Vault V1 + CTi
Most watchmakers are obsessed by time; it kind of comes with the territory. Vault however take it to the extreme in a last grain of sand in the hourglass, staring into the oncoming abyss kind of way. Time can’t be controlled, we’re all going to die and there’s nothing we can do about it.
They showed off that nihilistic ethos with the original V1’s unique display, one that’s far easier to understand when you look at it than by trying to write it down. Look at my previous article on the subject if you want to try unravelling that. In the new V1 + CTi though, they’re focusing on protecting that unique movement with an equally unique case material, one that as far as I know, has never been used before.
The material in question is a composite of carbon and titanium – hence the CTi. Created by the amazingly-named Fatcarbon (my new name for a Big Mac), the material’s a lot more involved than just mixing the two together. It’s essentially the kind of layered carbon you can find on many a Richard Mille, except that some of those layers have been replaced with titanium powder.
The whole thing is then fired at immensely high temperatures to cook the ingredients together. The solid block of material was then machined for a solid 32 hours to create the signature 39mm x 46.7mm, industrially-inspired Vault case. Yep, it’s one involved process, but the big question is: was it worth it? Why yes, it was.
The new case is spectacular to look at with its visible alternating layers. It’s also incredibly light and resistant to damage. It ticks pretty much every box you might have in a watch case from a practical perspective, and if you like your contemporary, performance style from an aesthetic one too.
That new technical look has been complemented with a few flashes of red across the dial in both the minute hand and the dots that serve as indexes around the edge of the case. Those, in turn, have been matched with a cool ostrich strap, red on the back and black on the front with red contrast stitching. It’s in a word: awesome.
Still, the looks aren’t the only change Vault has made to the V1 + CTi either, though it’s obviously the headliner. Inside the movement has been equipped with a refined rotor system by watchmaker, Marc Jenni, making the whole thing lighter. In short, this is the V1, perfected.
Sure, Vault probably stared at those 32 hours of machining ticking away, bemoaned the months spent developing the new material and morosely awaited the first prototypes. But even they have to admit, it was time well spent.