Imagine taking a private tour of the Louvre Museum in Paris, pausing to admire some of the world’s most famous works of art — including paintings by Marc Chagall, Edgar Degas and, of course, Leonardo da Vinci — pointing to your favorite and declaring, “I’ll take that one.”
If you participate in Christie’s “Bid for the Louvre” auction, running Dec. 1 through Dec. 15, you might soon be able to do just that. The winning bidder will be invited to select a masterpiece from the Louvre to have reproduced in miniature enamel or grisaille enamel on the dial of a bespoke Les Cabinotiers wristwatch by Vacheron Constantin. The proceeds of the sale will be donated to support social and educational projects at the Louvre.
The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity doesn’t end there. Once the artwork has been selected, the successful bidder will have a private tour of the Vacheron Constantin manufacture in Geneva, where he or she will meet with designers, watchmakers, enamelers and engravers to choose additional elements for personalization, such as the case material (platinum, pink gold or white gold), engraving on the case and officer caseback, and material and colors for the strap.
The timepiece will be equipped with the in-house self-winding Calibre 2460 SC.
At the end of the tour, the client will receive his or her watch, along with two certificates of authenticity, one from Vacheron Constantin and the other from the Louvre Museum certifying the reproduction of the artwork.
The watchmaker established a cultural and artistic partnership with the museum a year ago, with the goal of creating horological projects inspired by the Louvre’s masterpieces.
“Our ongoing commitment to art and the transmission of savoir-faire, which has been expressed alongside the Louvre since the announcement of our partnership a year ago, takes on even greater significance within a global context that is troubled and challenging in more ways than one,” Vacheron Constantin CEO Louis Ferla said in a statement. “Putting up for auction a Les Cabinotiers timepiece based on a masterpiece, a one-of-a-kind model personalized in accordance with the acquirer’s wishes, symbolizes the identity of our maison and its mission to promote the sharing of culture and emotions.”