Vacheron Constantin : A pioneering spirit that transcends generations

Malte Tourbillon – Hallmark of Geneva
Movement: mechanical hand-wound, caliber 2795, 45h power reserve Case: pink gold  Dimensions: 38×48.24mm Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds on the tourbillon carriage backcase: sapphire crystal  Water resistance: 30m Strap: brown alligator leather


Malte Petite Seconde – Poinçon de Genève left
Movement: mechanical hand-wound, Caliber 4400 AS, 65h power reserve Case: pink gold Dimensions : 36.70×47.61mm Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock Water resistance: 30m Strap: brown alligator leather


Malte Lady right
Movement : quartz Case: pink gold set with 50 round-cut diamonds Dimensions : 28.30×38.75mm Functions: hours, minutes Water resistance: 30m Strap: light brown alligator leather

In revisiting the famous tonneau shape of its Malte line, exactly 100 years after the presentation of the first tonneau model in 1912, Vacheron Constantin reminds the watchmaking world of the perpetual modernity of its creations. Classic in spirit yet contemporary in style, four new variations are enriching this iconic line featuring a silhouette imbued with classicism, elegance and technical mastery that appears to have escaped the ravages of time.
Back to 1912. The Geneva-based house was exceptionally inspired in adopting the tonneau or barrel shape for its timepieces – a first in the watch industry. This move was an immediate success and within a few years such “shaped” watches had become a genuine alternative to traditionally round models. In tribute to this pioneering spirit, Vacheron Constantin unveiled the 100-piece hand-wound limited Malte 100th Anniversary Edition. The case made in platinum, the noblest of metals, is distinguished by its finesse, featuring a delicate shape that enhances the classicism of a timeless model. The dial of this watch meeting the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva criteria is adorned with painted Roman numerals echoing vintage creations, while behind the scenes beats the steady cadence of Vacheron Constantin Calibre 4400, entirely developed and produced within the Manufacture.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the tonneau shape at Vacheron Constantin, the House simply could not ignore the most iconic of all horological complications: the tourbillon. The Malte Tourbillon model, the most imposing in the entire collection, thereby offers a new interpretation of this magnificent complication destined to compensate for the effects of earthly gravity, and once again reveals remarkable expertise and undeniable audacity in the field of complicated watches. On a pure, restrained dial, with pink gold hour-markers and Roman numerals at 6 and 12 o’clock, the tourbillon bearing the seconds hand appears perfectly integrated within the new refined lines of the Malte collection. Its 6 o’clock positioning called for a slight off-centering of the hour and minute hands which are thus placed slightly above the beating heart of the movement. Such an exceptional watch deserved an exceptional caliber. After careful reflection on mechanical principles and horological craftsmanship, the engineers and developers at Vacheron Constantin created the new Caliber 2795 for this model – a tonneau-shaped movement perfectly suited to the shape of the pink gold case. The tourbillon carriage inspired by the Maltese Cross brand emblem provides a spectacular showcase for the exceptional level of finishing of each component of the movement. The latter bears the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, of which the new certification requirements now cover the timepiece as a whole and not merely its mechanism.  Apparently simple watches are often the most complicated to make. And while the Malte collection has thus far given pride of place to horological complications, it now welcomes a model distinguished by its exceptionally understated elegance representing a particularly demanding stylistic exercise. The Malte Small Seconds model bearing the Hallmark of Geneva was born from this desire to offer a traditional timepiece exuding a simplicity matched by the refinement of its harmonious curves. This watch presented in a pink gold case embodies the simplest expression of time and is driven by Vacheron Constantin Caliber 4400 with small seconds at 6 o’clock – a movement known for the care devoted to its reliability and to its exceptional finishing. Finally, in homage to women with a penchant for shaped watches, more and more of whom are displaying a distinct taste for original timepieces, Vacheron Constantin unveils the new Malte Lady model. This pink gold timepiece with contemporary, sensual, and gracefully streamlined shapes is set with 50 round-cut diamonds, further enhancing its stunning aura of femininity, elegance and refinement.



