Grand Lady Kalla returns in a highly original chapter : A jewellery watch to be worn in multiple ways

APRIL 12, 2024

The powerful bond between Vacheron Constantin and women has been forged throughout the Maison’s uninterrupted activity since its founding in 1755. Right from its early years – the oldest gemset piece in its private collection dates from 1812 – the Manufacture has cultivated creativity imbued with elegance matching fine craftsmanship in the realm of Haute Joaillerie. The Grand Lady Kalla now adds a dazzling new chapter to this tradition. Based on the design of the iconic Kalla introduced in 1980 – itself heir to the Kallista unveiled in 1979 – the new timepiece offers several ways of wearing it. A luminous treasure born from the virtuoso pairing and setting of more than 46 carats of exclusively emerald-cut diamonds, this model is an outstanding example of Vacheron Constantin’s creative freedom and expertise.

A tribute to history
In 1979, Vacheron Constantin made watchmaking history with the Kallista, whose opulence – starring 130 carats of diamonds – was matched only by the innovation of Raymond Morretti’s design, a geometric rivière carved out of a solid gold ingot from which the watch’s 140 grams were drawn. Issued as a single-piece edition, it was the world’s most expensive watch creation. Its descendants were no less spectacular, as exemplified by the Kalla unveiled in 1980. Also sculpted from a block of 18K yellow gold sparkling with 108 emerald-cut diamonds totalling around 30 carats, the watch became so iconic that it inspired an eponymous collection whose singular creations have earned unanimous acclaim. One notable example is the white gold Lady Kalla with a satin strap, which won the Jewellery Watch award at the first Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2001. Nine years later in 2010, to mark the 30th anniversary of the Lady Kalla, the Lady Kalla Flamme was presented, glowing with the fire of 57-facet diamonds and inaugurating the Flame cut, devised by Vacheron Constantin and duly approved by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America).
In 2024, the Grand Lady Kalla honours the name that inspired it, the Greek word kallista meaning “the most beautiful”. From the first sketch in the design studio to the final polishing operation, the new creation embodies a wealth of superlatives. The subtlety of the adjustments is matched by their virtuoso execution. The 57 facets of the emerald-cut diamonds chosen for this new piece underline their crystal-clear clarity. Slightly slimmed down to reflect contemporary tastes, the dial is distinguished by the meticulous work of the master gem-setter who has  adorned it with modernised prongs. Reduced to a minimum to provide space for the hands, they are triangular on the bracelet and case middle to highlight the stones; or pyramid-shaped to form the Maison’s iconic Maltese cross sparkling in the light. The sautoir necklace featuring onyx and diamonds, as well as Akoya pearl tassels chosen for their luster and their roundness, creates an appealing dialogue between Art Deco and the 21st century.

A jewel on the wrist. Emerald-cut diamonds, Akoya and onyx pearls
A veritable Haute Joaillerie masterpiece, the Grand Lady Kalla testifies to the determination to pass on excellence that has consistently driven the Maison. The elegance of the emerald cut, which requires a perfectly pure crystalline material, is amplified by the beauty of the pairing. No less than 131 diamonds have been meticulously selected by the Maison’s gemmologists to ensure a harmonious match in terms of colour, clarity and luminosity. The extreme precision of the setting, given the sharp angles of the emerald cut, allows the stones to express their true nature. Their broad flashes of light create a fascinating sparkle bringing special radiance to the design.
The art of the Maison’s jewellers is also expressed on the sautoir necklace, whose mobile ornament paved with 15 diamonds for over 12 carats features a superb centre stone GIA-certified over 2 carats. This transformable jewellery piece can be worn both on the necklace and on the bracelet.

One watch and one tassel sautoir, four original ways to wear them
Comprising a watch and a sautoir necklace, the Grand Lady Kalla is a playful, contemporary invitation to glide stylishly from wrist to neckline and back. The quartet of wearability options afforded by this timepiece chimes with the creativity characterising the history of Vacheron Constantin for more than two and a half centuries. This expertise is vividly illustrated by ladies’ pendant watches such as the 1924 model featuring a removable fastening system serving to transform the platinum pendant set with rubies, emeralds, onyx and diamonds into a brooch.
A century later, the Maison has quadrupled this transformability, embedding it firmly in the present era. The Grand Lady Kalla thus instates a jewellery dialogue between a watch entirely set with diamonds and a sautoir necklace combining diamonds and Akoya pearls contrasting with onyx beads. The watch can be removed from the bracelet to be replaced by the jewel element gracing the sautoir necklace. The latter can in turn accommodate the watch, reviving the elegant gestures of the early 20th century, when women glanced at the time using their fingertips, by touching their sautoir. To ensure perfect alignment with contemporary styling, the master artisans of the Manufacture have deployed their mastery in such a way that the Grand Lady Kalla can be very easily transformed in an entirely tool-free way.

