First developed for Van Cleef & Arpels, this technique adds a poetic touch to the muted atmosphere of the Pont des Amoureux Poetic Complications™ timepiece.
Grisaille enamel involves working with white pigments on a black background. To do so, the metal base is first covered with a layer of black enamel. The difficulty lies in obtaining a deep, smooth black layer with no impurities, which will be able to withstand multiple firings.
More finely ground than for traditional enamel, the enamel grains are blended with a natural essence developed especially for the Grisaille technique.
The white paint, known as “Blanc de Limoges”, is applied as thickly or thinly, depending on the desired effect. The thinner the layer, the grayer the white will become when the black shines through the transparent pigment. Grisaille enamel is first applied with a brush and then drawn using a needle. The metal point of the needle enables subtle contrasts and plays of light and shadow to be obtained in the final image.
Firing brings a touch of magic to this technique, revealing the final colors, which are very different to the dial’s previous appearance. Once complete, it creates a spectacular and mysterious effect of architectural relief.