Haute Horlogerie dedicated to excellence
The Patrimony line is the ultimate embodiment of the DNA of Vacheron Constantin, of its heritage and of skills patiently acquired over more than 250 years. Its two interpretations – Patrimony Traditionnelle and Patrimony Contemporaine – reveal two very different forms of style. Purism and rigorous design for the Patrimony Traditionnelle; purity and understatement for the Patrimony Contemporaine. These two lines are the symbol of restrained elegance according to aesthetic codes that express the passing of time with movements ranging from the simplest to the most complicated.
Classic yet contemporary, understated, measured and yet sensual, the Patrimony Contemporaine small model is a concentrated blend of elegance underscored by a border of brilliant-cut diamonds. The profile of the watch thereby highlights its slender silhouette. Time blossoms within its 36 mm-diameter case with its skilfully mastered curves. Behind this apparent sobriety lies a prestigious mechanical hand-wound movement, Manufacture Vacheron Constantin Caliber 1400 bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva. Its technical sophistication is matched by exquisite hand finishing in keeping with the most demanding standards of Haute Horlogerie. This model vividly enshrines the most majestic expression of elegance, unequivocally asserting its supreme femininity.
In an identical style imbued with understated classicism, the Patrimony line welcomes a range of models endowed with horological complications epitomizing perfection. The Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2755” is an exceptional model housing three of the finest complications in the field of Haute Horlogerie. Over three years of development were required for this model which is currently the most complex in the Brand portfolio. The Minute Repeater function combines technical refinement and a romantic touch to transform time into music; the Tourbillon which makes light of gravity and features a diaphanous mechanism providing awe-inspiring views of the beating heart of the watch; the Perpetual Calendar, the “memory of time to come” capable of following the vagaries of the Gregorian calendar with no human intervention other than a date change every 100 years. At the core of this forcefully classical aesthetic lies Caliber 2755 composed of 602 parts and clearly establishing new technical frontiers. The generously sized 44 mm-diameter case has been conceived and crafted in such a way as to provide the Minute Repeater with a remarkable quality of sound. Moreover, the presence of copper that gives the rosy tone to 18-carat pink gold also boasts excellent resonance qualities. An impressive range of assets that enable the Patrimony Traditionnelle “Calibre 2755” to earn the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva.
For over 250 years, Vacheron Constantin has also been nurtured by a philosophy dedicated to highlighting the human cultural heritage. The Artistic Crafts cultivated by the Manufacture form a living bridge between eras by perpetuating sometimes forgotten forms of craftsmanship from bygone eras. More specially, the timepieces in the dedicated Métiers d’Art collection stand at the crossroads between past, present and future, and encapsulate the human challenges that have forged and continue to foster skills from generation to generation. The “Métiers d’Art des Univers Infinis” series, offering a fresh illustration of this subtle alchemy, also stems from a will to pay tribute to creativity and to give Haute Horlogerie a new, graphic and contemporary face born of an alliance between mathematics and aesthetics.
Inspired by the periodic paving technique known as “tessellation” – and the work of Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher – the “Métiers d’Art Les Univers Infinis” collection combines several artistic crafts promoted by the Manufacture – enamelling, gemsetting, engraving and guillochage. The dials convey concepts relating to geometry, symbolism and movement, thereby suggesting a juxtaposition of infinite universes.
Finally, as ever at Vacheron Constantin, the aesthetic appeal is an extension and a reflection of an exceptional mechanism within. Inside these three timepieces beats Caliber 2460, a mechanical self-winding movement bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva. Entirely developed and crafted in-house by Vacheron Constantin, it provides extreme reliability alongside manual finishing executed in the finest traditions of Genevan Haute Horlogerie. Polished angles and hand-drawn flanks, a traditionally circular-grained mainplate, Côtes de Genève on the bridges and a guilloché gold oscillating weight adorned with the elegant basketry-work motif – all clearly visible through the sapphire crystal caseback.



Métiers d’art Les Univers Infinis – Shell watch
Movement: mechanical self-winding, Calibre 2460, 40h power reserve, Hallmark of Geneva Case: white gold Diameter: 40mm Functions: hours, minutes, central seconds Dial: engraving and champlevé enamel gemsetting and guilloché work Water resistance: 30m Caseback: sapphire crystal Strap: black alligator leather Limited edition: 20


Métiers d’art Les Univers Infinis – Dove watch
Movement : mechanical self-winding, Calibre 2460, 40h power reserve, Hallmark of Geneva Case: white gold Diameter: 40mm Functions: hours, minutes, central seconds Cadran: engraving, hand-guilloché and champlevé enamel – a dove set with 38 brilliant-cut diamonds, approx. 0.07 carats Water resistance: 30m Caseback: sapphire crystal Strap: black alligator leather Limited edition: 20


Métiers d’art Les Univers Infinis – Fish watch
Movement: mechanical self-winding, Caliber 2460, 40h power reserve, Hallmark of Geneva Case: white gold Diameter: 40mm Functions: hours, minutes, central seconds Dial: hand guilloché and cloisonné enamel Water resistance: 30m Caseback: sapphire crystal Strap: black alligator leather
Limited edition: 20

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

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