From Geometry to Artistry, Vacheron Constantin annual theme
A Vacheron Constantin watch is far more than merely the sum of its parts. Starting from a sketch, a geometrical drawing and its technical extensions, a whole world of shapes, colours and textures is born. The complex structures of mechanical engineering combine with design; meticulous detail gives life to grace; artisanal intelligence sparks emotions. Based on formal, mathematical study, Vacheron Constantin timepieces are thus endowed with a touch of soulfulness and elegance representing the ultimate expression of artistic talent. The classicism of the Traditionnelle collection; the minimalism of the Patrimony watches; the allure of Égérie; and the sporty-chic spirit of Overseas, all vividly illustrate this alchemy within which artistry is inspired by geometrical shapes, expressed through Vacheron Constantin’s 2024 theme.


Questions to Sandrine Donguy, Product & Innovation Director, Vacheron Constantin

What can one say about the history of Vacheron Constantin jewellery watches? 
Over the years, Vacheron Constantin has always devoted great importance to women’s expectations by taking into consideration artistic sensibilities, aesthetic and technical trends, as well as social norms and customs. From the first women’s pocket watches at the turn of the 18th century to contemporary wristwatches, the Maison’s heritage testifies to its formidable ability to capture the spirit of its times while fulfilling feminine desires.
Vacheron Constantin has a fascinating history of jewellery watches – brimming with creativity, innovation and expertise – dating back to its founding in 1755. The Maison’s private collection includes an 1812 pocket watch featuring a bezel adorned with pearls along with a finely chased and engraved caseback. Art Nouveau represented another very creative period for the Maison, as illustrated by this 1901 pendant brooch watch embellished with diamond-set volutes and a dainty bar. The rectangular platinum and diamond model with angled corners presented in 1911 confirms Vacheron Constantin’s perpetual inventiveness.

What about the Art Deco period?
This was an era marked by an abundance of creativity to which Vacheron Constantin contributed.
In the 1920s, the Maison embraced the aesthetic codes of Art Deco, also known as the 1925 Style, since the term Art Deco was coined at a late date after the 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts held in Paris.
The hunter-type cases on enamelled chains prevalent at the turn of the century gave way to geometrical shapes and patterns. Watch silhouettes broke free from previous conventions, giving way to the pure, rigorous lines of cases that were in turn oval or rectangular, square or sculpted in asymmetrical shapes, generally set with stones in two-tone variations. This was a time of effervescent creativity, a trend strikingly illustrated by the 1923 Vacheron Constantin timepiece with its white gold case and hexagonal dial set with diamonds and sapphires. These jewelled watches are also matched by more discreet models, which met the needs of women who wanted to be able to tell the time in all circumstances, whether on a day-to-day basis or for social occasions. Vacheron Constantin continued to produce a number of pocket watches, as illustrated by its 1929 “surprise” watch in white gold set with 18 cabochon-cut rubies.

Precious stones thus became essential?
Absolutely. They were no longer used only to emphasise the curve of a bezel, or an engraved or enamelled motif; instead from that point on forming an integral part of the decoration. Cases thus became as discreet as possible to provide a backdrop for the majestically set gems that were thus able display their brilliance to the full. The Kalla line clearly belongs to this celebration of diamonds.


Grand Lady Kalla


Quartz  11.3 mm (4’’’7/8) diameter, 2.5 mm thick      
32.7 Hz  
85 components
6 jewels 

Hours, minutes 

Watch case                                                 
18K white gold
19.4 mm x 30.1 mm, 8.3 mm thick 
Fully set with 12 emerald-cut diamonds, for ~6.90 carats, claw-set
Interchangeable system

Watch dial                                                 
Fully paved with 14 emerald-cut diamonds, for ~1.54 carats, claw-set 
18K white gold hours and minutes hands

Fully paved with 105 emerald-cut diamonds for ~24.00 carats , claw-set       

Jewel element                                            
18K white gold
16.8 mm x 30.1 mm, 8.3 mm thick 
Set with 14 emerald-cut diamonds  for ~10.82 carats and one GIA-certified emerald-cut center diamond, of more than 2 carats, claw-set
Interchangeable system

White silk necklace 
112 Akoya beads 
50 onyx beads 
1 onyx  
16 brilliant-cut diamonds, for ~0.33 carat bead-set    
85 cm long 

Sautoir clasp                                              
18K white gold      
88 brilliant-cut diamonds, for ~0.67 carat, bead-set    
1 onyx

18K white gold 
51 mm long 
18 brilliant-cut diamonds for ~0.31 carat, bead-set 
87 Akoya beads 
1 onyx bead      
1 onyx 
Interchangeable system 

Total of diamonds                                      
268 diamonds for a total of ~46.65 carats (minimum guaranteed), including a GIA-certified center emerald-cut diamond of more than 2 carats

Available only in Vacheron Constantin Boutiques.