Part of the Vacheron Constantin Métiers d'Art collection, this Mécaniques Gravées* is a time-only piece that showcases the incredible engraving skill of the master engraver. Both the dial and movement of piece feature engraving, allowing the wearer to lose themselves in the intricate complexity of the patterns.
Art of Engraving
Engraving was once an important method in printing, where images could be inked onto paper and reproduced for industrial purposes. Traditional engraving can still be found today, on materials and objects like gold, glass, guns, and watches.
Engraver Peter Cusack, who works closely with Roger W. Smith, has had a storied career in engraving, spanning at least 40 years. His background is incredibly rich and varied, as he has engraved objects and scenes featured on bank notes as well as guns. He works closely with Smith to put together the intricate scrollwork that decorates his movements, as well as on unique commissions.
With regards to the basics of engraving, Cusack explains: "The engraving that I've done since the early 70s consists of a bar of metal about 33mm square, so not much bigger than a pencil lead, and shaped at the tip to be able to cut into metal. Then you have a handle that you hold it in, to be able to push it into steel, copper, silver, or gold. Then you cut out a piece of the metal you are engraving.
There are two forms of decorative engraving. You either cut something to reflect light, which is called a bright cut, and is used much more on silver, or line engraving, which tells a story, so the lines are actually black. You're doing a different form of reflection, so that when you get the light in the right direction, you've got a story being told."