The tonneau case shape has been around for a long time and it has been a part of Vacheron Constantin's repertoire since it made its first appearance in the brand's collection in 1912. Since then, the tonneau has been one of the brand's key case shapes.
In many watches, the shape of the movement has little or nothing to do with the shape of the case. Very often, a round movement is placed in a shaped case, as it is much more difficult to design, fabricate and produce a movement to fit a specific shape.
MALTE TOURBILLON REGULATOR
For the new Malte Tourbillon Regulator, however, Vacheron Constantin has chosen the tonneau shape, and flexing its horological muscles, has developed a new movement to fit the larger and balanced case. The 1790R calibre was designed specifically to fit perfectly into the new tonneau shape. 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 and the regulator display.
The regulator, 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 watchmakers used a regulator clock as a reference, which was put in a position of prominence 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 timepiece being worked on.
As always, Vacheron pays particular attention to the finishing of the watch: the 18 carat gold dial features five different kinds of finishing for optimal reading: snailed, guilloched, opaline, vertical satin-finishing and circular satin-finishing. The movement is also hand finished - it takes a craftsman eleven hours just to hand-finish the tourbillon bar. The CÔtes de GenÈve decoration, the meticulous hand-chamfering of the edges of the bridges and the engraving of its individual manufacturing number are hallmarks of the 1790R. Besides its tourbillon, this manual-winding movement features a 40-hour power reserve indicator.
There are two versions of the Malte Tourbillon Regulator available this year: 950 platinum or 18 carat pink gold.
Source: Europa Star April-May 2008 Magazine Issue