21 Ultimate Gifts: Time Exposure

  • Thirty baguette-cut diamonds line the bezel, framing the watch face in sparkling white fire.
<< Back to Robb Report, December 2003

    Vacheron Constantin is renowned for its skeleton watches, which feature faces that reveal the timepieces’ delicate, handmade components, and for its highly complicated watches. From the latter category, collectors are especially fond of the Malte Tourbillon. Most purchasers will wait more than two years for delivery—roughly the same length of time needed to deliver a custom megayacht. Recently, Vacheron Constantin completed a new variation on the form: the Malte Tourbillon Skeleton in Platinum with Diamonds. This unique piece, which a team of craftsmen took eight months to complete, unites the skeleton design with a tourbillon and a bezel decorated with hand-selected gems.

    A Maltese cross, the symbol of the 248-year-old company, decorates the tourbillon, a device that prevents gravity from interfering with accurate timekeeping. A date dial appears in the upper right corner, and 30 baguette-cut diamonds line the bezel, framing the watch face in sparkling white fire. The platinum case, case lugs, and buckle (which takes the shape of half a Maltese cross) are pavéed with 272 additional diamonds, raising the grand total to 5.88 carats.

     

    In addition to offering the Malte Tourbillon Skeleton, Vacheron Constantin will fly you and a guest to Geneva for a three-day stay that will include a tour of the company’s complication workshop, a facility that is not open to the public. The tour will culminate in a lunch with one of the master craftsmen who created the watch. Lunch will be followed by a small ceremony at the Vacheron Constantin boutique, where CEO Claude Proellochs will present the timepiece to you, along with the original watch design plans, signed by Proellochs and Head Watch Designer Christian Selmoni. Framed photographs of the event will arrive after you return home.

    Price: $408,000.

    Contact: Michael Christmas, 646.654.3404, mchristmas@nikecomm.com

    Return to Robb Report 21 Ultimate Gifts

    From Around the Web...
    Here is a sneak peek of five of the dozen minute repeaters that will be demonstrated on August 30…
    Within the 18-karat-gold case is a dial depicting the schooner America sailing to victory in 1851…
    2016 is a big year for the manufacture as it expands global reach and watchmaking capabilities…
    Photo by Chris Loomis
    Watchmaking all but died in the U.S. after WWII, but Geoffrey Roth is helping to bring it back…
    The watchmaker’s collection of minute repeaters is the largest shown together in the United States…
    Diamonds and mother-of-pearl find protection in stainless steel for this latest release…
    A definite dazzler, the timepiece touts 677 diamonds along with a movement by Franck Muller…
    Photo by Lisa Charles Watson, Styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
    Arnold & Son’s UTTE Skeleton watch is an elegantly thin tourbillon…
    Six timepieces with displays that are redefining timekeeping…
    Watchmaking’s long history with motorsports has been honored by several Swiss brands…