News March 2006

The platinum Malte perpetual calendar
retrograde date “Openface”
Grande Complication

A window on the motor of perfection

The Watch Quote™ - March 14th, 2006

Vacheron Constantin The platinum Malte perpetual calendar retrograde date “Openface” - Grande Complication

The art of being a connoisseur is to recognize perfection in the making. Compact in construction (just 11 ½’’’ diameter and 5.05 mm thick) Vacheron Constantin’s Platinum Malte Perpetual Calendar Retrograde Date “Openface” displays a complete range of unique time and calendar indications. This watch features an unusual “retrograde” checkerboard indicator for the date and transparent subdials indicating day of the week, month and place in the quadrennial leap-year cycle flagged by white rotating pallets. Unusually the current year is shown complete in the calendar aperture at 6 o’clock. As with all technical masterpieces, the Platinum Malte Perpetual Calendar Retrograde Date “Openface” exemplifies the unrivalled heritage, rich tradition and know-how of its maker – Vacheron Constantin. This Grande Complication will be much sought-after by discerning connoisseurs.

An openfaced watch is special because its transparent dial offers you the unique ability to see the watch functioning while at the same time enabling you to appreciate the timeless beauty of its movement. A technique long used by Vacheron Constantin it is an idea taken up by Pininfarina when designing the Ferrari F430 Spider with its famous transparent hood, giving racing connoisseurs an unrivalled view of and a chance to fully appreciate the technical prowess of its V8 engine. In the same way, the double sapphire crystal transparent dial of the Platinum Malte Perpetual Calendar Retrograde Date “Openface” offers an open window to the masterful engine at its heart. Its smooth-running superbly crafted caliber 1226 movement is befittingly offset against a plate of rose gold, while the exquisitely hand finished, chamfered parts, beating in perfectly regular time, lay proof to their incontestable heritage. Every single detail testifies to the prideful care with which Vacheron Constantin’s craftsmen uphold the centuries-old traditions of their craft, traditions that still guide their every step today.

Openface watches

The House of Vacheron Constantin has a long heritage of perfection and passion for innovative time displays, and of responding to the highly technical demands of producing such displays. The concept of “Openface” was originally conceived in 1760 by master watchmaker André-Charles Caron, who methodically exposed plates, bars and bridges to reveal what lay underneath, exerting a fascination with watch movements that has continued to the present day. The demanding expertise of the “openface” ensures that it has remained a truly exclusive art with only a handful of distinguished watch houses able to claim to have perfected the technique.
According to JC Torres, CEO Vacheron Constantin, “Platinum watches are a much-coveted celebration of the individuality of the connoisseur, bringing together in perfect partnership the rarity and lustrous qualities of platinum and the exclusivity, expertise and tradition of the House of Vacheron Constantin, added to which, the “Openface” offers its owner a window on the master-craftsmanship of our movements.”

This commitment is fully demonstrated in the Malte QPR “Openface”, offering the connoisseur precisely what he appreciates most – an opportunity to enjoy the renowned heritage of Vacheron Constantin watches as displayed in their handcrafted finish and superb workmanship.

Totally ortiginal conceptualization

Compact in construction – 11 ½’’’ diameter and 5.05 mm thick – Vacheron Constantin’s 1226 QPRD “Openface” selfwinding caliber displays a full range of unique time and calendar indications, reinforcing its totally original conceptualization.

This exceptional movement features an unusual “retrograde” indicator for the date. The outer ring date display is cut-away in a fine-checkered pattern with the date indicated by a white double-headed retrograding arrow. True to its name, the perpetual calendar automatically adjusts for months of 28, 29, 30 and 31 days – in other words marking leap years on its own. Transparent subdials indicating day of the week, month and place in the quadrennial leap-year cycle are painted in black on sapphire crystal flagged by white rotating pallets, offering a uniquely contemporary way of reading the time. The current year is displayed in a dial window at 6 o’clock. Requiring only one manual adjustment every century, the Caliber 1226 QPRD, designed and built in the company’s own workshops, is testament to the inventiveness and ingenuity of Vacheron Constantin’s watchmakers.

The Platinum heritage

Platinum is a precious metal chosen when only the best is judged sufficiently good – which is why Vacheron Constantin naturally has a long tradition of creating beautiful platinum watches and why platinum was chosen for this uniquely original piece.

The company initiated the use of platinum in 1820, and has created masterpieces in the precious metal ever since, choosing the metal to meet the unremitting demands of its most creative and complex designs. Unlike 18k gold, which is 75% pure, platinum is 95% pure and is found in very few places around the world, in fact it is 30 times more rare than gold. Platinum is the perfect choice for a lifetime of wear – its density and weight making it more durable than other metals. If a platinum piece is scratched the metal is merely displaced and none of its volume is lost, so it remains what it always was – a symbol of all things eternal.

As the discrete choice of kings, queens, tsars, maharajas and very discerning individuals – to own an object in platinum brings with it a special prestige, recognizable only to a select few – to fellow connoisseurs. Vacheron Constantin’s Platinum Malte Perpetual Calendar Retrograde Date “Openface” brings together in perfect partnership the rarity of platinum and the heritage and exclusivity of the House of Vacheron Constantin – a much-coveted celebration of the individuality of the connoisseur.

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Technical Specifications

Caliber:caliber 1226QPRD, self-winding mechanical
Movement thickness:5.05 mm
Movement diameter:11 1/2 ’’’, i.e. 26 mm (1 line = 2.255 mm)
Indications:hours, minutes, perpetual calendar with retrograde date indication, day of the week, month and leap year
Rate frequency:28,800 v.p.h.
Power reserve:38 hours
Movement jewelling:36 rubies
Case:platinum 950, 38.5 mm diameter
Water-resistant:to 30 m (100 feet)
Dial:double sapphire crystal transparent dial displaying the hand finished movement on a rose gold colored plate, the outer ring showing the dates is cut-away in a fine checkerboard pattern, the date is indicated by a double headed arrow, days of the week, months and leap year are painted in black on sapphire crystal and indicated by rotating white pallets
Strap:blue hand-stitched alligator mississipiensis leather
Clasp:18K white gold

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