Malte’s engraved tourbillon embodies Vacheron Constantin’s original and exquisite craftsmanship in manufacturing complex watches. In this watch, the tourbillon is mounted on a monolithic engraved movement, which is independently developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin, and is engraved with the famous Geneva seal. Such an excellent watch is a rare masterpiece even in the field of fine watchmaking.
At Vacheron Constantin, the development of superior technology and the exploration of style always go hand in hand. The first Vacheron Constantin watch manufactured by Jean-Marc Vacheron in 1755 was already equipped with a carved balance plate, laying the foundation for Vacheron Constantin’s pursuit of transparency and lightness for many years thereafter. This pursuit reached from 1920 to 1990. peak. During this time, Vacheron Constantin created many complicated and carved carving movements for various pocket watches and watches. This year, Vacheron Constantin chose to explore the new possibility of fine carving art on the important complex function of tourbillon.
Difficult exploration in the field of horology
To develop and manufacture the barrel-shaped movement completely independently, the manufacturer must be proficient in mechanical horology. And if you need to use the engraving process on this movement, and make it extremely lightweight, three-dimensional and show eye-catching light and shadow effects, it is even more challenging. Vacheron Constantin’s latest 2790 SQ movement, powered by the Malte tourbillon in the Maltese series, does exactly that.
This movement embodies the wisdom of Vacheron Constantin’s best watchmakers and craftsmen. It took them more than 500 hours in conception, modeling and design to make this movement a perfect combination of a fully functional tourbillon and a transparent carving process. From different angles, we can see that there are different subtle interplays of light and shadow inside the movement. The three-dimensional effect produced by the architectural style decorative patterns created by the new hand-carving process highlights this light and shadow effect.
Exploring the style around the geometric structure
Geometry always inspires great builders, architects, and artists, allowing them to flexibly use light and shadow according to the position of the sun, or use the basic geometric elements stacked to form a pyramid shape with contrasting light and dark effects. Inspired by these, Vacheron Constantin designed an original architectural style decorative pattern based on the triangle, which uniquely interpreted the hand-carved craftsmanship. Vacheron Constantin’s craftsmen completed the decoration of the surface of the 2790 SQ movement parts very well, once again showing their profound artistic accomplishments. Before hand-decorating and chamfering the 246 parts of this movement, the sculptor carved multiple small triangles composed of recurring straight lines to create a three-dimensional effect. The carvings of these small triangles are very fine, sometimes Fine to a tenth of a millimeter. This geometric mosaic pattern composes a graphic with architectural characteristics, showing a stunning three-dimensional effect through light and shadow effects, and the elegant and delicate tourbillon frame enhances this three-dimensional effect.
‘Mark of Geneva’ certified excellence watch
The outstanding 2790 SQ movement is attractively structured, with a date window and a power reserve display area, and the outer edge of the movement fits tightly in a barrel-shaped platinum case. Like the case back, the dial is made of sapphire crystal, and the gray-gray outer ring is decorated with elegant metal hour markers. The minute scale circle is drawn. The date, power reserve display area and second indication area are carved and engraved. Craft. At 6 o’clock, the tourbillon frame is decorated with a Maltese cross that rotates with the small second hand. The Malte tourbillon in Maltese series is engraved with the famous Geneva seal. The Geneva Seal is the highest standard in the field of fine watchmaking, proving the quality, craftsmanship and durability of high-quality timepieces produced in Geneva.
The art and technique of carving
Vacheron Constantin’s timepieces are not only a mechanical boutique with a time display function, but also a perfect work of art, reflecting the unique technical beauty of more than 250 years of history. As early as the founding of the brand in 1755, Vacheron Constantin’s craftsmen skillfully used arts and crafts to add the beauty of watches and clocks. Hand sculpting is one such technique. This challenging process requires the patience and skill of the craftsmen, which have been used to create extremely lightweight clocks since the brand was founded. The first Vacheron Constantin watch manufactured by Jean-Marc Vacheron in 1755 was already equipped with a carved balance wheel splint. Since then, Vacheron Constantin’s pursuit of transparency has continued to produce more and more sophisticated mechanical parts. By 1924, Vacheron Constantin manufactured the first overall engraved movement and mounted it on a pocket watch. Since the 1960s, Vacheron Constantin, as a leader in this extremely complex field, has demonstrated endless creativity, gradually using the engraving process on various complicated movements, and also skillfully engraving the engraving Carving craftsmanship and other artistic craftsmanship have shown miniature miracles of clockmaking on various pocket watches and watches.
