The Malteser Cross.

An always repeated question is about the Malteser Cross, that Vacheron&Constantin patented 1880,

as a symbol for it's brand.

The Malteser Cross.

The question, why ?, has not been answered but the most probable, which I believe,

is that the idea is sprung from the so called Malteser Cross in the movement.

This is to stop breaking the barrel to be overturned and brake the mainspring.

This before the aoutomatic watches, when the barrel was fastened in the outer rim of the barrel,

nowadays on automatic watches the mainspring isn't fastened att all.

If it was it would risk breaking, now it just runn along the barrel when it's fully winded.

The barrel

The Malteser Cross.

The stop device on the underside of the barrel, the malteser cross, which from the beginning was four,

on both this illustrations it's five.

I was pressing the wrong button !! Continued...
04/28/2008 - 13:15

And from Berner, you rember the Book !

A device comprising a finger-piece b fixed to the barrel arbor and the wheel a, the Malteser cross,

which is mounted on the barrel cover. This mechanism limits the extent to which the barrel can be wound,

today it's obsolete.

But you see the arm above the a, it's the one who stops the winding, because b doesn't fit there !



Thanks Doc!
04/28/2008 - 19:05

I finally get a glimpse of this famous device...

Looking at it, I can see how it could have inspired VC to use the Malte cross as its symbol, but to be honest the Maltese cross is much nicer than the above image... VC did the right choice...

I know that since it is a cross, it can easily have other meanings attached to it (which is why VC doesn't use the full cross in all of its markets...), but IMO, looking at it from a purely aesthetic perspective, I really like the look of the symbol...

Thanks Francois,
04/28/2008 - 21:44

so much I know you by now, that you, if anyone, will enjoy "Revolution in Time",

by Landes.

Get it !


I will follow your advice and put it on my reading list! :-) (nt)
04/28/2008 - 22:17


While we are on the subject of the Malte Cross...
04/28/2008 - 22:16

Alex do you know if the engraving of the QdI dial will be re-done to only include half-crosses for the relevant regions?

I would guess so (nt)
04/29/2008 - 00:28


Hi Doc
04/29/2008 - 03:46

Does VC use a device with the same protection in mind in their modern peices?

I meant in there manual wind pieces
04/29/2008 - 03:50


04/29/2008 - 09:11

KCC must be on the list

No, nobody does it nowadays.

You'll have to find a real old pw to find it!



The Maltese cross is now used in the discs of the Grands Explorateurs
04/29/2008 - 12:09

as the allow less friction

Yes and no,
04/29/2008 - 13:10

and by many others like Urwerk.

BTW Alex, were Urwerk's creators, first by using it on the HW Opus watch ?

But that is not a Malteser cross, because the Malteser cross per definition ( Berner ),

is a stop device, and has one of the arms shaped in a way, to stop the device, which in the modern use, of the Malteser cross look-a-like, would not be so good But it's fun that it's been used in another variant, but it's actually wrong to name it Malteser cross,

but since the device has been gone so long in it's genuine form,

and the use of a new device, that looks nearly as the original,

it's still named Malteser cross.......



The Maltese cross system was not used on the Opus V but on the
04/29/2008 - 16:44

101, 102 and 103 models who have a rotating disc system to tell time

Thanks Doc! So that's how my PW prevents overwinding!
04/29/2008 - 13:31

I try to learn at least one new thing per day.  I originally never expected the Lounge to be such a resource for doing this. 

BR, Dan

My pleasure Dan :-) nt
04/29/2008 - 14:12