SIHH 2008: Introducing the new Malte Tourbillon Regulateur

Here's a taste of things to come. After the all platinum model launched in 2007 in the Excellence Platine Collection (platinum case and dial), Vacheron Constantin will present at SIHH 2008 a new version of the Malte Tourbillon Regulateur in platinum and rose gold.

Notice the redesigned case of the Malte Tonneau which may well be the base for future models.

Vacheron Constantin Press release:

Vacheron Constantin Malte Tourbillon Regulator

The significance of shapes

A shaped movement in a shaped case. Such apparent logic is not necessarily the rule in the world of haute horlogerie. In choosing the Malte line to present the new Tourbillon Regulator, Vacheron Constantin is using shape to express its horological savoir-faire.

The tonneau shape, an integral part of Vacheron Constantin’s history for almost 100 years

The Malte Tourbillon Regulator is presented in a new, larger, perfectly balanced tonneau case. With its tighter lines and more assertive style, it is a spectacular reinterpretation of the Malte line. The characteristic horns, now more compact, provide the ultimate in comfort. Furthermore, the integration of the strap and case is optimised by the new satin-finished lug-covers. Water-resistant to 30 metres, the case is enhanced with a domed sapphire crystal that prolongs the lines of the bezel.

Introduced with the first wristwatches at the start of the 20th century, the tonneau shape enjoyed its golden age up until the 1940’s. The tonneau case has always been an integral part of Vacheron Constantin’s history. The brand began using this new shape for its most prestigious complicated watches in 1912 and included it in its collections throughout the 20th century.

The tonneau shape, part of Vacheron Constantin’s genetic make-up and a particularly demanding form in terms of balance and harmony, is also characteristic of the Malte line.

The 1790R calibre: a perfect example of the Manufacture’s savoir-faire

To celebrate this new tonneau case, Vacheron Constantin’s master watchmakers have designed a mechanical movement that fits perfectly into this geometric shape; this expression of art for art’s sake in horological terms is also one of the hallmarks of authentic haute horlogerie timepieces. So, at the heart of this exceptional watch beats the 1790R calibre, designed, developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin.

Embellished with meticulously-worked decorations and finishing, this manual-winding mechanical movement houses two subtle complications that are among the most prized by genuine watch lovers.

The tourbillon, which compensates for the negative effects of gravity, remains one of the most emblematic complications of the art of watchmaking and is the distillation of all the savoir-faire possessed by the Manufacture’s master watchmakers.

The regulator display – originally produced at the end of the 19th century to regulate the flow of railway traffic - will remind connoisseurs that, in the past, the best timers constantly kept an eye on the regulator clock, which had pride of place in every workshop. The hours, minutes and seconds were displayed separately on it so that each could be seen more clearly, thereby facilitating an exact adjustment of the piece being worked on.

The 18K gold dial is the visible counterpoint of the complex and meticulously-made device it houses. The regulator display, a demonstration of this exceptional timepiece’s technical nature, offers a vertical reading of the time - in hours, minutes and seconds - on the tourbillon cage. The five different kinds of finishing – snailing, guillochage, opaline, vertical satining, circular satining – ensure that each indication is extremely easy to read.

Exceptional level of finishing: eleven hours just to hand-finish the tourbillon bar

Some of the exceptional finishing operations on the 1790R movement can only be done by hand, particularly in the case of the bar.

This work is known as berçage or rounding-off. Always a technical challenge, it consists in filing the tips of the arms with perfect regularity in order to give them a conical and semi-cylindrical shape, while carefully marking off the centre and heels. To complete the operation and obtain a perfectly polished rounding-off, the craftsmen polish it with stones, buffs, wooden pegs and finishing pastes. No fewer than eleven hours are needed to meet the stringent finishing criteria required by Vacheron Constantin.

The Côtes de Genève decoration, the meticulous hand-chamfering of the edges of the bridges and the engraving of its individual manufacturing number confirm the 1790R’s exceptional character. Besides its tourbillon, this manual-winding movement features a 40-hour power reserve indicator.

Two versions available: in 950 platinum or 18K pink gold

The Malte Tourbillon Regulator is available in 950 platinum or 18K pink gold and comes on a dark-blue (for the platinum version) or brown (for the pink gold version) hand-stitched, saddle-finish alligator strap, with a matching precious metal folding clasp and polished half Maltese cross.

