Unique Malte Tourbillon created for "Only Watch 2007" auction


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.

Unique Malte Tourbillon created for "Only Watch 2007"  auction

Unique Malte Tourbillon created for "Only Watch 2007"  auction

Technical Details

Reference Malte Tonneau Tourbillon Platinum 30066/001P-9293
« Pièce unique »

Reference 1790H340R31PT
Tourbillon, hand-wound mechanical movement

Carriage bridge 950 Platinum
Diameter 26.90 mm, 28.50 mm
Thickness 6.10 mm
Number of jewels 27
Frequency 18,000 vibrations / hour
Power reserve Over 40 hours

Indications Hour, minutes, seconds, power-reserve indicator
Pointer-type date calendar

Material 950 Platinum, bearing the inscription Pt 950
Diameter and thickness 36.00 mm, 48.20 mm, 11.80 mm

Shape and construction “Tonneau”, three parts
Back Fitted with a transparent, sapphire crystal, secured with screws
Finish Entirely polished case, satin finish between lugs,
Satin-finished back
Glass Sapphire glass with anti-reflective coating on one side, convex
Water-resistant Pressure of 3 Atm, equivalent to a depth of 30 m (~100 feet)

Dial and hands
Dial material 950 Platinum
Finish Frosted effect, bearing the inscription Pt 950
Nine applied hour markers in 18K white gold
Hands Hours & minutes: 18K white gold fan-shaped matte/polished finish
Seconds: white Pfinodal baton-shaped
31 days: black oxidised, fan-shaped
Power reserve: 18K white gold, baton-shaped

Bracelet and buckle Hand-stitched with platinum wire, saddle finish
Dark blue alligator mississipiensis leather, square scales
Standard buckle in 950 Platinum,
Half Maltese cross, polished, 18 mm

what a watch
05/21/2007 - 19:12

My dream is QP Chrono, it's a VC

An other watch for which I would do anything, is a Tonneau Tourbillon.

The shape and design of this watch is absolutely perfect, ab-so-lu-te-ly perfect. classic, strength, a touch of modernism.

But, here, in this particular model, why the power reserve indicator, from H to B is so "black bolded" ? There is here a very important dissymetry.

An other thing : the PT-950, well. Why not the price in the dial ? This is a lack of class.

By chance, it is does not seem to be so dramatic for this watch, but if I remember, this PT950 is also on dials of a limited serie of Patrimony.

I'm really happy to have the possibility to speak about this in the house forum, to be able to speak about this with the staff of Vacheron.


some more photos
05/22/2007 - 00:41

click on photos for larger image

Re: some more photos
05/22/2007 - 10:34

the manual work on the tourbillon is amazing.

The design of the tourbillon's cage (do we say that ?) is perfect.

Ahh. One day, I'll shoot this tourbillon.

Well, the difficulty with these kind of pieces is to find the words to express the feeling it gives ! I have no word.

But, here again, the black power reserve indicator hurt me.


I love the size of the tourbillon cage and the grainy aspect of the
05/22/2007 - 13:55

dial. Not a big fan of PT950 on the dial though...

yes, you are right
05/22/2007 - 14:08

the is a perfect harmony between each element of face of the watch. The big diameter of the cage is perfectly integrated in the watch.

I also love the indexes of different size.

Well, The cage in croix de Malte is stunning. the inside corners finished by hand are absolutely a delight of light and perfection.


Re: I love the size of the tourbillon cage and the grainy aspect of the
05/24/2007 - 15:12

I love this watch.

No matter what else is released in the market, I believe that the Malte Tourbillon is one of the most beautiful watches.

The platinum edition is gorgeous, as is the one-only ss version with black dial.

VC keeps hitting home runs...
05/23/2007 - 21:13
with their limited edition variants of the Malte Tourbillon. I will try to see it in person when the tour comes through NY. Bill