An art form that stretches back many centuries, enamelling is a laborious process. The enamellist first grinds glass of different colours into fine powder, then uses it to fill in the image on a metal surface. One technique is champleve, where the enamel is placed in cells with patterns pre-carved on the metal surface, and another is cloisonne, where fine gold wires form the patterns that will hold the enamel. The colours must be applied one layer at a time. After each layer, the enamel is fired in a high-heat oven at between 800 and 900 deg C, in a fastidious process known as Grand Feu (“high fire”). The enamellist determines exactly how long the enamel must be baked to get the right colour. The
Vacheron Constantin Metiers d’Art Florilege watch features Grand Feu enamelling on an engraved dial.