Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Patek Philippe Haute Joaillerie Calatrava Ref. 4899/900

The ladies' Ref. 4899 Haute Joaillerie wristwatch combines two highly artistic skills mastered by Patek Philippe: Watchmaking and gemsetting. This high jewellery timepiece dressed in white gold, set with flawless rare white Top Wesselton diamonds and rose sapphires, proudly displays a stunning mother of a pearl dial. It combines finesse with the graceful elegance of the ultra-thin self-winding caliber 240 movement that celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
In 1977, when Patek Philippe launched its ultra-thin self-winding caliber 240 with a height of merely 2.53 mm, the manufacture had men's wristwatches in mind because with its diameter of 27.5 mm, it was too large for the era's ladies' watches. But times have changed, and women very much appreciate larger timepieces nowadays, as long as they have slender, elegant looks. This format is an excellent match for the new Ref. 4899/900, offering ample space for a precious haute joaillerie setting on the case and the large mother-of-pearl dial that showcases the abundant talents of the jeweler and the engraver.
The gently rounded silhouette of the white-gold case sets an ideal stage for the precious stone settings with several staggered rows composed of 149 flawless Top Wesselton brilliant-cut diamonds that alternate with 182 brilliant-cut rose sapphires with varying color intensities along the periphery.  Like the sand in an hourglass, the gems of different sizes appear to be randomly set in the lower half of the dial – 98 rare white diamonds at the top, 89 sapphires with varying rose hues at the bottom. This treasure is guarded by feathers in varying shades of rose, manually engraved in the upper half of the naturally tinted mother-of-pearl dial. The ensemble includes leaf-shaped hour and minute hands in 18K white gold. They, too, are decorated with filigreed, manually executed engravings. And the jeweler's art also comes to the fore in the crown (36 Top Wesselton diamonds plus a rose sapphire cabochon) and the white-gold clasp (36 diamonds and 82 rose sapphires).
All 702 precious stones (Appx 4.35 ct.) adorning the timepiece were mechanically set by master jewelers as specified by the directives of the Patek Philippe Seal. The alligator strap with large square scales is shiny rose to match the sapphires, rounding out the feminine personality of this watch.

Turning back, the sapphire-crystal back showcases the ultra-thin self-winding caliber 240 featuring a 22K gold rotor. It displays the same Geneva striping as the bridges. Their elegant contours are highlighted by the polished, chamfered edges. The red rubies and gold-filled engravings gleam brightly, creating attractive contrasts. A closer look exposes the manually applied perlage on the plate and the gentle golden hue of the brass wheels as well as the Gyromax® balance; it oscillates very precisely, assuring a daily rate tolerance of -3 to +2 seconds.

Technical details
Model: Calatrava Ref. 4899/900G

Movement
Caliber 240
Ultra-thin self-winding mechanical movement
Diameter: 27.5 mm
Height: 2.53 mm
Number of parts: 159
Number of jewels: 27
Power reserve: Min. 48 hours
Winding rotor: 22K gold minirotor, unidirectionally winding
Frequency: 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour (3 Hz)
Balance: Gyromax®
Balance spring: Spiromax® (in Silinvar®)
Balance spring stud: Adjustable

Functions
Two-position crown:
• Pushed home: To wind the watch
• Pulled out: To set the time

Displays
Hours and minutes

Hallmark
Patek Philippe Seal

Case
18K white gold
Sapphire-crystal case back
Water resistant to 30 m (3 bar)
Set with 149 flawless rare white Top Wesselton diamonds (~ 1.1 ct.) and
182 rose sapphires of varying color intensity (~ 1.93 ct.)
Crown with sapphire cabochon (~ 0.11 ct.) and 36 flawless rare white Top
Wesselton diamonds (~ 0.04 ct.)

Case dimensions
Diameter (10 to 4 o'clock): 39 mm
Width (9 to 3 o'clock incl. crown): 40.95 mm
Length (across lugs): 45.8 mm
Overall height (crystal to lugs): 7.0 mm
Height (crystal to display back): 6.7 mm
Width between lugs: 20 mm

Dial
Natural mother of pearl on white gold
Upper dial half: Hand-engraved feather motif
Lower dial half: Random setting with gems of various sizes
89 flawless rare white Top Wesselton diamonds (~ 0.27 ct.) and 98 rose sapphires of varying color intensity (~ 0.23 ct.)
Hour and minute hands: manually engraved leaf-shaped hands in 18K white gold

Strap
Alligator leather with large square scales, hand-stitched, shiny rose, prong buckle in 18K white gold with 65 diamonds (~ 0.23 ct.) and 82 rose sapphires (~ 0.38 ct.)

Total precious stones
348 flawless Top Wesselton diamonds ( ~1.66 ct.)
354 rose sapphires of varying color intensity (~ 2.69 ct.)

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