Following the footsteps of Malte Tourbillon Openworked (Ref. 30135/000P-9842) timepiece unveiled at SIHH 2014, Swiss watch manufacture Vacheron Constantin presents a new version of this model in Platinum Case featuring a diamond-set bezel. This timepiece was launched at the Watches & Wonders haute horlogerie exhibition held in Hong Kong.
Vacheron Constantin provides its very own solution to a complex equation with its Malte tourbillon openworked model, since this creation sets the stage for such a demanding complication as the tourbillon within an entirely openworked shaped calibre housed within a platinum case featuring a bezel set with baguette-cut diamonds – all entirely developed and crafted within the Manufacture, and also bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva.
At Vacheron Constantin, technical excellence has always gone hand in hand with stylistic research. The first watch created by Jean-Marc Vacheron in 1755 indeed already featured an openworked and engraved balance-cock, laying the foundations for the quest for transparency and airy lightness that would continue through the years and reach a peak between 1920 and 1990. This period witnessed an abundance of openworked calibres for pocket-watches and wristwatches, ranging from the simplest to the most complicated; and it is precisely one of the major horological complications – the tourbillon –that Vacheron Constantin has chosen this year for exploring new horizons in the demanding art of openworking.
Developing and crafting a tonneau-shaped calibre entirely in-house calls for exceptional mastery of mechanical horology. Openworking it and staging it within an ethereally light architecture while infusing it with a sense of volume and creating striking light and shadow effects represents the ultimate challenge. Such is precisely the tour de force Vacheron Constantin has accomplished with its new Calibre 2790 SQ beating at the heart of the Malte tourbillon openworked model.
The focus of impressive dedication and care, this movement has drawn upon the combined experience of the finest watchmakers and artisans of the Manufacture. The conception, modelisation and design of this calibre took these masters of their craft over 500 hours of striving to achieve the perfect balance between a fully functional tourbillon mechanism and the transparent openworked aesthetic.
Depending on the angle from which the watch is viewed, a subtle interplay of light and shadow is created within the depths of the calibre, accentuated by the three-dimensional effect of the architectural motif stemming from a new approach to hand engraving.
Geometrical shapes have always inspired the greatest builders, architects and artists, playing with light according to the position of the sun or forming a pyramid of chiaroscuro contrasts based on fundamental geometrical elements arranged in layers. Inspired by these works, Vacheron Constantin has devised an original architectural motif based on the shape of a triangle to provide a unique interpretation of hand engraving. Once again demonstrating the impressive range of their art, the artisans of the Manufacture performed truly stunning work on the surface of the parts composing Calibre 2790 SQ. In a succession of meticulous strokes of the burin that sometimes involves working to the nearest tenth of a millimetre, they have created tiny triangles composed of recurrent straight lines creating a three-dimensional effect, before hand drawing and chamfering the 246 parts of the calibre. This geometrical mosaic forms an architecture generating an astonishing volume effect through light and shadow effects further enhanced by the airy structure of the imposing tourbillon carriage.
The fascinating construction of Calibre 2790 SQ is framed by a tonneau-shaped platinum case set with 38 baguette-cut diamonds, closely following the lines of this exceptional mechanism that also powers a date display and a power-reserve indication. Made in sapphire like the case-back, the dial is rimmed by a slate-grey ring featuring elegant metallic hour-markers, while the minute circle is painted and the date, power-reserve and seconds indicators are engraved and inked. The tourbillon carriage at 6 o’clock spins over a Maltese Cross, sweeping the small seconds hand along with it. The Malte tourbillon openworked model bears the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, the highest benchmark in Fine Watchmaking testifying to the quality, craftsmanship and reliability of an exceptional timepiece crafted within the confines of Canton Geneva.
Model: MALTE TOURBILLON OPENWORKED
Hallmark of Geneva certified timepiece
Calibre 2790 SQ
Developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
27.37 x 29.3 mm (12 ’’’ ¼ x 12 ’’’ ¾ )
6.1 mm thick
Approximately 45 hours power reserve
2.5Hz (18,000 vibrations/hour)
Small seconds at 6 o’clock on tourbillon carriage
Diamond-set bezel (44 baguette-cut diamonds)
38 x 48.24 mm, 12.73 mm thick
Transparent sapphire crystal caseback
Water-resistance tested at a pressure of 3 bar (approx. 30 meters)
Internal zone: sapphire glass, engraved and inked indications
External zone: opaline slate-colored metal ring, painted minute-track and 18K gold applied hour-markers
Black Mississippiensis alligator leather, hand-stitched, saddle-finish, large square scales
Clasp: Platinum 950 triple-blade folding clasp
Diamond-set half Maltese cross-shaped (12 baguette-cut diamonds)
56 baguette-cut diamonds for a total weight of approx. 2.9 carats