Celadon CENTURY CLOISONNÉ "PEACOCK AND PEONIES"
Celadon CENTURY CLOISONNÉ "PEACOCK AND PEONIES"
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The Celadon Century
- The Century is the first watch by Celadon HH and is meant to be an excellent base upon which to build further complications and utilise various types of exceptional dials.
- Handcrafted and assembled by AHCI master watchmaker Lin Yong Hua in his atelier, the surpassing quality of the Century is absolutely beyond all reproach.
- Designed to be the watch that will come to define Chinese high horology.
- An elegant case inspired by classical Chinese history and culture, paired with a movement exclusive to Celadon HH that is designed, created and finished by Master Lin Yong Hua (LYH).
- The vision behind the Celadon Century is to create a proudly Chinese watch of the highest quality, of wholly original design inspired by five millennia of Chinese culture and history, which would be a platform to showcase the very best of Chinese artisan crafts like enamel art, the various porcelains, silk, and gemstone carving.
- The movement itself would form the basis for a family of innovative complications developed down the line.
- The first series of the Century will be offered with cloisonné enamel dials created by Grandmaster Xiong Songtao, third generation heir to the family of enamel artisans of the Chinese imperial court.
- A regulator complication will also be offered.
- The movement, exclusive to Celadon HH, is conceived and created from the ground up by AHCI master watchmaker Lin Yong Hua specifically for the Celadon Century.
- It is a handwound design with optional Breguet overcoil.
- The movement can be finished in either rose gold or white gold according to the client’s wishes.
- The highest possible level of hand finishing is employed throughout, with perlage, bevelled countersinks, anglage on all edges, five gold chatons, and Chinese calligraphic engraving.
- Circular Chinese Scroll Stripes again evoke the characteristic of yuanman.
- AHCI Master Watchmaker Lin Yong Hua’s LYH signature is present on both the 3/4 plate and the centre wheel.
- Naturally, even the parts that are not visible to the wearer are finished magnificently, with barrel wheels bearing a sunburst finish hidden under the mainplate and an intricately-cut centre star wheel with an extremely small LYH signature.
- A classically-shaped moon case, an elegant frame for the complicated dials it embodies.
- The case is round and alludes to the moon and perfection and fulfilment, all of which hold significance in traditional Chinese culture.
- The crown is wide and thin, and therefore both extremely comfortable to wind (especially given the manual movement) and elegantly flush with the case.
- The left side of the case echoes the shape of classical Chinese arch bridges, while the side with the crown alludes to the moon gate in Chinese architecture.
- Both of these architectural traits can be seen throughout China, but are most associated with the elegantly laidback Jiangnan area, comprising Suzhou and Hangzhou, the cultural heartland of China since the Song Dynasty a thousand years ago.
- The two polished lines on each side form an arch under the wings that is sandblasted for contrast, with the wings satin-brushed to create a long, gracefully majestic curved case side which flows down into the two wings that form the lugs.
- Specialised Shangjiang (上匠) case finishing developed by Celadon HH is applied throughout the case.
- The beautifully hand-finished case, with alternating brushing and polishing in 904L steel, are inspired by the grace and majesty of Classical Chinese architecture.
- The left side of the case evokes the shape of a Chinese arch bridge often seen in the grand scholarly poetry of the West Lake, with its sweeping arch emphasising the length and voluptuousness of the Century’s lugs.
- The polished line above the arch sweeps in an unbroken path throughout the entire length of the case, alluding to the Chinese character for “Grandeur” or 大 in seal script, and encompassing all under heaven.
- The right side of the case with the prominent crown recalls the design of the moon gates seen especially in classical Jiangnan architecture, kindling an aura of literary elegance and understated beauty reflected in the poetic majesty of Suzhou and Hangzhou.
- The crown, excellently designed in its slenderness and large diameter, is both tactile and practical while blending in seamlessly with the line of the case.
- The hands of the Century are completely handmade by Master Lin - formed by hand and polished to a magnificent shine by hand.
- Its shape, inspired by the tail feathers of a peacock, echo the roundness of yuanman and allude to the prominence of the peacock in Chinese culture as a symbol of rank and wisdom.
- Optional transition blued hands (shown on the “Peacock and Peonies” showpiece), distinctive to Celadon HH, inimitably show the artisanal nature of the heat bluing of the hands.
- For this first series of the Century, Celadon HH presents two Cloisonné enamel dial designs, “Starry Night” by Van Gogh and “Peacock and Peonies”, to display our enamel expertise in both Western and Eastern artistic styles.
- The Century Cloisonné showcases Celadon’s characteristic cloisonné enamel dials, an art form which has over 600 years of history in China. The technique of cloisonné first arrived in China from Persia in the 15th century Ming dynasty, and it was further developed and evolved independently from other enamel traditions elsewhere, flourishing with extravagant commissions by the imperial court and with many provinces forming their own distinct school of enamel technique.
- The cloisonné used in the Century originates from the Beijing tradition, also known as “Jingtai Lan”, the most prestigious in all of China given its status as the imperial capital. Our dials are handcrafted in the atelier of Grandmaster Xiong Songtao, whose family have been Imperial Enamellers to the Emperors of China for many generations. Grandmaster Xiong’s technique differs from European cloisonné by his use of thinner gold wire, which requires more skill and results in a more intricate image. He has also innovated a new technique of creating cloisonné for our dials which is actually much more complex and finer than the style used in imperial times.
- The Century Cloisonné premiers as a collection with two distinct dial designs, each reflecting Eastern and Western art, the latter which “Starry Night” represents. We laid before ourselves a challenge to employ Chinese enamelling techniques to depict a profoundly European painting, and created a masterpiece that Van Gogh himself would have been proud of.
- The entire process of creating the cloisonné enamel dials, from laying out the image on a solid silver base and deciding the individual enamel colours, to finely laying the gold wire to form the image by hand and tweezer, and finally firing around 25 times at 900 degrees in a specialised oven, involves over 45 individual steps.
- As a testament to the great skill required in creating our cloisonné dials, the gold wire used to form the cloisonné image range from 0.04 to 0.07mm in thickness, and takes an experienced artisan over 50 hours to form this intricate image by hand by carefully tweaking and laying the gold wire with a fine tweezer on the solid silver base that will become the watch dial, a canvas that is less than 30mm in diameter.
- At any step of the lengthy process, firing dozens of colours each individually in the oven, the dial can be destroyed due to chance.
- There is less than a 10% success rate with every enamel dial.
- The beauty of cloisonné enamel is that it will never change colour even after centuries.
- Also, even if they bear the same design, each enamel dial is completely unique because of the artisanal process of its creation.
- True to the artisanal and highly customisable nature of the Century, we provide a range of finishing options for the movement.
- Colour of movement plating - rose, yellow or white gold
- Scope and design of movement finishing
- Bespoke engraving on movement
- Bespoke cloisonné dial design
- Handmade Breguet Overcoil
- Handmade hands, either fully blued, white gold-plated or transition blued
- Bespoke hand-stitched strap
- 45 hours power reserve
- 18000 vph
- Case diameter 42mm
- Case height 11.5mm
- Lug to lug 47.4mm
- Lug width 22mm