Geneva at the Heart of Time - The Origin of Swiss Watchmaking Culture

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Thursday, 23.04.2015 – Wednesday, 12.08.2015


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Pocket watch Yellow gold, enamel dial, gold movement with line engraving, decorated bezel, case-back adorned with an enameled miniature reproducing the painting Les Bergers d'Arcadie by Nicolas Poussin, double back cover engraved using the pounced ornement technique and depicting a pastoral scene "l'Arrivée des moissonneurs dans les marais pontins" by Léopold Robert Painted by a leading early 20th century Geneva miniaturist in enamels, Marie Goll copyright free


For the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and the People's Republic of China, and as part of the partnership signed in 2013 between Geneva and the city of Beijing, the Capital Museum China, in cooperation with the Geneva Museum of Art and History (MAH) and the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin, presents "Geneva at the Heart of Time - The Origin of Swiss Watchmaking Culture" from April 23rd to August 12th 2015.


Alongside the watchmaking and enamelling collections of the MAH, one of the most important watch and clock collections in the world, the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin was asked to complete the selection of the Geneva Museum by exhibiting the most exclusive pieces of its heritage collection. The uninterrupted activity of the Manufacture since 1755 makes it one of the major players in the history of watchmaking and the wealth and exhaustiveness of its collection round off the remarkable selection of the MAH.


In a 1,300 square meters exhibition specially designed for the occasion, 350 timepieces will be presented, as well as objects, machinery and equipment and the reconstruction of an 18th century Geneva cabinotiers workshop based on a painting by Christophe François von Ziegler kept in the Geneva Museum of Art and History. All the objects presented trace the history and the excellence of Swiss watchmaking which has earned the city of Geneva its enduring status as the world capital of Fine Watchmaking for more than three centuries.


Parallel to the exhibition of heritage pieces, several Vacheron Constantin craftsmen will perform a lively and didactic demonstration of their age-old and yet state-of-the-art techniques. Technique and expertise are inseparable from the decorative and aesthetic styles expressed by craftsmen and make the specificity of the Geneva Haute Horlogerie. Artistic crafts therefore hold a special place in  the exhibition.



Location: Capital Museum, Beijing