By Kien Lee
Patek Philippe has unveiled the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce "Rainbow", its first self-winding chronograph for ladies.
It is the latest product showcasing the Swiss manufacture's creativity and its mastery of jewellery-setting, turning the rose-gold timepiece into a delectable, chic timepiece whilst maintaining its sportiness.
First launched in 2004, the Aquanaut Luce was the female equivalent of the Aquanaut, with the additional "Luce" nomer added to denote the display of diamonds on its bezel. Italian for 'light', luce has indeed lite the way for three stainless steel models containing quartz movements, and a rose-gold version with a self-winding caliber.
In 2021, the Aquanaut Luce collection would take a giant leap with a Travel Time iteration, an additional function that displayed a second time zone.
Patek Philippe has now added two new features to the line, with the new Ref. 7968/300R-001 Aquanaut Luce “Rainbow” as its first self-winding chronograph, an upgrade to the previous manually-wound chronograph seen in the Ref. 7150/250R-001 Calatrava ladies’ chronograph.
In this timepiece, the sweep chronograph hand can be used as a constantly running seconds hand and with the pusher at 4 o'clock, the flyback function makes it possible to start a new measurement at any time, even if the sweep chronograph hand is already measuring the duration of an event or if it is being used as a constantly running seconds hand. A truly elegant execution that is versatile for the modern woman.
A rainbow effect of its octagonal bezel is achieved with two rows of baguette-cut gems. The inner row consists of 40 flawless rare white Top Wesselton diamonds totalling 2.05 ct. The outer row is slightly angled, with 40 sapphires in the colors of the rainbow totalling 2.31 ct. Each of the sapphires have been selected to ensure a seamless transition from one nuance color to the next. For this two-row arrangement, Patek Philippe selected the elaborate “invisible setting” technique in which the gems are horizontally notched on the lower facet.
On the mother-of-pearl dial engraved with the Aquanaut motif, the medley of colours continues. The twelve applied hour markers in rose gold are baguette sapphires (0.31 ct) with nuance colors coordinated with those on the dial. Luminous baton hands in rose gold make the hours and minutes quickly and easily legible.
The case has a diameter of 39.9 mm paired with two chronograph pushers that have been manually polished and satin-finished by the manufacture’s artisans.
In line with the highest standards of the Patek Philippe Seal, the caliber CH 28-520 movement is also elaborately finished, and can be admired through the sapphire-crystal case back.
Finally, the Ref. 7968/300R-001 Aquanaut Luce “Rainbow” comes with three straps (red, matte beige and matte white), with the patented Patek Philippe fold-over clasp adorned with ten baguette diamonds (0.36 ct) as a final flourish.