Patek Philippe had dazzled the virtual audience with the Nautilus in rose gold gem setting (Ref. 7118/1450R-001) earlier this year during Watches & Wonders event. The addition of the white gold appears to be a logical step for the collectors preferring white gold over rose gold.
The case, the bezel, and the bracelet are decorated with diamonds in so-called snow setting. Several rows of diamonds sparkle on the dial, tracing the wave-like pattern that is typically found on Nautilus ladies’ models. It is a noteworthy example of Patek’s breadth in style that combines creativity, and delicate gem-setting in a bold yet elegant way on the Patek Philippe Nautilus 7118platform. Ref. 7118/1450G Nautilus Haute Joaillerie sparkles with 2553 flawless Top Wesselton brilliant-cut diamonds (~12.69 ct). Patek chose the extremely elaborate technique of snow setting, also referred to as random pavé setting. The gem setter places diamonds of different sizes side by side in a random fashion, making sure that as little of the gold matrix is visible between the individual diamonds. Hence, each watch with a snow setting has a unique dial. The dial features luminous Alpha hour and minute hands in blackened white gold, and the applied Arabic numerals made of the same precious metal also have a luminous coating for a perfect legibility, even on an haute joaillerie watch where the emphasis generally tends to be on the stones. The white gold case is powered by Patek’s caliber 324 S automatic movement, the same movement that powers Ref. 5711. The finely finished movement with gold rotor is visible through the sapphire crystal case back. The 18K white-gold bracelet is paved with diamonds (~9.22 ct) and features a patented fold over clasp set with diamonds.
The steel Patek Philippe Nautilus 7118 is one of the most iconic sports watches, the most Instagrammed object, and hardest to purchase at the retail price. The “Snowhite” Ref. 7118/1450G-001 in white gold takes it several notches above the steel sports watch with over 12.6 carats of diamonds on the dial, case, and the bracelet. Patek Philippe combines high watchmaking artistry with delicate and rare handcrafts, in this case with gem setting. While Nautilus steel is an understated and refined sports watch, Ref. Patek Philippe Nautilus 7118 transforms the Nautilus from an everyday timepiece to a rare jewelry object. I appreciate that Patek has not added any limitation to this reference, and it is now part of the brand’s standard collection. Although, due to the skills and resources required, it will likely be manufactured in a very limited fashion.