With the debut of its latest watch Calatrava Ref. 7200/200R in Baselworld this year, Patek Philippe has brought in a new technique of gem-setting to the luxury watch industry. “Flamme” – a French word for flame, is the trademark of the technique registered with horological industry.
Cut of a diamond ascertains how light transmits through it. The amount of light that enters a diamond and reflects off a diamond’s inner facets through the table (top surface) determines its brilliance. The highest brilliance of a diamond is possible by the symmetrically balanced shape of the round brilliant cut.
The most popular gem setting technique in diamond rings is Tiffany’s Prong style in which the claw exposes pavilion (base) of the diamond, consequently allowing more light to enter. Both, the cut and the setting aim at higher brilliance. However, the Tiffany style does not work in watches because the diamonds set in watches are surrounded by metal.
Until now, the luxury watch industry solved this problem only partially by using Top Wesselton diamonds, corresponding to the modern G color grading. Patek Philippe’s invention of Flamme technique, which addresses this problem, is an important development in the industry.
In Flamme setting, once the diamonds are set in their intended positions letting part of diamonds’ pavilion exposed, the gemsetter manually splits the gold between diamonds and secures them. This ensures that part of lower half of the diamonds remain exposed and allows more light to enter, ‘thus amplifying the inherent fire of the diamond’.
Superb, flawless 142 Top Wesselton diamonds with brilliant cut, totaling 1.08 carat, have been set in two staggered rows in the masterpiece – Calatrava Ref. 7200/200R. The metal used is 18K Rose Gold. This masterpiece Flamme-set Calatrava has Officer’s style case and hand stitched shiny royal purple strap. It has Silvery grained dial with applied gold Breguet styled numerals. The innovation and artistry makes the watch worth USD 39,690.