SIHH 2008: Introducing the new Malte Tourbillon Regulateur

SIHH 2008: Introducing the new Malte Tourbillon Regulateur

SIHH 2008: Introducing the new Malte Tourbillon Regulateur

SIHH 2008: Introducing the new Malte Tourbillon Regulateur

02/12/2008 - 09:37
...
02/12/2008 - 13:28
02/12/2008 - 13:55
Doc
02/12/2008 - 16:13
Doc
02/12/2008 - 20:31
JB
02/12/2008 - 21:13
Doc
02/12/2008 - 21:56
JB
02/12/2008 - 22:23
Doc
02/12/2008 - 23:43
JB
02/13/2008 - 03:43
02/12/2008 - 21:27
Doc
02/13/2008 - 11:59
02/12/2008 - 21:31
LN
02/12/2008 - 23:34
Re: SIHH 2008: Introducing the new Malte Tourbillon Regulateur
02/12/2008 - 09:05

Alex this watch is beautifull. Could you tell us the dimensions of the case? Is VC going to use biger cases in other watches? I noticed at another pace that you are preparing to buy something. Is this the one?

 George 

some data
02/12/2008 - 09:37

Hi George,

I think that the new case design as seen here is an indication to the future case shape of the Malte Tonneau collection, but this is just my gut feeling.

And no I'm not going to buy this watch, the main reason being I don't have the means  the second being that I'm not a fan of regulator type time displays! However, a "simple" Malte Tourbillon in the same case and dial would be a killer

Technical Data

Reference numbers 30080/000P-9357 and 30080/000R-9257 Movement 1790 R, manual-winding mechanical Tonneau shaped tourbillon regulator movement, designed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin Height of movement 6.10 mm Width of movement 26.90 mm Length of movement 28.50 mm Jewelling 27 rubies Frequency 18’000 vibrations/hour Indications Hours and minutes on regulator display Small second on tourbillon cage Power reserve Approximately 40 hours Case Platinum 950 or 18K 5N pink gold 39.90 mm x 49.90 mm Transparent sapphire crystal Water-resistance 3 Atm equivalent to a depth of 30 metres Dial 18K gold Five different kinds of finishing for optimal reading: snailed, guilloched, opaline, vertical satin-finishing and circular satin-finishing Strap Dark-blue or brown hand-stitched, saddle-finish, Square-scaled alligator leather Clasp Platinum 950 or 5N 18K pink gold folding clasp Half Maltese cross

WOW thanks Alex, I like the new case shape and the guilloche dial alot
02/12/2008 - 09:08

NT

the new Malte Tonneau case design...
02/12/2008 - 11:09

far better than the current one

classy and elegant...

if this is the direction the Malte Tonneau line is going then two thumbs up

BTW Alex, will you just throw some pieces of information at us, poor Loungers, once in a while before all the VC novelties are unveiled at SIHH??? Have mercy!  

I never thought I would say this...
02/12/2008 - 12:07

I do like - even prefer - big watches, but at 40mmx50mm, I think this watch is too big for me.

I was lucky enough to see recently at an AD one of the Malte Tonneau Tourbillon model next to its Excellence Platine counterpart, and the EP model (which is the same size as this new Regulateur) looked like a monster compared to the normal Malte Tonneau.

I think that the size of the Malte Tonneau Tourbillon was perfect. I also prefer by a long mile the dial of the of the MTT compared to this new MTR (the dial composition is nicer, and I really like the way the dial has been finished).

I would be sad if all the Malte collection was to be produced in this size, because then I don't think it would be for me... Alex, do you know if/when the current MTT will be phased out?

Apart from size, though, the MTR is still a beautiful watch. IMO it's just no match for the MTT (which is my 2nd favorite VC watch, and would be next on my list after the 47212).

Thanks Alex for the sneak preview! 

I'm not sure the Malte Tonneau Tourbillon will be phased out but
02/12/2008 - 12:28

rather bpothe the regulateur and non regulateur versions shall co exist....at least I hope so!

thanks - hopefully you're right! (nt)
02/12/2008 - 12:52

.

The big case size results from the large movement (nt)
02/13/2008 - 20:47

e

...
02/12/2008 - 13:28

I am allured by the concept, Malte Tourbillon Régulateur sounds very nice :) ...but the dial is to charged, between the tourbillon, the power reserve indicator and the dial for minutes and the dial for the hours...

It gives me a headache, but it's so beautiful!

Congrats to VC for this nice REAL novelty!! ... that changes form  pseudo new novelties for SIHH we can see on diffrent press release

Nice watch, but
02/12/2008 - 13:55

I prefer the Malte Tonneau Tourbillon, even if I still think the dial is not balanced enough

I like the tonneau shape,
02/12/2008 - 16:13

but in my eyes the lugs are too small to balance the dial.

I think the "old" Malte lugs were more elegant

You know what I like holes in the dials ....,

but I always had a weakness for Regulateurs

Doc

Re: SIHH 2008: Introducing the new Malte Tourbillon Regulateur
02/12/2008 - 16:23

Nice looking watch but 40 x 50 mm is much to large for me. Also not a big fan of the regulator dials.

John

Re: SIHH 2008: Introducing the new Malte Tourbillon Regulateur
02/12/2008 - 17:54

I love the tourbillon/malte combination and as some of you know I love it enough to have bought one.

