The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie assembles some of the most prestigious and exclusive watchmakers on the planet. Because of its attendance that boasts names like Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, the event is bursting full with pricy timepieces. So when one particular watch rises above the crowd because of its price tag, you know it’s really expensive. This year, that honor belongs to the Vacheron Constantin Kallania.
With its price at an affordable 5 million euros (about $6.45 million), it goes beyond the watch industry’s usual definition of expensive. The high prices of watches, however, don’t often come without good reason. In the case of the Kallania, the profusion of zeros on the price tag comes from the 186 diamonds emerald-cut diamonds weighing in at a whopping 170 carats all in all. That’s 34 grams of diamond right there.
But one really cannot wonder why Vacheron Constantin bothered to create such a conspicuously luxurious watch. It is, after all, the same company that spent 6,000 hours (all clocked in by master craftsmen) in 1979 to create, nay, sculpt a watch from a single gold ingot. That same watch – the Kallista – was then set with a total of 130 carats’ worth of diamonds. The Kallania, then, is a sequel in the grand plan of a director that specializes in premium watches instead of motion pictures.
Just because it’s a veritable jewelry piece doesn’t mean that the Kallania is without its own merits with respect to horology. It’s outfitted with the 1003 Caliber, the thinnest mechanical caliber not just for Vacheron Constaintin but in the whole world so far. It’s perhaps only appropriate that such a record-breaking watch be paired with a mechanism that’s just as noteworthy as the watch itself.
Yes, the cost of the Kallania sounds more like a national debt than a price for a watch. It is, however, the kind of item that you just talk or dream about and not really buy (unless you’ve got several million dollars to spare). This is one timepiece that’s for the record books and the record books alone.