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Revealing the radiance of diamonds behind the Rolex art of gem-setting

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore • 5 min read
Revealing the radiance of diamonds behind the Rolex art of gem-setting
How do Rolex watches shine so bright?
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Rolex introduces a new gem-set version of the Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust. This watch, crafted from 18 ct yellow gold, showcases the captivating shine of the diamonds that adorn every surface

Rolex has long been known for their remarkable watchmaking expertise that is constantly enhanced and passed on from one generation to the next with great care. But what is less talked about is their mastery of gemmology and gem-setting, two disciplines that allow Rolex watches to be endowed with diamonds, sapphires, rubies or emeralds for an exceptional sparkle.

Having offered gem-set watches throughout its history, Rolex continues to embellish its watches with precious stones, endowing them with an alternative aesthetic, whilst conserving their identity and all their technical features.

Through their high quality and the extreme care taken in their setting, the precious stones selected by Rolex endow the brand’s gem-set watches with unparalleled prestige

To adorn its timepieces with the most striking gemstones, the brand leans on the experience and mastery of its in-house gemmologists and gem-setters.

At the Rolex world headquarters in Switzerland, gemmologists are responsible for examining and selecting the gemstones received, retaining only those that meet its extremely stringent quality criteria.

The stones are then pass into the hands of the gem-setters, whose craft is multifaceted.

First, decisions are made with Rolex’s watch designers about the colours and arrangement of the stones, a subtle exercise in finding a balance between aesthetic and technical requirements. This is then followed by a consultation with the case and bracelet engineers to study the future placement of the stones in order to prepare, to the nearest micron, the gold or platinum into which the stones will be set. For each stone, they will need to determine the precise amount of metal required to hold it in place.

Subsequently, the gem-setters will employ all their skill and experience to work the metal cavity, and to place the stone in the optimal position, fixing each stone to best reveal its beauty, colour and sparkle.

The new Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust, set with 1,089 diamonds in the middle case, bezel, dial and President bracelet

Rolex's classic feminine watch, the Lady-Datejust is in the lineage of the Datejust, the emblematic model that has been a byword for style and accurate timekeeping ever since its launch in 1945. The women’s version of this date chronometer, the Lady-Datejust, which first appeared in 1957, carries the elegance of the Datejust in a small 28mm size perfectly suited to a slender wrist.

A testament to the brand’s craftsmanship and strict quality control of the gemstones can be seen in the latest 2021 model of Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust. It is available in 18 ct yellow gold or 18 ct white gold and features a diamond-paved dial with a diamond-set president bracelet.

Here, the dial is paved with 291 diamonds and features 18 ct yellow gold Roman numerals with a black finish, truly a sparkling symphony that exudes an effortless sense of graceful elegance, but also to enchant the wearer.

The dial, on the new Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust, paved with 291 diamonds, features elegant 18 ct yellow gold Roman numerals with a black finish

Meanwhile, the case side and lugs are set with 158 brilliant-cut diamonds as well as 44 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel, highlighting the elegant profile of the Oyster case. The President bracelet sparkles with a further 596 diamonds that surrounds the wearer’s wrist with an everlasting radiance that arrests the gaze of anyone who chances upon it.

The President bracelet on the new Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust is fitted with an elegant concealed folding Crownclasp. It features ceramic inserts inside the links to enhance its flexibility and longevity

Quality control after setting diamonds into the bracelet of the Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust

As dazzling as the watch is on the outside, it is also a paragon of robustness and innovation, a hallmark of all Rolex watches. The Lady-Datejust benefits from all the style and technical performance attributes of the Datejust since its launch in 1945.

Calibre 2236 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor and offers a power reserve of approximately 55 hours

This new version of the Lady-Datejust is equipped with calibre 2236, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex that was released in 2014 and has been fitted on this model since 2015.

At the forefront of watchmaking technology, this self-winding mechanical movement led to the filing of several patents, and offers outstanding performance in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.

Like all Rolex watches, the Lady-Datejust is covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification redefined by Rolex in 2015. This designation testifies that every watch leaving the brand’s workshops has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own highly stringent criteria. The Superlative Chronometer status is symbolised by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.

Visit Kee Hing Hung to discover the Rolex 2021 new watches.

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