W&W 2014: Introducing Malte High Jewellery Small Model

Eager to make a clean break with the rounded shape of pocket watches, and driven by the avant-garde spirit inherent in an era of major progress, Vacheron Constantin became one of the first Manufactures to adopt tonneau-shaped cases in 1912. This shape became strongly emblematic right from its first appearance. Appealing to both men and women, it would be associated throughout the century with the most prestigious horological complications, notably interpreted in the Malte collection.


The Malte collection, which has thus become a watchmaking icon now exclusively composed of tonneau-shaped watches, is enriching its history with a new Haute Joaillerie creation intended for women. Its exquisitely slender curves appear entirely dedicated to celebrating femininity. The pure, refined lines – supremely classic in spirit yet imbued with a genuinely modern touch – acquire a delightfully sensual aura suffused with the scintillating sparkle of diamonds.

The Malte high jewellery small model is a vibrant tribute to the artistic crafts sublimely embodied in this creation. Its translucent cloak of 260 baguette-cut diamonds totalling around 10.40 carats, skilfully adorned with hand-crafted invisible setting, illuminates the indications of time with stunning brilliance. It also bears the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva.

Invisible setting represents a feat involving techniques currently mastered by a rare breed of artisans. Gold entirely vanishes beneath the diamonds, which are supported by a rail and form a luminous backdrop exempt from any trace of fastening and thus revealing their maximum radiance. Vacheron Constantin has chosen to take up this challenge on a shaped watch which, despite its curved profile, is distinguished by crisp edges, sharp angles and taut lines that add to the complexity of the task. Such an endeavour calls upon the members of each profession – from designer to gem-setter and from watchmaker to jeweller – to pool their talents and work in perfect harmony towards reaching their shared goal of true excellence.

The gem-cutter crafted the stones individually to within hundredth of a millimetre tolerances in order to ensure that the gem-setter could house them perfectly and in the right order within their appointed place. The precision governing this perilous execution makes this diamond edifice an impressive accomplishment representing over 100 hours of skilled craftsmanship.

This new Malte high jewellery small model features a curved 29.30 x 38.59 mm case perfectly moulding even the daintiest wrist and housing a mechanical hand-wound movement, Calibre 1400, entirely developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin and visible through a tonneau-shaped transparent back reflecting the shape of the case itself. A black satin strap accentuates the femininity of this model, extending right the way through to the pin buckle set with 12 baguette-cut diamonds.