This Diamond-Encrusted Vacheron Constantin Necklace Offers the Most Glamorous Way to Check the Time

Party like it’s 1979 with this glittering, one-of-a-kind sautoir.

Ah, 1979. That year, Sony released the Walkman, disco was in full swing and sequins and satin ruled the dance floor. Watch and jewelry designers were breaking from the shackles of convention, creating pieces worthy of the new groove. It was a time of experimentation with shapes and volumes, using geometric, asymmetrical forms and architectural nuances. Contemporary fine jewelry became an important expression of individuality and style.

In this milieu, statement necklaces were everything. And this one from Vacheron Constantin epitomizes the style Zeitgeist. The chunky geometric case and chain are both 18-karat yellow gold, sparkling with 8.85 carats of diamonds. Despite its bold design, the pendant is scaled for comfortable wear and to maintain the aura of elegance that befits a piece of fine jewelry. According to Joël Glecer, founder of the Antwerp, Belgium–based vintage jewelry seller Orologio, the necklace is unique, said to have been commissioned by a member of a royal family. In many ways, it is reminiscent of the long sautoirs popular in the early 1900s, which are enjoying a huge comeback today in new collections from such houses as Piaget, Cartier and, of course, Vacheron Constantin.

Vacheron Constantin pentdant watch
Detail of the front and caseback of the Vacheron Constantin pendant watch.

Like many sautoirs, this one is fitted with a watch, driven in this case by a hand-wound movement. “An original design like this is very rare,” says Glecer. “Especially one with a back-winder movement [the watch is set and wound from the caseback], which makes it particularly collectible.” The necklace comes with a certificate of authentication signed by Christian Selmoni, director of style and heritage for Vacheron Constantin.

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