Vacheron Constantin timepieces have been worn by the likes of Harry Truman, the Duke of Windsor and even Napoleon Bonaparte. So when the luxury watch manufacturer needed a special case built to house a one-of-a-kind watch (a "tourbillon minute repeater," buyer unknown), they couldn't exactly buy off-the-rack. Instead they turned to UK-based Method Studio, a highly specialized manufacturer of one-off furniture and cases, to create something truly unique.
Method Studio, which is comprised of the husband-and-wife, cabinetmaker-and-architect team of Callum Robinson and Marisa Giannasi, along with the input of Callum's master-cabinetmaker/woodcarver/designer/builder father David Robinson, is located on the east coast of Scotland. But they were able to source some "rare old-growth brown oak" from a woodlands in Northampton as their starting point.
The exterior of the case was beautifully hand-carved by master woodcarver David Robinson (Callum's father), before being traditionally fumed to give the timber a rich, dark patina and wrapped in soft calf leather. It is secured with thick, oak-bark-tanned bridle leather straps, hand-fitted Conway loops and a pair of British made solid brass box locks.
The interior houses a collection of specialist tools - each recessed into its own individually custom made solid oak jewellers drawer - a winder, and a resonator of sound "La Musique du Temp" enhancing the sound and the harmony notes of the Vacheron Constantin minute repeater, all encased in a combination of gold leaf de-bossed padded calf leather and superfine suede.
This extraordinary artisan piece also contains a handmade calf leather, fumed brown oak and solid brass travelling watch-pouch, hidden in a secret sliding compartment.
"This unique piece," Vacheron Constantin writes, "has been heralded as one of the finest bespoke watch cases ever made."