The Métiers d'Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Snake was the first Métiers d'Art watch commemorating the Chinese New Year. It was introduced in 2012 in honour of the Year of the Snake.
The leaf motif appearing on the dial and stemming from classic Chinese iconography, is etched directly in the metal. The pattern remains semi-embedded and stands out from its gold base by a subtle stage-setting of variously accentuated reliefs creating a depth effect. The raised leaves appear to be floating over the dial. With the snake engraving, on which crafting the scales alone represents at least 30 hours of work, the artisan provides a tangible expression of the artistic vision behind this creation.
Then comes the stage of Grand Feu enamelling, a technique invented in Geneva and which remains the exclusive preserve of a rare breed of artisans. By applying the enamel in successive layers, the enamel specialist further enhances the visual intensity of the blue or bronze-toned dial. The necessity of maintaining tight control of the colour and the reactions to the firing process that takes place in a kiln at around 800 to 900°C, calls for a specific way of reasoning that takes years to acquire. A final layer of enamel is then applied before a final firing operation that vitrifies the dial and lends a shiny glazed effect that gives added definition to the floral motif.
The snake is delicately applied to the centre of the dial, poised as if ready to spring through the sapphire crystal and thus creating a truly striking effect.
Ref. 86073/000P-9752 has a platinum case; it is also available in pink gold. Both are limited to 12 pieces.