Vacheron Constantin looks to couture for Watches & Wonders

At Watches & Wonders 2024 show in Geneva, maker Vacheron Constantin unveiled new couture-inspired pieces that combined the precision of Swiss watchmaking with the themes of heritage and haute couture fashion

By Kim Parker

During Watches & Wonders week each year, the enormous Palexpo conference centre in Geneva is effectively transformed into the epicentre of the watch world, with makers from all over the globe exhibiting their latest and greatest creations to international press and buyers. This season, Vacheron Constantin has unveiled a bevvy of beautiful new women’s timepieces, including several inspired by the preciousness of couture, as well as the Maison’s heritage as a maker of extraordinary haute joaiellerie pieces.

Vacheron Constantin at Watches & Wonders
The new Grand Lady Kalla tranformable watch was inspired by a design from 1979 as well as the glamour of the Art Deco period

The new Grand Lady Kalla reinterprets an original design from 1979 as a gleaming new diamond-set pendant watch. With a name derived from the Greek ‘kallista’, meaning ‘the most beautiful’, the new Kalla boasts a gleaming gem-set bracelet watch and a sautoir necklace, inspired by the glamourous, geometric pieces of the 1920s Art Deco period. Its slim, rectangular case and bracelet have been set with 268 emerald-cut diamonds, weighing over 46 carats. Its sautoir features polished onyx and diamonds as well as a tassels of luminous Akoya pearls, as a testament to the Maison’s haute joaiellerie expertise. The watch itself can be worn in a number of different ways – it can be removed from the bracelet and attached to the sautoir, instantly transforming it into a jewelled necklace

Vacheron Constantin Grand Lady Kalla
The Vacheron Constantin Grand Lady Kalla as a gleaming bracelet set with emerald-cut diamonds.

Alongside this, Vacheron Constantin has joined the number of venerable watchmakers who have collaborated with a fashion designer this year. Teaming up with couturière Yiqing Ying, the maker has produced a singular concept watch called Égérgie – The Pleats of Time, plus a limited run of 100 exclusive Égérie Moonphase timepieces, bearing the designer’s name on their back.

Vacheron Constantin
The one-off Vacheron Constantin Égérgie – The Pleats of Time concept watch (left) and limited-edition Égerie Moonphase watches (right) were both developed with couture designer Yiqing Ying.

Égérgie – The Pleats of Time combines the arts of haute horlogerie and haute couture with a third art, that of haute perfumery. It boasts a diamond-set pink gold case with a lilac mother-of-pearl dial, decorated with a ‘pleated’ pattern and a unique strap woven with embroidery and pieces of mother-of-pearl as a tribute to Ying’s craft. Additionally, Ying collaborated with master perfumer Dominique Ropion to create an innovative fragrance, “that would be universal, like time itself. A mineral scent, with pastel, wintry, powdery and iridescent notes, playing with the sun and wisps of smoke,” which has been combined into the strap material and is randomly released with each movement of the wrist.

Vacheron Constantin Yiqing Ying concept watch
The unique Vacheron Constantin Égérgie – The Pleats of Tim concept watch bears detailing that nods to Ying’s couture craft, as well as an innovative movement-activated scent that is designed to evoke a feeling of timelessness.

One of Ying’s signature colours, a soft lilac, also envelops each of the 100 limited edition Égerie Moonphase timepieces, which bear interchangeable straps in shades developed by the designer herself.

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