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Brief Published: 7 May 2015

ECAL x Vacheron Constantin: Luxury Craftsmanship of Time


Taking a contemporary approach to luxury artisanal crafts, leading design school ECAL and prestigious Swiss watch manufacturer Vacheron Constantin have created a collection of functional objects where the notion of time takes centre stage.

The pieces were showcased in the exhibition Arts&Crafts&Design: Time According to ECAL and Swiss Craftsmen at Milan Design Week 2015 last month – a direct dialogue between experienced craftsmakers and 12 students from the school’s Master of Advanced Studies in Design for Luxury & Craftsmanship course.

Under the leadership of Italian duo Studio Formafantasma, the conceptual approach to time looks to the cyclical passing of the seasons, represented through a diverse range of materials including paper, glass and leather. Each piece was worked in partnership with a specialist artisan – resulting in mobiles crafted with an automation maker, a leather picnic bag made with a saddler, and a vase made with a glassblower.

Serving not only to highlight the manufacturers’ excellence in craft, the collection takes an innovative approach to craft’s wider relevance in tomorrow’s luxury world, particularly when paired with upcoming design talents. The collection presents unique product stories; a refreshing update for the luxury brand. Here, time is the essence, rather than a strict framework to design within.

For more on carving out new definitions of luxury, look to our A/W 15-16 Design Direction Unearth, where we first looked to the product stories addressing the notion of value by balancing provenance and innovation. For further ideas around time, fast-forward to Restore A/W 16-17 and new forms of elemental luxury.

Look out for our Macro Trend New-Era Luxury for comprehensive definitions of the current luxury market, publishing later this week.