SIHH 2009 novelty: Malte Tourbillon Regulator with Invisible Setting


The Malte Tourbillon Regulator with Invisible Setting

Over 2,000 hours of exceptional goldsmithing. A perfect marriage of Haute Horlogerie and Haute Joaillerie, where interior beauty complements exterior beauty.

Symbolising the cultural bridge between the arts, engineering and creative genius, Vacheron Constantin’s Haute Joaillerie Malte Tourbillon Regulator brings together the magic of watchmaking and the mystery of gem-setting.

This exceptional piece is a vibrant dedication to the Métiers d’Art, which here border on the sublime. With the invisible settings all entirely hand-crafted, it is dressed in 565 baguette diamonds (totalling approximately 19 carats), creating a supreme illumination of time.

Only a few artists today have mastered the technique for producing invisible diamond settings. The gold is completely hidden behind the precious stones: supported by a track, they form a field of light without any trace of fastening and, as a result, emit maximum luminosity. Vacheron Constantin chose to apply this technique to a shaped watch which, despite its curved profile, has edges, sharp angles and taut lines, all of which made the work much more challenging.

And to accomplish this, a whole range of craftsmen, from designer to gem-setter, from watchmaker to jeweller, worked in perfect harmony, orchestrating their respective skills and motivated by the same determination to surpass themselves.

The various criteria for comfort, movement and water resistance were scrupulously observed. Under the designer’s pencil, the Malte Tourbillon Regulator was transformed into a mosaic of diamonds, but with no loss of legibility. The cutter worked on the stones one by one, to the nearest micron, so that the jewel-setter was able to fit them perfectly into the place prepared for them. The precision required for such an exacting task meant that over 2,000 hours of goldsmithing work went into creating this wondrous composition of diamonds.

With the gold completely hidden by the gems, the watch becomes a sculpture in diamonds: lugs, bezel, case middle, dial, buckle, every single element shimmers with light, from the crown to the emblematic Maltese cross. The paved dial remains faithful to the original design dictated by the regulator display: the hours, minutes and seconds on the tourbillon cage are separated and read vertically. In this perfectly orchestrated ballet, the precious stones encircle the chapter ring, follow the minute circle and frame the tourbillon cage, all the while subtly setting off each time element on the dial.

The 1795R calibre, a perfect example of the Manufacture’s expertise

While mystery surrounds its invisible settings, the Haute Joaillerie Tourbillon Regulator has no intention of hiding the complexity of its shaped 1795R movement, which can be admired through its transparent sapphire crystal back.

Meticulously decorated and finished, this manual-winding mechanical movement, designed, developed and produced by the Vacheron Constantin Manufacture, brings together two subtle complications that are particularly appreciated by watch enthusiasts.

The tourbillon, which compensates for the negative effects of gravity, is a comprehensive and dynamic example of the expertise of the Manufacture’s master watchmakers and remains one of the most emblematic complications in the art of watchmaking. The regulator display, introduced at the end of the 19th century to regulate rail traffic, is a reminder to connoisseurs that, at that time, the best timers constantly kept an eye on the regulator clock, given pride of place in every workshop. The hours, minutes and seconds were displayed separately so that each indication of time could be read instantly, making it much easier to carry out any necessary adjustment to the piece being worked on.

Exceptional level of finishing: no fewer than eleven hours needed to hand-finish the tourbillon bar

A distinctive feature of the 1795R movement, designed and manufactured from A to Z by Vacheron Constantin, is its exceptional finishing, which, like the finishing on the bar, cannot be done mechanically.

This technically challenging work, known as berçage or rounding off, consists of filing the tips of the arms with perfect regularity to give them a conical and semi-cylindrical shape, while carefully marking off the centre and heels. To obtain a perfect polished rounding-off, the craftsmen polish the piece with stones, buffs, wooden pegs and finishing pastes. No fewer than eleven hours of work are needed to meet the stringent finishing criteria demanded by Vacheron Constantin.

The exceptional character of the 1795R calibre is underscored by its côtes de Genève decoration, meticulous hand-chamfering of the bar edges, and engraved individual serial number. As well as a tourbillon, the manual-winding movement features a 40-hour power reserve indicator.

A highly outstanding ambassador of the arts, this timepiece evokes a shimmering concept of time, one that is continuously challenged and developed by the Manufacture’s craftsmen. It is a way of remembering that time is both sovereign and infinitely precious.

SIHH 2009 novelty: Malte Tourbillon Regulator with Invisible Setting

SIHH 2009 novelty: Malte Tourbillon Regulator with Invisible Setting
Very nice ...
01/18/2009 - 12:48
... avery kind visual with the various reliefs