Incredibly the history of high-end watchmaker Vacheron Constantin can be traced back to over 250 years ago. In 1755 young businessman and talented craftsman Jean-Marc Vacheron established the business in Geneva, Switzerland. Surviving the French Revolution (1789-1799) the founder’s grandson Jaques-Barthélémy Vacheron took over the company in 1810. Subsequently in 1819 he combined forces with an associate called François Constantin and the company Vacheron Constantin was born.
Presently the Vacheron Constantin is owned by the giant luxury goods holding company Richemont. A few weeks ago I published an in depth article (for Luxurious Magazine) featuring the sublime Métiers d’Art Les Univers Infinis collection. These sublime watches were inspired by the drawings and paintings of the extraordinary talented Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher. They also display a wide variety of techniques including engraving, marquetry, enamelling and gem setting. The result is an astonishing collection of highly treasured and exclusive timepieces designed for the connoisseur.
On a recent business trip to Sydney, I was fortunate to have the opportunity of wearing the incredibly opulent Malte Tourbillon. My first impression of the timepiece was how beautiful and well made it looks. The watch measures 48.24mm x 38mm x 12.73mm, which in relation to other watches on the market is pretty large. I was generally impressed at how comfortably the watch sat on my wrist and didn’t encounter any friction from the lugs. Primarily this is down to the elegant tonneau case design and use of luxurious 18-karat (5N) pink gold in production. Like most watches at this price point it will only appeal to the serious collector. For that reason I suspect this watch would only be worn on very special occasions.
Compared to a lot of other expensive watches I have reviewed, the façade of the Malte Tourbillon is fairly understated. The silver coloured dial acts as a good background for the large gold numerals and indexes. I absolutely love the exposed tourbillon visible through a large aperture located at 6 o’clock. Other successful features include the slender hour/minute hands and intricate 18-karat pink gold crown. Overall I would say the composition is refined and the styling modern classic.
To power the watch Vacheron Constantin have developed a sophisticated manual winding movement measuring 27.37mm x 29.3mm x 6.10mm. The Caliber 2795 comprises 27 jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour (2.5Hz). Each of the 169 components has been meticulously decorated and assembled by hand. This accomplished mechanism is also the Hallmark of Geneva certified, which further reinforces the superior level of craftsmanship. Functionally the Malte Tourbillon features, hours, minutes and small seconds displayed on the tourbillon. The watch also has power reserve of 45 hours and is water resistant to a depth of 30 metres.
The Malte Tourbillon has a hand sewn alligator strap with matching 18-karat (5N) pink gold folding buckle. Priced for the discerning at: $217,000. (Available to purchase at: http://www.jfarrenprice.com.au).