This year Vacheron Constantin celebrate the 100th Anniversary of their Malte Collection. When presented to the industry in 1912, the first Malte wristwatches must have been veiwed as very snazzy indeed, with their generous but slender tonneau-shaped cases.
In celebration, four new models have been released, each featuring a re-worked case which stretches its barrel-shape a little further - a subtlety which slightly extends the dial space and one which adds more middle-case drama.
Each of the new pieces is meritorious in its own way, the Malte Tourbillon provides a superb look-see through its ample dial opening, the Malte Small Seconds has a perfectly proportioned recessed seconds subdial, and the Malte Lady has a bezel be-speckled with celebratory diamonds. For this feature, we focus on the Malte 100th Anniversary Edition - unembellished, pure, simple and the piece which I believe best personifies and showcases the re-design.
Unlike the other pieces in the Malte Collection, this one replaces applied hour markers with a full set of painted Roman Numerals which elongate and diminish beautifully to replicate the case shape.
Only that which is essential remains, two faceted hands, the brand name and its symbol - a polished, applied Maltese Cross.
Inside is a reformed hand wound Calibre 4400, developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin, bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, which recently celebrated its 125th anniversary with a revised set of regulations which include the quality of not just the calibre, but also exterior components too. The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle 14 day Tourbillon had the honour of being the first piece tested to the new criteria, and was therefore the first piece to receive the first “new” Poinçon de Genève.
The Vacheron Constantin Malte 100th Anniversary Edition is encased in 950 Platinum and will be a 100 piece limited edition.
More information at the brand's Official Site.