The timepieces which the Genevan manufacture has accustomed us to seeing over recent years, each a demonstration of its matchless expertise, might almost have overshadowed another important fact: Vacheron Constantin also excels in the creation of exceptional Fine Jewellery watches. A fact which the 250-year-old firm and its CEO Juan-Carlos Torres bring to our attention with what is quite simply an extraordinary piece, and which can also lay claim to the title of the most expensive watch at the SIHH 2009. The Kallania comes with a price tag of a mere… five million euros! And it is worth every penny. With no fewer than 186 emerald-cut diamonds, this timepiece is as impressive for its 170 carats as for the perfection with which each stone is set.
“Since 1755, Vacheron Constantin has striven to create that which has never before been created, to master the most demanding techniques, and to combine art and craftsmanship in the most beautiful ways. The Kallania watch is a masterful demonstration of this,” Juan-Carlos Torres explains. The brand already rose to the fore in 1979, when it sculpted a watch from a gold ingot which it then set with diamonds for a total of 130 carats. Master craftsmen spent more than 6,000 hours perfecting this masterpiece. “The Kallania is the worthy heir to this legendary watch. We have gone further still in our quest for perfection.”
A block of gold
And perfection this is! Fitted with the world’s thinnest mechanical movement, a Vacheron Constantin proprietary movement, Kallania’s case was sculpted from a block of white gold. A cascade of 186 diamonds covers it, so to speak, from head to toe for a truly contemporary allure. Each diamond is mounted in a bead setting, with each bead fashioned into an inverted pyramid. This style of setting creates a vaporous effect while revealing the full brilliance of each stone.
Every one of the 186 diamonds was painstakingly selected and certified by the Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF). “Each of the stones chosen for this model corresponds to an exceptional degree of clarity, colour and cut. To achieve such homogeneity in the stones, and such a perfect finish, constitutes a rare exploit,” adds the company’s CEO, further highlighting the exceptional nature of this piece.
A world first
A hard act to follow then. And as if to further prove the point, the Genevan brand unveils two other spectacular Fine Jewellery watches, set with “flame-cut” diamonds. This unique cut, acknowledged by the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA), gives the stone a perfectly-proportioned flame shape that sets its 57 facets ablaze. “This is the first time in 20 years that a new diamond cut has been officially recognised,” Juan-Carlos Torres points out. Chosen to enhance the Lady Kalla Flame and Kalla Haute Couture à Secret, this new diamond shape is hand-set in each watch using a specific technique that brings out its full sparkle.
As Juan-Carlos Torres never tires of reminding us, “In these economically difficult times, creativity is the key to distinction.” Vacheron Constantin has, beyond doubt, risen to the challenge. Thanks to the Kallania, the SIHH 2009 will be remembered for the Genevan manufacture’s astounding jewellery expertise.