In 1912, Vacheron Constantin unveiled two new creations in the Malte collection. Featuring the tonneau — or barrel shape — the timepiece was a huge hit in that era. Carrying the hallmarks of Geneva, the new Malte Tourbillon high jewellery and the Malte high jewellery small model are both bathed in stunning, baguette-cut diamonds.
Using the invisible setting technique the diamonds are set by hand and held together with a track. With the 38 mm Malte Tourbillon high jewellery creation, a whopping 1,170 diamonds are used to cover the dial, face and bracelet. With its tonneau-shape, the mechanical hand wound movement has a two-day reserve, while the timepiece boasts a total of 46.6 carats worth of diamonds. Fanning out from the tourbillon carriage, the gems spread out radially. The dial carries the Maltese Cross within the carriage and allows us to witness the steady beat of the pieces as they work together.
The difference between the Malte Tourbillon high jewellery and the Malte high jewellery small model would perhaps be the size of its frame and the missing tourbillon carriage in the 29mm model. But the size does not stop this stunner from having 742 diamonds on its delicate frame. Instead, the dial features a similar radial pattern and a transparent sapphire crystal case back. The finishing touches are put in place before the artisans who work painstakingly for perfection; rubbing it down with stones, buffs and wooden pegs.
Before the timepiece is ready to adorn the arm of one truly lucky man or woman, finishing pastes are applied to give the piece its sophisticated and polished look. Not for the faint hearted, the timepiece is once that is sure to sparkle plenty.