Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

To be perfectly honest back in 2004 when I heard that the Malte Chronograph was replacing the iconic Chronographe Historique I almost choked…what??? How can it be? It was like hearing Jay Z and Beyonce were splitting up!! I was nothing short of devastated!

The Malte Chrono to me was “just” a beefed up version of the Chronographe Historique with no legitimacy and interest. It was a watch I wanted to dislike and it seemed easy from the press photos I had seen.

During SIHH 2004 I saw the watch and secretly liked it! The case was very modern, the guillochage on the dial was exquisite, the movement beautifully finished and the pushers a delight to operate. I even started eyeing the model in RG!

However I did not want to loose face and therefore did not express my likings for this watch as loud as my disliking…foolish youth.

As the chronographs started trickling into dealers the more I saw it the more I was attracted to it. Even though a bit on the large side at 41mm the watch was perfectly proportioned, very masculine and yet elegant.

Was this the ultimate high end chronograph?

The question may seem silly but I was comparing to other high end (non sports) chronographs on the market and kept coming back to the Malte Chronograph. It’s a truly lovely piece, both a true technical movement with a beautiful and non conservative design. The Malte Chronograph may not be the most technical out there but houses what many experts consider being one of the best manual wind chronograph movements (call 1141 based on Lemania CH 27).

Basically the more I saw it the more I was convinced that it was the coolest high end chronograph available.

In 2006 I had a revelation when during the Geneva salon I saw the Malte Chronograph in the Excellence Platine collection (limited to 75 pieces): a stunning platinum case with a platinum dial: a piece to die for. The platinum dial has a somewhat sand blasted finish which picks up light in a very particular manner and there and then I knew that the Malte Chronograph in platinum was definitely the most beautiful chronograph. Period. No discussion possible.

It took the gentle persuasion of two 140 kilo (each!) guards to get me to unstrap the watch from my wrist and return it Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

In a recent trip to Geneva I got to see one of the last models and got to take some photos before it was delivered to its luck owner. Hope you enjoy.

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?

Doc
10/03/2007 - 15:46
10/04/2007 - 06:16
10/04/2007 - 13:14
10/05/2007 - 09:35
10/05/2007 - 20:40
i was offered one in WG recently at my dealer................
10/03/2007 - 13:21

did not brought it home. your pics shed a different light and got me reconsidering ..... only to realise that your white metal is in platinum, the watch does look better without the guilloche dial.sigh..... :(  btw the newer production still does not possess the geneva seal, am i right?

you are correct, it does not have the Geneva seal even though it is
10/03/2007 - 13:49

finished to Geneva seal standars!! Go figure...

I think VC reserves the Geneva seal for its inhouse movements

Geneva seal
10/04/2007 - 10:23

Alex, I have seen one 1003 movement with 2 Geneva seals.  However, I discover that my 1003 movement has no Geneva seal at all (I confirm it is not fake).  I don't get it.  May I know whether VC produces different standard of 1003 movements?

Regards

Ling

the schitzophrenic use of the Geneva seal
10/04/2007 - 13:56

Hi Ling,

in the past Vacheron Constantin had a rather strange use of the Geneva seal! here's a link to a thread taken from the Recommended Threads section which may answer your question:

http://www.thehourlounge.com/index.php?module=Thread&action=view&threadid=192&id=192

Thanks Alex, it really helps and clears my doubt.
10/04/2007 - 21:40

.

But those Patek guys are saying>
10/03/2007 - 15:17

that 5070 is THE one to have  Well, I do think it's more beautiful than 5070. I even heard a Patek collector saying that he wanted to get rid of his WG Malte chrono since the balance of the 2 sub dials was terrible unlike 5070 ("VC is only for play, Patek is for the serious ones")...I was like "WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? It's the SAME mov't structure" IMHO, he just liked the 5070 better because it's got "Patek Philippe" on the dial (well, I do love PP but I gotta give an honest opinion, right?) which would protect his "investment" on the watch. After all, those are what they always talk about anyway...

Anyway, it's indeed a nice watch. I got one as well but not in Pt. Thanks for the pics Alex!

p.s. The watch has been sent back to VC Singapore for inspection. I think they will change the dial to a new one for me. Hopefully...

I was dreaming about having a 5070 until I saw this platinum Malte
10/03/2007 - 15:56

chrono on someones wrist and decided against the 5070. The deal for the Malte chrono fell through unfortunately (the seller decided he wanted to keep it ) but I still think that in terms of aesthetics alone the Malte is a much niceswatch than the 5070 which is rather bulky. I can't argue about resale price....

the 5070 is a good "investment" (I hate that word relating
10/03/2007 - 19:59

to watches) if bought at a low price and sold high...but a 5070 don't come cheap nowadays! Time will tell.

Shady Joe loves the Malte Chronograph in platinum but consideres the PT950 on the dial to be as elegant as the label worn on jacket sleeves by the more sartorially challenged folks.

Really nice pics !
10/03/2007 - 15:46

And a classic watch !

Rember that Doc was quite alone when it came,

of that opinion ?

Everyone talked about The Historiques Chronograph,

and that Malte was cupsy...

It's definitely the most impressive chronograph out there !

But I would have preferred square buttons...........

Doc

Re: Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market
10/03/2007 - 16:05

Alex, if you didn't tell us, I wouldn't never guess that you are a soo emotive guy!

Normally, any men should be happy if Beyonce was single LooooooooL

No? It's not the subjet of the topic?

So so..the Malte Chronograph...

Really fantastic watch, only could be compared with the Patek 5070, and in more, the movment is the same like said Rei!!

