In 2005 for the celebrations of its quarter millenium, Vacheron Constantin released a world premier and I’m not referring to the Tour de l’Ile with its 16 complications but rather to the Jubilé 1755 in platinum with a platinum dial.
This is to my knowledge the first time a serially produced wristwatch actually had a platinum dial. The idea was to push the boundaries of luxury even further. In high end watches dials are most often made in gold and VC went one step beyond and upgraded to platinum giving the watch’s face a sheen and a way of reflecting light very different to what we had seen before.
Jubilé 1755 in platinum (photo courtesy of Deniz Cakmur)
In 2006 Vacheron Constantin launched the Excellence Platine collection consisting of watches (in limited series) in platinum with platinum dials. The first two were the Patrimony Contemporaine manual wind and the Malte Chronograph. Here the dials were not guilloche (contrary to the Jubilé 1755) but flat with a sand blasted and grainy texture for the most appealing result, giving an extremely modern look to rather classical timepieces.
Patrimony Contamporaine manual wind
In September 2007 for the Only Watch charity auction in favour of research for Muscular Dystrophy the brand will unveil a one off Malte Tourbillon in platinum with not only a platinum dial but also…and this is truly a feat…a tourbillon carriage bridge also made in platinum.
Malte Tourbillon unique piece "Only Watch"
Platinum being a metal extremely difficult to work I can only imagine the time consuming process in making a dial but imagine actually having to create a movement component and finishing it to the nth degree!
Tourbillon carriage bridge in the process of finishing
I love the look of these watches, they are stealth but not bland or boring. They look masculine, fierce and even a bit “industrial” with their grainy dials. I’m not a big fan of the platinum hallmark (PT950) placed on the dials but it seems that I’m part of a minority here .
I can also appreciate the amount of work put into creating platinum components and this is something that for me puts Vacheron Constantin truly on another level.