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Celebrating their 250th Anniversary, the Manufacture Horlogere – Geneve, VACHERON CONSTANTINBARBIER-MUELLER MUSEUM teamed up with – Geneva to release the TRIBAL MASK WATCHES: Metiers d’Art Les Masques.

Their first collaborative set was four series of limited edition Tribal Mask Watches released in 2007 featuring Masks of China’s Qidan, Congo’s Mahongwe, Alaska’s Tlingit Indians and Indonesia’s Wayang Topeng.

It was then followed by the next four tribal mask watches in 2008, featuring Masks of Japan’s Buddha, Gabon’s Kwele, Mexico’s Maya and Papua New Guinea’s Low Ramu.

In June 2009, VACHERON CONSTANTIN completed the collections by releasing the third set of Metier d’Art Le Masque 2009: China, Indonesia, Mexico, and Gabon Tribal Mask Watches.


Gray & Sons came across 4 of these very rare limited edition Tribal Mask Watches lets take a look at what we have in stock!


Pendant Mask
State of Guerrero
Mezcala culture (300 – 100 BC)
Height: 12.8 cm
Inv. 505-26

Mexico Mescala’s Pendant Mask Watch - Vacheron Constantin Metier d’Art Les Masques

Mexico Mescala’s Pendant Mask Watch – Vacheron Constantin Metier d’Art Les Masques

At regular intervals
during the dance I come and strike
the heart whose pulse
races at the screams
reverberating off the walls
that protect us from the ghosts
of felines and enemies
who venture onto our land
Michel Butor

Blending the influences of several cultures in a singular style, this pendant mask conveys all the artist’s virtuosity. Its powerful and austere profile comprises both abstract and naturalistic features. The upper part of the face and the diagonal of the cheek are treated in a minimalist fashion; by contrast, the aquiline nose and down-turned mouth seem far more realistic. This mask belongs to the Mezcala culture. During the classical period, it was the custom of these people to bury their dead under the mud floors of their dwellings. In accordance with a ritual related to the ancestral worship of the dead, the tombs were full of small hard-stone sculptures of asexual human figures, heads, plaques decorated with faces, masks, and animal effigies.


2009: PRESENTATION OF THE THIRD AND FINAL SET of Metiers d’Art “Les Masques”

Facial Mask
Island of Lombok, Sasak people
Hard wood, traces of white pigments
Height: 21.5 cm
Former collection of Mathias Komor
Inv. 3320-A

Indonesia\'s Sasak Facial Mask Watch - Vacheron Constantin Metier d\'Art Les Masques

Indonesia’s Sasak Facial Mask Watch – Vacheron Constantin Metier d’Art Les Masques

I dance the duration the wait
patience the resistance
to suffering and to evil
the slowness of the days and nights
stammerings recognition
resignation but vigilance
the hasty passage of the months
and the devouring of the months
Michel Butor

With its air of bewilderment, this mask has both realistic and geometrical features and is dominated by the large eyes. It clearly represents an old man with its sunken cheeks, dark rings under the eyebrows, and especially the wrinkles that furrow its brow and the folds between the nose and mouth. These wrinkles animate the face and help give dramatic expression to the character, which seems to raise its eyebrows and half-open its mouth in amazement. The old man was a regular character in Balinese Wayang Topeng theatre. The masked actors did not speak because they had to hold their masks between their teeth with a leather thong. It was therefore left to the narrators and singers to describe the intrigue and recount the heroes’ adventures.



Zangs-‘Bag facial Mask
Tibet region, Tantric Buddhism. 16th–17th century
Partially-gilt copper, pigments
Height: 22.2 cm
Inv. 2504-168

China Zang\'s Bag Facial Mask Watch - Vacheron Constantin Metier d\'Art Les Masques

China Zang’s Bag Facial Mask Watch – Vacheron Constantin Metier d’Art Les Masques

With my ornaments I surround
the emptiness opening in your eyes
and in your mouth a third
eye appearing on the forehead
to guide you in your labours
in the labyrinth of your lives
and those of your children
who continue your adventures
Michel Butor

A mystery, even a profound sacredness, seems to emanate from this half-empty mask. And yet the highly naturalistic nose reminds us that this figure with its frozen expression has a human side. The divine is expressed by the strange mandorla, positioned like a jewel on the forehead of the mask and enclosing a painted eye. A beautifully designed frieze of gold-covered arabesques and scrolls frames the empty spaces. This type of zangs-’bag mask was worn by certain monks from the dGe-lugs-pa yellow hat sect. The masks were used in dances linked to the cult of Kâlacakra (the Wheel of Time).


Ngontang Mask
Western Gabon, Fang people
Soft wood covered with white kaolin, specks of crystallisation
Height: 31 cm
Inv. 1019-76

Gabon Fang’s Mask Watch - Vacheron Constantin Metier d’Art Les Masques

Gabon Fang’s Mask Watch – Vacheron Constantin Metier d’Art Les Masques

The line of my nose extending
between the eyebrows on my forehead
and on the other side to
my chin across my mouth
is like an arrow fi red
by a bow towards the celestial heights
beyond the clouds
or naturally the bird
into which your soul changes
Michel Butor

The sobriety of this white mask, with its melancholic air and o-shaped mouth, shows the sculptor’s remarkable sensitivity. It is covered with white kaolin, a colour that for the Fang, as for many other African tribes, referred to the spirit of the dead. The expressive power of the face is produced by the vertical line suggesting the nose as well as the scarifications from the chin to the forehead and from which two welldefined, curved eyebrows branch out. This mask was used in a ritual dance linked to the Byeri’s cult of ancestor worship. Although its use did not have any particularly religious significance, the initiated dancer had to respect certain ritual gestures and taboos. These dances were intended to protect the village from witchcraft and evil influences.



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