How do you celebrate the launch of a new ladies’ watch with plenty of diamonds on the bezel? Head to Iceland and bring along an artist who is used to getting close-up with ice. Vacheron Constantin debuted the new Overseas Self-Winding Gold in Iceland with its new ambassador, Zaria Forman, an artist and explorer whose work reflects her fascination with the landscapes of Iceland, including glaciers that are disappearing into the sea. “I show the beauty of what we stand to lose in my drawings in order to inspire people,” says Forman. “When you fall in love with something, you want to protect it.”
Forman walks the walk. She has flown several times with NASA’s Operation IceBridge, which runs airborne scientific missions over Antarctica, Greenland, and the Canadian Arctic, and helps to map changes in Earth’s ice over the last decade. She was an artist-in-residence aboard the National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica and was responsible for the first permanent exhibitions of polar art on Lindblad Expedition’s National Geographic Endurance and National Geographic Resolution ships.
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Her work, on display now at the Harpa Center in Reykjavík, Iceland, focuses on elements of nature, including the intricate details of a snow-dusted glacier, the blue-tinged reflections of ice in water, and foam-crested waves. She paints them by smudging soft pastel pigments on paper, without tools, using only her fingertips or the palm of her hand.
“Time is the key element in both Vacheron Constantin’s work and my own,” says the artist. “The immense time it takes for a glacier to grow, the moment in time that I experience sunlight glistening on the side of an iceberg, the split second I capture it in a photo, the many weeks or months I spend exploring that moment in all its details to complete a drawing, the time it takes for the ice to melt. I want viewers to consider the future by looking through the prism of history that lives inside glacial remains.”
One of her works, Fellsfjara, depicting the ice at Fellsfjara, Iceland, is owned by Vacheron Constantin. “I was captivated by a phenomenon I saw there, through the ice. Chunks of recently calved, compressed glacier ice were washed up onto a black sand beach,” she says
The watch was launched this week in conjunction with the debut of Vacheron’s new “One of Not Many” campaign, starring Forman. It is not identified as a ladies’ piece, and at 35 mm wide and a comfortable 9.33 mm thick, it works for either gender, even with (or these days, especially with) the diamonds. Both the case and integrated bracelet are solid 18-karat rose gold. The matching gold-tone dial gives it a tone-on-tone look, with a satin-brushed surface finished in transparent lacquer.
The bezel is not so much set with diamonds as slathered: there are 90 round brilliants on the six-sided bezel, arranged in a way that forms a stylized Maltese cross, Vacheron’s signature motif. It comes with two extra straps, one in white calfskin leather and the other in white rubber, and it’s water-resistant to a sporty 150 meters.
The movement is the automatic caliber 1088/1, also used in Vacheron’s Egerie collection, with hours, minutes, and seconds, and it is equipped with a stop-second mechanism for precise setting. It has a 40-hour power reserve. Through the open caseback, you can see the côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges and the gold rotor engraved with a compass rose, a reference to travel and exploration. It is priced at $58,500.
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