In 2005 Vacheron Constantin had created a one off steel Malte Tourbillon auctiond by Antiquorum during the "Only Watch" auction whose proceeds (euro 120,000!!) went to the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy.
This year Vacheron Constantin will again be part of the "Only Watch" adventure (the auction shall take place in Monte-Carlo on Sept 20, 2007) be creating another one off Malte Tourbillon and this time in platinum: case, dial, strap stiching and most impressively the back plate holding the tourbillon is also of platinum.
This is the first time platinum is used as a movement component. The extremely complex crafting of this plate endowed with such a superlative level of finishing represents an extraordinary feat in itself, particularly given the malleability of the metal.
In addition to the platinum carriage bridge, the case and dial are also in platinum. The dial is meticulously grained using a high-tech procedure to achieve a frosted effect that highlights the texture and the luminosity of the precious metal.
The 1790H340R31 PT movement, entirely designed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin, has been the object of exceptional finishing operations that are impossible to perform mechanically, particularly on its bars or lugs.
This work, known as “berçage” or rounding off, consists in perfectly regular filing of the tips of the arms in order to give them a cone-like or semi-cylindrical shape, while carefully marking off the centre and the heels. To complete this operation, the craftsmen smooth the part using stones, buffs, wooden pegs and finishing pastes to achieve perfectly polished rounding off.
No less than eleven hours are required to meet the stringent finishing criteria imposed by Vacheron Constantin. Calibre 1790 confirms its exceptional nature through the “Côtes de Genève” motif, the meticulous hand chamfering of the bridge edges.
here's an "in the flesh" photo of the watch courtesy of hatcho_bori
Some press photos: