It is wonderful to note that a Swiss watchmaker as revered as Patek Philippe pays an inordinate amount of attention to ladies’ watches, an often-overlooked category in serious watchmaking. Alongside a trove of revamped Nautilus iterations in rose gold and diamond-set stainless steel for women, Patek Philippe also presented, at the 2019 Baselworld fair, a delightful trio of haute joaillerie wristwatches, exemplifying the height of elegance and femininity.
Calatrava Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899/901G
For this showstopper, Patek unleashes its technical and artistic know-how to achieve the finest example of a high jewellery watch. Ultra refined and feminine, Ref. 4899 was first launched in 2017 in a soothing pink hue, replete with white gold, engraved mother-of- pearl, and precious stones. This year’s serene blue version is no less luminous, if not more.
A soft, rounded 18K white gold case of 35.8 mm provides an unassuming canvas on which to set rows upon rows of brilliant-cut diamonds. These are interjected with blue sapphires, also in brilliant cut, of different hue gradations. On the lower portion of the dial are more diamonds and sapphires, but which are now set in random fashion, often referred to as “snow-setting.” The upper part of the dial displays a hand-engraved feather motif in gentle shades of blue.
Putting its handcraftsmanship to the utmost test, the white-gold leaf- shaped hour and minute hands come finely engraved. More diamonds and blue sapphires are called upon to decorate the crown and prong buckle. In total, a final count of 702 precious stones — 348 diamonds (1.66 ct) and 354 blue sapphires (2.69 ct) — embellish the timepiece.
To achieve the glimmer quotient of the Ref. 4899/901G-001 and in line with the Patek Philippe Seal, diamonds of Top Wesselton Pure quality and impeccable cut are selected and set using the most rigorous principles of the gem-setter’s art. A matte lavender blue alligator strap provides the perfect finishing touch to complement the sapphires’ colour palette. The stunning Ref. 4899/901G is powered with an ultra-thin, self-winding Caliber 240 movement, with a power reserve of 48 hours.
Diamond Ribbon Joaillerie Ref. 4978/400G
The brilliant swirls of diamonds of varying sizes that adorn the dial of the Diamond Ribbon Joaillerie Ref. 4978/400G are to say the least, simply mesmerising. Since its introduction in 2012, the Patek Philippe “Diamond Ribbon” has won over many hearts and it is no wonder given the watch’s hypnotic charm and beauty.
Progressing from the original white or rose gold with black or white mother-of-pearl dial engraved with a spiral decoration to the Joaillerie model in rose gold with a full-diamond dial in 2016, the newest iteration sees Patek upping the ante once again for “Diamond Ribbon”.
The minimalist aesthetic conjured by white gold and diamonds with blue accents is an effortlessly winning combination. The 18K white gold case is now larger at 36.5 mm in diameter, up from 33.3 mm previously. The kinetic effect created by the diamond spirals on the dial, bezel and case are counterpointed by the blued white-gold leaf-shaped hands, twelve blued white-gold Arabic numerals and a blue, hand-stitched alligator strap with a diamond-set prong buckle.
The Patek Philippe Seal ascertains that the 770 diamonds (4.4 ct) are all of Top Wesselton quality and cut, which have been set according to the highest gem-setting standards. Housed within the glimmering exterior is the ultra-thin, self-winding Caliber 240. The sapphire crystal back affords a view of the movement’s architecture and its attention to finish, illustrated by the Geneva stripes on its bridges and 22K off-centre minirotor.
Twenty~4 Automatic Haute Joaillerie Ref. 7300/1450R
Horology enthusiasts would remember the unveiling of Patek Philippe’s Twenty~4 Automatic in October 2018. Designed to sync with the modern woman’s round-the-clock active lifestyle, the watch was offered in steel or rose gold, with a diamond-set bezel and various dial colours.
At Baselworld 2019, a jazzed-up high jewellery version in rose gold was showcased, with the dial, bezel, crown and bracelet paved with nearly 3238 diamonds (approximately 17.21 ct). The height of timeless elegance, the watch’s sophisticated random setting (also known as “serti snow”) utilises diamonds of different diameters to create a surface where the space between stones is kept to a minimum. Hence, no two Twenty~4 Automatic Haute Joaillerie wristwatches are the same. The diamond grade is once again Top Wesselton quality and cut, in accordance with the requirements of the Patek Philippe Seal.
Decorating the 18K gold dial are gold Arabic numerals and hands with luminescent coating including a sweep seconds hand. Within the 36 mm-sized case and visible through a transparent sapphire crystal back is the self-winding Caliber 324 S, a mechanical movement sporting chamfered and polished edges and the Côtes de Genève. To complement the iconic beauty of the watch is an exclusive bracelet featuring wide and graceful curved central links with a patented folding clasp offering optimised security.
This story was first seen in the September 2019 issue of L'Officiel Singapore.