Have you ever seen 1,089 diamonds on a Rolex? All factory-set.
Well, now is your chance! And all those 1,089 diamonds were set by hand onto none other but the smallest Rolex watch on sale today: the 28-millimetre Lady-Datejust.
At its proprietary Chêne-Bourg facility, every aspect of gem-setting is practiced at the highest level by Rolex. From the selection and quality control of every precious and semi-precious stone all the way to the design and execution of spectacular high jewellery creations, Rolex is hugely dedicated to the art of gem-setting – as practiced in the modern watch industry. The new Rolex Lady-Datejust is a shining example of Rolex’s in-house expertise when it comes to working with precious stones and metals.
Crafted from 18ct yellow gold – while other versions may also be available –, the 28mm wide case is fitted with a spectacular variety of brilliant-cut diamonds – a total of 158, to be exact –, each carefully selected for their precise fit so as to follow the trademark lines of the Rolex Oyster case. The case profile, for example, has the largest diamonds around the 18ct yellow gold crown and they gradually decrease in size, emphasizing the graceful curvature of the case profile, as it narrows into the soft corners of the lugs. The top of the lugs have also been specially prepared to accommodate 7 precious stones, flanked by the highly polished edges of the lugs.
The bezel is set with forty-four brilliant-cut diamonds, creating a ribbon of sparkling facets that frame the pavé-set dial. Pavé-setting means that the dial is essentially paved with diamonds: 291 have been individually set by the artisan’s hand, with each and every bead shaped and polished by hand. Because the diamonds are so perfectly matched in their size, cut and color, they create what is best described as a visual illusion: the modern brilliant cut comprises 58 facets (or 57 if the culet is discounted), which means some 17,000 facets sparkle with light on the dial of this petite, 28mm-wide timepiece. Because the 18ct yellow gold beads that secure these diamonds to the dial have also been individually rounded and polished, the play of light can truly reach the ultimate level on the Lady-Datejust reference 279458RBR.
Like every gem-set Rolex, the new Lady-Datejust for 2021 is to be seen in person to be fully appreciated – but be warned: once seen, its spectacular effect can never be forgotten.
Find out more at rolex.com.
Words: David B