Vacheron Constantin x The MET: a partnership to safeguard and pass on knowledge and expertise
29 SEP 2023
The new partnership between Vacheron Constantin and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), a leading art museum founded in 1870, is based on an unwavering commitment to safeguarding and passing on knowledge and expertise. Through this alliance, the Maison demonstrates its profound attachment to the world of art and culture that has consistently nurtured its imagination and its creativity – as will be vividly showcased in future educational initiatives developed within the framework of this partnership.
"None of us knows what we all know together.” Even in the time of Euripides, the sharing of knowledge and the heritage it represents for future generations was of paramount importance. The same goes for Vacheron Constantin, whose founding act was an apprenticeship contract signed by Jean-Marc Vacheron on 17 September 1755. This official document, bearing the oldest mention of the Vacheron watchmaking dynasty, committed the founder of the Maison to teaching his art to a young apprentice over a five-year period. This passing on of knowledge has always been core to the activity of the Manufacture, whose 40 or so skills are largely dependent on the artistry and techniques developed by previous generations – continually rethought, adapted and enhanced over the decades.
Today as in the past, Vacheron Constantin is committed to integrating apprentices into its production process and taking good care of its artisans and watchmakers, who are made keenly aware of the intelligence guiding their forebears’ skills, ensuring they never forget what makes a Vacheron Constantin watch unique. Whether listed in the Maison’s catalogue or bearing the Les Cabinotiers emblem that signs exceptional one-off timepieces, each model is the fruit of more than two and a half centuries of knowledge and tradition, driven by creativity and innovation, in a constant effort to enrich the existing body of knowledge. For Louis Ferla, CEO of Vacheron Constantin, "the quest for excellence is a constant challenge in which we never stop learning.”
As the Maison’s CEO Louis Ferla explains: “Establishing a partnership with the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art enables us to highlight our shared vocation for transmitting knowledge and preserving the arts. Vacheron Constantin's commitment to art and culture has always been an inexhaustible source of inspiration, permeating our freedom to create and express beauty in all our watches. The Maison’s ties with the United States and New York date back more than two centuries, with many of our finest creations having been made for American collectors and clients, such as the iconic American 1921. This partnership with The Met confirms our cultural and artistic attachment to this country, as well as our concern to preserve its expertise.”
With this in mind, Vacheron Constantin has developed its "One of Not Many Mentorship Program" in collaboration with talents whose personality and work express the continual quest for excellence, the openness to the world as well as the spirit of innovation and creativity characteristic of Vacheron Constantin. This approach is exemplified by the collaboration with Abbey Road Studios enabling young musicians to benefit from the advice of experts in music production and the support of internationally renowned musician and artistic director Woodkid. Another illustration lies in cooperation with CHAN Chun Wai, principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, who teaches his art to promising young talents.
The Met is also deeply committed to mentorship and educational programs that make art accessible to everyone, regardless of background, disability, age, or experience. The Met’s Education Department currently presents over 29,000 educational events and programs throughout the year. These programs include workshops, art-making experiences, specialised tours, fellowships supporting leading scholarship and research, high school and college internships that promote career accessibility and diversity, access programmes for visitors with disabilities, K-12 educator programmes that train teachers to integrate art into core curricula across disciplines, and school tours and programmes that spark deep learning and lifelong relationships with and through art.
Max Hollein, The Met’s Marina Kellen French Director and CEO, said: “We are delighted to partner with Vacheron Constantin and are grateful for their support of The Met’s mission, which aligns with the esteemed watchmaker’s own longstanding efforts to celebrate creativity and preserve artistic traditions. We look forward to collaborating on a number of unique projects that build on our mutual commitment to education and the arts.”
Vacheron Constantin is particularly delighted to share these values with such an institution on American soil. Historically, it was in 1811 that Vacheron Constantin made its first contact with a merchant active in transatlantic trade, and who settled in New York in 1832, before gradually extending the representation of Vacheron Constantin watches to most of the country's states. In addition to supplying watches specially developed for the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1918, Vacheron Constantin also produced one of the most prestigious watches in watchmaking history for its American client James Ward Packard. These few examples suffice to illustrate the Maison’s deep attachment to the United States that has now taken on a new artistic and cultural dimension through the partnership with The Met, heralding a fruitful exchange of knowledge through joint creative projects.
The partnership will support a variety of The Met’s mission-driven activities and will include a number of collaborations, including an artist-in-residency programme and other educational initiatives; special events; and Vacheron Constantin exceptional and dedicated timepieces inspired by artworks from The Met collection.
Vacheron Constantin announces a new partnership with New York's prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art. This alliance is based on common values of safeguarding and passing on knowledge dedicated to creativity and innovation. Like Vacheron Constantin, The Met is also involved in a number of educational programmes, reflecting both partners’ desire to encourage and support individuals in their projects by surrounding them with experienced mentors. This emphasis on artistic and cultural heritage is intended to encourage the sharing of knowledge in the pursuit of excellence. With this in mind, The Met and Vacheron Constantin will be developing a series of joint projects designed to showcase their respective rich heritages and their ability to keep cultural legacies alive for future generations.
About Vacheron Constantin
Founded in 1755, Vacheron Constantin is the world's oldest watch 'Manufacture' in continuous production, faithfully perpetuating a proud heritage of watchmaking excellence and stylistic sophistication through generations of master craftsmen.
At the pinnacle of high horology and understated elegance, the Maison creates timepieces with unique technical and aesthetic signatures and a high level of finishing touches.
Vacheron Constantin brings to life unparalleled heritage and a spirit of innovation through its key collections: Patrimony, Traditionnelle, Métiers d'Art, Overseas, Fiftysix and Historiques. It also offers its discerning clientele of connoisseurs the rare opportunity to acquire unique and bespoke timepieces by means of its "Les Cabinotiers "collection.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens—businessmen and financiers as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day—who wanted to create a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. Today, The Met displays tens of thousands of objects covering 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in two iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online. Since its founding, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.
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