The only things I don't like on this watch are its specific Malte Colletions' lugs.

The dial of the VC is nicer and more clear than the PP one:numbers are not cut down and the circle index give an undeniable charm to this watch

Which to choose?

Not really a problem..I don't have the funds LoooooooL

Pictures of a PP 5070 (of a friends...not mine :'( ) to compare ^^

I have seen both.
10/03/2007 - 18:05

I won't say 5070 is ugly but I do think Malte chrono is better looking..."sexier" is the best word.

I do really think most want Patek because they'll most likely recoup their investments on Patek much better than any other brand (at the moment...but WHO KNOWS later?

Re: Re: Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market
10/05/2007 - 04:35

What about the Voutilainen Chronograph? It definitely has those sinous lines and a gorgeous dial.

Definately! The Voutilainen would be a
10/05/2007 - 10:41

serious contender

Very cool pictures! Thank you, Alex!
10/03/2007 - 20:35

I handled once a specimen in RG and loved it, though, somehow, I had an issue with the guilloche which I usually like a lot. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the big size. But PL version definitely is the coolest one. Another example of the amazing designs which VC is capable to do. Classic yet modern, a characteristics rarely seen in other brands, IMHO.

Greetings,

Jian

Re: Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market?
10/04/2007 - 03:13

I agree with Rei that the Malte IMHO is definitely the sexier of the two.  However, like Fred, I am also not really completely sold on the Malte lugs (as well as the fan/sword hands), and I also find it a tad big.  The PT version IS really something else though.

Although the PP is no doubt a good watch, aesthetically it leaves me cold (but that's just me).  I think a good portion (not all) of Patek buyers buy their PP's for the "brand image" and the bandwagon effect.  I do own a garden variety PP and I cannot deny that it gets much praise from the average horological Joe who only knows of "Patek, the King of watches" (kudos to PP's marketing team!).  Despite this, my favorite watch(es) are still my VC(s).

Anyway, if Alex's prediction in his earlier post can be relied upon, I am really looking forward to see a new chronograph with in-house movement in the Patrimony line.  I like the cleaner hands and case design of the Patrimony line but my only concern is that the new chrono will probably be as big, if not bigger than, the Patrimony day-date bi-retro.  Oh well, at least I don't have to worry much because I know I will not have the budget for it...

...unless I can find out where Alex lives and get past his security system!

Re: Malte Chronograph: the coolest chronograph currently on the market
10/04/2007 - 05:21

I agree with you Alex. This is one cool watch!

I did own one in RG and loved it. I always felt it esthetically superior to the PP 5070.

However, I was quite fond of the guilloched pattern as well, but have never seen the PT watch except in photos.

As far as the lugs are concerned... I love the Malte lugs. They are a real "modern" art-deco touch and give the case a real elegance.

I own several other VC watches with these lugs and aside from some vintage designs find them irresistible

I don't own the watch any more but have always regretted having to sell it.

As to why I sold it... Well there was this other Malte design that I was lusting after, the Chrono Perpetual

Joseph

Re: Malte Chronograph
10/04/2007 - 06:16

I am in two minds about the Malte Chrono

I absolutely love the movement but feel that the dial is a bit too busy

The fact that it is a top notch classical chrono without a Geneva seal also bothers me somewhat

However i'm warming up to it

TL

Coolest chronograph on the market?
10/04/2007 - 11:42

I don't think so.

Despite the fact that i really don't like the Malte collection, this chrono is nice.

But, on the market you can get a Datograph (and even some 1815 chrono left) and it is way better.

No need to mention the PP 5070 that i don't like either and which wouldn't be so popular if it wasn't written Patek on the dial....

The Datograph may certainly be a better watch movement wise but in
10/05/2007 - 11:08

terms of looks I prefer the Malte Chrono. But that's just me

an awesome timepiece
10/04/2007 - 13:14

and for me the coolest manual chrono on the market

I was this close to getting one in RG but then had other priorities.

I agree that PT version is really special and that is why it is so scarce. A dial finish t die for...

Malte lugs do not bother me at all, on the conterary I think they are very stylish.

PP doesn't stand a chance (not only in this category )

Best to all Malte Manual Chronograph lovers!

Radek

To make a long story short...
10/05/2007 - 01:57

The VC is my fav chronograph based on the lemania caliber but I still prefer the Datograph / 1815 chronograph due to the incredible feelings of the pushers and the jumping minute hand.

Wow stunning!
10/05/2007 - 09:35

Those are some of the best pics of the Platinum Malte chrono I've ever seen.  IMO It's definitely one the best looking chronos on the market today, along with the Datograph and the 5070. Thank you for sharing these wonderful pics Alex!

- Seize

What means "coolest"?
10/05/2007 - 20:40

By looking at these pics, and having seen yours, if we think the Malte chronograph at his whole, I can say it is an awesome watch.

But if you describe it detail by detail, I have more doubts.

I mean the following.

Lugs: tear drop lugs are the real essence of VC' spirit, and I find the Malte lugs a bit chunky

Mouvement: as Foversta said, the Datograph mouvement is the top one, taking partly the efficiency and the spirit of the famous vintage 13ZN and/or 30CH which are really the best, horologically speaking.

Dial: as discussed with JY di Martino, writing down PT 950 was not a success...; but I must say that the dial is much better and balanced than the PP 5070, where sub dials are so close that i feel it ugly!

So, if you feel the whole watch attractive, go ahead, but if you study it too closely, you can sometimes miss some nice opportunities...

This is of course only a personal view

Patrice