Vacheron Constantin, a watchmaker who can apply engraving technology to complex movements such as the minute repeat, perpetual calendar and tourbillon, is not satisfied with this. Instead, it reshapes the aesthetic concept and transforms its own craftsmanship accordingly, broadening itself Art frontier. It led the sculpting process to create a sculptural effect of straight lines forming a staggered curve, making the parts of the watch also become architectural masterpieces, creating a dazzling light and shadow effect.
Carved, transparent and ethereal mechanical magic art
The primary job of a watchmaker
Although engraving itself is just a purely aesthetic process, each process of engraving is more complicated than a solid movement. First of all, the watchmaker needs to consider the movement carefully and do as much carving as possible to show the beautiful inside of the movement. In this process, the top watchmakers need to carefully consider their own life experience, not only do as much carving as possible on the material, but also ensure the normal movement of the movement, to achieve an ingenious balance between the two. Easy. It takes hundreds of hours to conceive, design, and mold the stage, and the more complex the movement, the more complex functions it has, and the longer it takes.
Crafted by craftsmen
After the watchmaker finds an ingenious balance between carving and functioning, the craftsman will take over the next steps. The work of a technologist is not only time-consuming, but also requires patience, precision, and meeting extremely demanding requirements. First, the craftsman needs to spend dozens of hours drilling and cutting all the main boards, bridges, barrels and other mechanical parts, and then the craftsmen decorate each part by hand, and some parts are chamfered and polished, shining. After being polished by hand, it presents a matte texture that sets off the brilliance. The two effects combine to form a subtle contrast beauty. Although the process itself is very demanding, the curved openings and inner angles (some of which are less than 45 °) in Vacheron Constantin sculpted watches make the process more complicated than any machine can achieve.
After chamfering and manual sanding, the engraving process will be performed. It takes about a week to carve a movement. In order to express Vacheron Constantin’s original graphic concept and make these graphics present a round and pleasing relief effect, the sculptor uses a carving knife to cut and engrav the material in detail. Each stroke is extremely precise, sometimes even as small as a tenth of a millimeter. In addition, the artisan also integrates his own emotional understanding into the parts, giving each part a unique personality.
Back to workbench
Carving will reduce the material of the movement, and the reduction of materials will inevitably lead to the deformation of the parts. Therefore, the assembly and adjustment of the movement is particularly complicated. For watchmakers, this means that they can only trim over and over again, until they can ensure that the parts work together flawlessly. In this long and tedious process, the watchmaker must not only ensure that no dust enters the carved surface, but also strictly adhere to the strict standards of the Geneva Seal. The watchmaker pays attention to every part, especially the chamfered part, to ensure that the part maintains the beauty and functions normally. In the pursuit of perfection, the casing of the movement is another serious challenge, because the permeability of the engraving requires that every detail is flawless, no matter how small the parts are. Before testing for water resistance, durability and accuracy, the movement will return to the workbench several times for perfection, until the exquisitely carved carving movement can fully display its charm magic. Just like in other fields, the perfect fusion of excellence and patience is the best for watches.
Malte Tourbillon Carved in Malta
Model 30135 / 000P-9842
Certified by the Geneva Seal
Caliber 2790 SQ
Independently developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin
Manual winding mechanical movement
27.37 x 29.30 mm (12’’’¼ x 12’’’ ¾)
Thickness 6.10 mm
45 hours power reserve
2.5 Hz (18,000 times / hour)
Small seconds on the tourbillon frame at 6 o’clock
Case 950 platinum
38.00 x 48.24 mm, thickness 12.73 mm
Transparent sapphire crystal case back
After 3 bar pressure test (about 30 meters)
Dial interior: sapphire glass, engraved and ink-printed display
Exterior: Milky white and rock gray metal ring, drawn minute scale and metal applique hour markers
Strap Hand-stitched Black Square Mississippi Crocodile Leather Strap
Buckle 950 platinum three-piece folding clasp
Polished half-Malta cross design
The above is the latest cutting-edge information of SIHH 2014 brought to you by the special editor of Watch House. Next, we will provide more and more intuitive exhibition reports, so please pay attention.
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