From as early as 1820, Vacheron Constantin was known as one of the first horological manufactures to have employed the use of platinum in the art of watchmaking. So why is platinum so desirable, you may ask? While 18-carat gold is only 75% precious metal, pure platinum is approximately 95%. It is also approximately 30 times rarer than gold and only found in a small number of deposits around the globe. Its density and heft contributed to its superiority in terms of resistance in comparison to many other precious metals that are available. This quality alone makes platinum an extremely exclusive and appropriate material for a watch that is meant to last for a lifetime.
The watch we are very happy to be able to offer here today is a prime example of such technical pedigree - the Vacheron Constantin Malte Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Platinum Ref. 47212. The Ref. 47212 was first introduced in late 2007 as part of the Excellence Platine collection, where all platinum watches under this specific collection banner were presented as a limited edition, featured a platinum dial that discreetly bears the inscription “PT950”, and fitted with a platinum case along with matching clasps/buckles.
Following the above, the Ref. 47212 we have on here today hails from an exclusive collection limited to only 50 pieces worldwide. Each of these examples comes equipped with a 21-jewel, manually-wound Cal. 1141 QPR with a frequency of 18,000 vph. The attention to detail and quality on its platinum dial is nothing short of exceptional. It features 18-carat white gold hands and numeral batons. You will also find a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, a constant-seconds indicator at 9 o ‘clock, a center blue-steeled chronograph seconds hand, a discreet “PT950” inscription at 5 o ‘clock, an off-centered leap year indicator tactfully placed between 1 and 2 o ‘clock, and a beautifully hand engraved, platinum disk moon phase display at 6 o ‘clock. This Cal. 1141 QPR also boasts a respectable 48-hour power reserve and some fantastic chronograph pusher action.
When we talk about case sizes and overall aesthetics, not many watches do it quite like the Ref. 47212. The case band at the mid-section features a very interesting detail. From the side, you will find that the massive Maltese-styled lugs are welded onto the case itself and the joints are all hand finished in order to remove all evidence of soldering. This is actually an expensive and traditional way to produce a watch case, but looking at the end results on the Ref. 47212, I would say it is absolutely worth it. It produces a sharp but pronounced cleft and break between the case band itself and the flanks of the Maltese lugs, which in my opinion, is visually pleasing to the eyes of those who love details. The lugs are striking and voluminous, but it was designed to resemble Vacheron’s signature Maltese cross as it expands outwards and moves away from the case itself. This is a very intriguing lug design that gives the watch a lot more body.
As far as wearability goes, the Ref. 47212 is presented in a fairly sizable 42mm platinum case, but it is still surprisingly quite a wearable watch. The watch has a nicely-stepped case which makes it easier to slide the watch under a cuff. The heft is something that I personally enjoy as well due to its platinum construction. The 47212 also comes on a nice leather strap with a matching Maltese buckle made from platinum as well.
Overall, the Ref. 47212 is as good as it gets. It checks many boxes from rarity, technical specifications, and brand provenance to aesthetics.