces.
Watch House: This year, Vacheron Constantin launched a variety of horizontal and vertical series watches, which one do you like the most? In your opinion, what are the other boutique brands in the watch market?
Mr. ChristianSelmoni: My personal favorite is the simple model (men’s), the junior hand, with date display function. In my opinion, the current boutiques of other brands in the watch and clock market are mainly Patek Philippe Nautilus series and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak series. The two are similar in style and are more sports and leisure. Vacheron Constantin is different. The vertical and horizontal series released this time are equipped with self-made cores, which can be said to be a new development in different fields.