Patek Philippe places a minute repeater within its contemporary Aquanaut Luce collection, launching it within two rose-gold-cased, highly gem-set models. One version on a strap is resplendent in a rainbow of multicolored baguette-cut sapphires while a second model offers an invisible-set baguette-cut-diamond dial and a gem-rich rose gold bracelet.
While we’ve seen several complications within the Aquanaut since its debut in 1997, including the very recent Annual Calendar (Reference 5261), these debuts, each measuring 38.8mm by 42.5mm, mark the first time the watchmaker has added a minute repeater to the collection.
Patek Philippe has a history of debuting new complicated watches within its collections aimed at feminine watch fans. In 2009 the watchmaker debuted its caliber CH 29-535 PS manually wound chronograph movement in a Ladies First Chronograph model.
And for six years starting in 2011 the Reference 7000 Ladies First Minute Repeater (with the superb caliber R 27 PS) graced the watchmaker’s catalog. Even as far back as 1916, Patek Philippe debuted its first-ever chiming watch as a ladies’ five-minute repeater in a platinum case with a chain bracelet.
The new multi-colored Aquanaut Luce “Rainbow” Minute Repeater Haute Joaillerie (Reference 5260/355R-001) shows off the watchmaker’s artisanal prowess set with fifty-two multicolored baguette-cut sapphires, 112 baguette-cut diamonds and 160 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Those baguette gemstones are invisibly set, which means each stone is cut with lateral grooves embedded in tiny gold rails that will be invisible once the stone is set.
The bracelet model, Aquanaut Luce “Rainbow” Minute Repeater Haute Joaillerie Reference 5260/1455R-001, is set with 130 baguette-cut diamonds on the dial and the outer row of the bezel and 779 multicolored baguette-cut sapphires forming a rainbow on the inner row of the bezel, the flanks of the case, the minute repeater slide-piece and the rose-gold bracelet.
Aware that such intense high-carat settings can distract some wearers who deign to check the time, Patek Philippe has been careful to ensure a highly legible dial on each watch. On the bracelet model specifically, twelve multicolored baguette-cut sapphires distinctly mark the hours while the hour hand is set with three baguette rubies and the minute hand is easy to see thanks to five blue sapphires.
Inside both watches, the automatic Caliber R 27 movement chimes on demand on two classic gongs (the hour, quarters and minutes elapsed since the last quarter) when the side-piece is activated. The movement’s off-center 22-karat gold guilloche mini-rotor is visible through a sapphire crystal case back.
For each model, price is on request.
New Nautilus Models
In addition to debuting the minute repeater in two Aquanaut Luce models, Patek Philippe also debuts three new Nautilus Haute Joaillerie models.
One is cased in white gold set with 1,500 brilliant-cut diamonds with 876 brilliant-cut blue sapphires (6.58 ct, Reference 7118/1451G-001),one offers rubies (Reference 7118/1452G-001) and the third is set with emeralds (Reference 7118/1453G-001) using the “snow setting” technique.
With each, the bracelet is equally eye-catching. Diamonds on the outer links of each model contrasts with colored gems on the inner links to better highlight the original construction of the bracelet. Prices on request.
And finally, Patek Philippe completes its late-2023 gem-set extravaganza with two new Ladies’ Nautilus models in rose gold with a purple decor.
One, the Ladies’ Nautilus Reference 7010R-013 ($39,624), offers a purple lacquered dial and a matching strap in a composite material, while the second, the Ladies’ Nautilus Reference 7010/1R-013 ($56,183), offers the purple lacquered dial with a rose gold bracelet.