It’s much more fun to brightly colour your life than watch it fly by in monochrome mode. Ok, for sure, not everyone has what it takes to be able to wear a faceted rainbow marvellously well on one of their wrists. Yet the Jacob & Co., Hublot, Rolex, Parmigiani, Audemars Piguet and Chopard brands decided to give this adventure a go and have come through with flying colours.
The Watches Magazine – Summer 2019
These watches, generally going under the English term “rainbow”, have been delighting collectors and connoisseurs for many years now. Rolex’s reissue of its Daytona Rainbow wowed last year at Baselworld to the extent that it became the key attraction of the show. This year, the Rainbow is back with a blast but this time round introducing a baguette setting. A setting which is rather more classical for Parmigiani and Chopard which embrace the tone gradient of coloured gems cut and set in this shape exclusively for the bezel encircling a white or black mother-of-pearl dial. More discreet for Rolex which tops each index of its Day-Date watch with a baguette- cut sapphire, but extravagantly showcased on Jacob & Co. and Hublot pieces where even the tiniest little space is strewn with coloured stones.
The key difficulty of the baguette cut lies in perfectly gauging each gem, which are all identically-sized, so that it captures the light as optimally as possible. Its rather flat shape is void of the ever-so many facets which are usually found on round cuts known as brilliants and, as a result, prevents it from sparkling and dazzling. And, it’s here that the invisible setting takes centrestage. Here, the aim is to render the metal invisible so that the gem poises magically, as if hovering in mid air. Jacob & Co.’s Brilliant Full Baguette Rainbow, sprinkled with 446 coloured sapphires totalling some 30 carats, is the perfect example. The secret? Under each baguette-cut stone a sort of groove is hollowed out with nano-millimetre accuracy which offers the opportunity to slide the stones, one after the other, to form a line and, as such, to obscure any hint of a claw, a nail or a halo.
A show of colours
The second major complexity of a Rainbow piece is to harmoniously match together the stones. Paying tribute to Isaac Newton (1642-1727) and his mathematical theory of the seven colours of the rainbow is a challenging task especially whenever precious stones are the stars of the show. The colour scheme’s perspicacity comes from the choice of stones. For example, a ruby may be used for red, amethyst for violet or tsavorites for green as can be seen in Hublot’s Big Bang One-Click Rainbow or in Parmigiani’s Tonda 1950 where the rainbow is close to perfection. Some brands, however, prefer to use precious stones exclusively, such as Audemars
Piguet with its Royal Oak Frosted Gold Double Balance Wheel Openworked and Chopard with its Imperiale set with coloured sapphires.
Let’s raise a toast to these timepieces which sparkle with precious stones other than the diamond!