Launched in 2005, the Vacheron Constantin Malte Tonneau Dual Time watch faithfully perpetuates the iconic Swiss Maison’s ever-renewed quest for symbiosis of form and function.
Representing a contemporary expression of the artistic sensitivity cultivated by Vacheron Constantin, the Malte model was born with the new millennium, reinterpreting a formal approach initiated by the brand a full century earlier.
For a century, the tonneau shape has remained a Vacheron Constantin classic that never goes out of fashion. It confirms that any object with perfectly balanced aesthetics, merging technical excellence with impeccable finishing, will find its way through time while preserving its quintessential character. The Malte watch by Vacheron Constantin is a vivid demonstration of this principle.
While the company began producing its first timepieces fitted with a wristband from 1889 onwards, it was also dedicated to exploring new stylistic fields, evolving in perfect harmony with the major artistic trends of the early 20th century.
Whether by elongating, curving inward, adorning or paring down the shape of the case in tune with its inspiration, by 1912 Vacheron Constantin had already moved away from the pure round shape as such in order to explore more daring geometrical options, starting with the so-called tonneau shape which has been constantly refined ever since.
The Malte Tonneau collection goes hand in hand with the spirit of the 21st century. Urban, refined and assertive, the Malte Tonneau blends references from the past with technical performances specific to Vacheron Constantin.
Modern in spirit and technical at heart, its overall effect is that of an aesthetically and functionally modern and truly contemporary watch. Such is the avowed vocation of the Malte Tonneau, designed to house “medium-level” complications and functions tailored to daily living.
Following on from the previously launched models – Malte Tonneau Chronograph and Malte Tonneau Day Date – the Vacheron Constantin Malte Tonneau Dual Time watch perpetuates the technical tradition dear to this line.
This creation is particularly well balanced in terms of its aesthetics and proportions, and lines up an array of entirely distinct functions on its dial, which are read off on complementary displays. They are all driven by self-winding VC Calibre 1222, which beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour. In addition to the hour and minute indications, the Malte Tonneau Dual Time offers the possibility of reading off a second time zone on a combined subdial that is 12-hour graduated and equipped with a single hand displaying the hour.
This indication is complemented by a small 24-hour graduated subdial that is easily distinguished by its hand sweeping over the day/night zones. They are respectively located above and below the axis of the second time-zone subdial and thus enable the wearer to keep track of the time easily in whatever part of the world he may find himself. The second time-zone is adjusted very simply by means of the winding and time-setting crown.
Thanks to its user-friendly handling, the Malte Tonneau Dual Time is perfectly suited to the demands of modern living. Travelling and generally staying on the move are part of daily life, as is the ability to hop continents and juggle time zones in step with international relations, which make it an absolute necessity to keep track of what time it is for contacts who are often at the other end of the world.
Compared to the two models that preceded it, the Malte Tonneau Dual Time is endowed with a generously curved case featuring a slightly broader bezel opening. It provides for optimal information read-off, enhanced by the contrasts that are highlighted by the combination of a finely guilloché-worked dial with the understated finish of the function displays.
The Malte Tonneau Dual Time comes with an 18-carat yellow or white gold case. Its satin-brushed case-back is secured by screws. The dial is protected by a cambered, glareproofed sapphire crystal. This model is of course perfectly water-resistant to a depth of 30 metres.
The Malte Tonneau Dual Time is teamed with a padded alligator mississipiensis strap in black for the white gold model and in brown for the pink gold model, both complete with a gold folding clasp matching the case colour.
History of Dual and World Time Watches
The 19th century, the era of the industrial revolution, also witnessed a complete upheaval in the field of communication and travel, and particularly the advent of the railway.
The latter resulted in sweeping changes in society by facilitating mobility, and soon led to dividing the world up into time zones, which were adopted between 1884 and 1911, depending on the country. Up until then there were hundreds of different local times based on the longitude of each location.
In 1876, the Canadian Sandford Fleming suggested the first time-zone system encompassing all parts of the world by dividing the globe into 24 parts, each corresponding to 15° in longitude and to a specific time in relation to Greenwich Mean Time.
The 1884 International Meridian Conference in 1884 did not adopt his time zones, but did adhere to the concept of a universal 24-hour day starting at midnight in Greenwich, specifying that this was only a recommendation. Nonetheless, by 1929, most countries had embraced the time-zone system, in some cases with special arrangements and local times differing by incomplete hours from GMT. This system still prevails today.
In parallel, this progressive standardisation motivated the watch business to modify its developments accordingly, leading to the appearance of the first 24-hour dials on pocket-watches. Subsequently, various ways of reading the time in different time zones or in other geographical locations were to make their appearance.
A few rare prestige brands, in the years prior to World War II, offered timepieces graduated according to the 24 time zones comprised within the division of the Earth and enabling one to read off the time simultaneously in various cities around the globe. These pocket-watches are universally known as “World Time” models.
In parallel with progress linked to miniaturisation, the post-war years were conducive to the emergence of wristwatches reflecting the same concept of reading off the time in 24 time zones.
From the 1960s onwards, Vacheron Constantin began introducing numerous original double or triple-movement creations enabling the display of two or three time zones, entirely in keeping with the innovative spirit consistently demonstrated by the brand in its drive to blend functional research and cutting-edge aesthetics.
Model: Vacheron Constantin Malte Tonneau Dual Time Watch, Reference 47400
Calibre V.C. 1222, mechanical self-winding
Movement thickness: 5.22 mm
Movement diameter: 26 mm (11.5 lignes)
Number of jewels: 38
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 48 hours
Hours, minutes, date, power reserve, dual time-zone, day/night indicator
Silvered dial, 12 hour-markers in 18-carat gold, “cube motif” guilloché-worked base
In 18-carat white or pink gold, tonneau shaped
Water resistance: To a depth of 30 metres
Square-scale matt hand-sewn alligator mississipiensis with 18-carat gold folding clasp.