But I've never been a fan of the "regulator" dial. It's fine on a clock but I find it unappealing on a watch (personal taste, of course)

However, I whole-heartedly agree with Doc on the new Malte case. The lugs were beautiful, elegant with a subtle flare evoking the Art-Deco period. They weere well-proportioned and worked with both the round and tonneau shapes.

The present design with a larger case has completely lost that beauty. I guess they had to cut something when they enlarged the case size. With the lugs unchanged, the watch would have been very large indeed.

Perhaps VC is appealing to a younger, different crowd with a lot of money to spare. There's nothing wrong with that and it widens VC's base, but I find the design apart fron the tourbillon itself not to my taste.

Best to All,

Joseph

Perhaps the lugs are right!
02/12/2008 - 20:31

Looking again and again at the watch,

I see that I probably were wrong in my first post!

I reminds me of a special Tonneau from 1936, Alex

Do you have any pics ?

Doc

Re: Perhaps the lugs are right!
02/12/2008 - 21:13

In that case, I disagree with Doc, from one Doc to another, I definitely haven't changed my mind.

Joseph

You were right, Joseph :-)
02/12/2008 - 21:56

When I saw it first time, probaly because I'm used to Malte,

I thought the lugs were to tiny.

I think if there is anything, except the hole,

that could be a bit strange, is the big size,

but as we know it's the current trend

doc to doc

Re: You were right, Joseph :-)
02/12/2008 - 22:23

I will try to find a photo of a VC watch that I came across; I believe it was in "The World of VC".

It was from the 1930's (I think).

It really shows a wonderful case design concept that would be worth emulating today (IMVHO)

Joseph

You mean like this ?
02/12/2008 - 23:43

With thanks to IanS

Doc

Re: You mean like this ?
02/13/2008 - 03:43

Here's what I was getting at with mf previous post.

There are a few other similar watches from the 1920's with stepped bezels but I found this one to be the most appealing.

Now don't misunderstand me! I'm not suggesting that one remake this design as it is.

It would be an excellent jumping-off point, though.

Enlarge it for modern taste, apply gentle curve to it to make it tonneau rather than rectangular. Maintain the stepped-bezel design with the slightly flared lugs. The dial of course is another matter entirely, but I'm just considering the case.

I think the results would be outstanding!

regards,

Joseph

striking design! (nt)
02/13/2008 - 11:14

e

Here is another with stepped bezel,
02/13/2008 - 12:06

which is typical art deco, but no lugs !

I really love this little simple and clean design

Doc

this one monsieur?
02/12/2008 - 21:27

No, my dear Alex, ours :-) (nt)
02/12/2008 - 21:51

nt

aha this beautiful tonneau....
02/13/2008 - 10:58

Yeesss !!
02/13/2008 - 11:59

What a beautiful watch it is !

And what a fantastic shot you got there

Doc

Well, i don't like it
02/12/2008 - 21:31

I've never liked the Malte tourbillon and this one is in the same vein.

Where are the lugs???????

Not a Regulator's fan
02/12/2008 - 23:34

.

Thanks Alex...How do the new lugs measure up to your lug fetish??
02/14/2008 - 15:39

Although I will probably be never be able to own one, the new direction being taken for the tonneau casing is a point of concern.  The listed case dimensions suggest a bigger watch and the shorter lugs may have been adopted to compensate (to keep total length down). 

I liked the current Malte Tourbillion but I will reserve judgment on the new design till I get to see one in the metal.

Cheers

kazumi

I prefer this case design to the previous Malte Tonneau models of
02/14/2008 - 16:39

course this is a really big watch, to have a regulator display the same size as the regular Malte Tonneau Tourbillon VC  had to shrink the size of the tourbillon cage which they decided against and therefore made a bigger movement thus a bigger case. I'm curious to see what the other models would look like.

The new Malte collection is stunning (nt).
02/14/2008 - 19:36

:)

Congratulations on the first of many SIHH 08 posts!!
02/14/2008 - 22:56

Alex, as usual, I'm really looking forward to all the new SIHH posts!!

On this particular model though, the size makes it very impractical for me. At 50mm, it makes it way too big for me.

I liek the way the dial is laid out. I can imagien for example that without the power reserve the dial would be very unbalanced.

It probably needs a 50mm case for the regulateur dials as I can imagien they would need more space just to be readable.

The lugs are probably the right size and shape for the watch. I think the lugs are nonetheless un-noticeable (should be larger compared to the case for better balance, but the case is so big that with larger lugs it would be truely aweful). The shape of the lugs seem good for confortable wear fo a watch that is thought of as too big anyway: the way they curve down makes the strap go down rather than out.

All in all, not a watch for me unfortunately as it looks more like a "look at my watch?" kind of watch. For what it is though, I think it is very well designed and looks pretty cool.