7 luxury watches that take the art of gem-setting to the next level

These exquisite timepieces also combine complex complications.

Diamonds adorn these feminine timepieces by Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe and Richard Mille

If a woman can have it all in life, she can have it all in her watches too. Here is a selection of timepieces that combines complex — and sometimes, less so — complications and the art of gem-setting to remarkable effect.


A complication much appreciated in ladies’ watches, the moon-phase indication occupies pride of place in Patek Philippe’s Ladies Calatrava Moonphase Ref. 7121/200G-001. As one records the passing of time on the stunning blue dial, what is most mesmerising is the bezel, set with diamonds in the Dentelle style. Beating at the heart of this jewellery watch is the manually-wound Calibre 215 PS LU: the maison’s smallest complicated movement that helps maintain a daintily elegant 33mm case size.


In Chanel’s star release for the year, a stunning diamond holds court in the centre of a hypnotic flying tourbillon — very much the jewel in the crown for the maison’s iconic J12 collection. But the centrepiece of the black ceramic J12 Diamond Tourbillon isn’t the only one at play, as the 38mm watch also features this precious stone on the bezel, hands and crown.


Equipped with the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 734, the Rendez-Vous Dazzling Star literally comes to life on the wrist of its owner who, simply by moving, activates the complication. On a blue aventurine dial, the shooting star appears randomly, as if by magic, four to six times per hour, trailing a vision of beauty in its wake. The secret of this complication is hidden in the centre of the spangled dial ringed by diamonds.


Ticking to the beat of the automatic Calibre 1847 MC, the diminutive Pasha de Cartier is definitely meant for ladies with smaller wrists. The 35mm rose gold case features a bezel set with 48 brilliant-cut diamonds and a fluted crown topped with a sapphire, and is held together with a purple strap. If some days require something more sombre, the watch also comes with a navy strap that can easily be changed with Cartier’s QuickSwitch interchangeability system.


With diamonds dotting its bezel and a mother-of-pearl dial, Vacheron Constantin’s Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin exudes an unmistakably feminine aesthetic. It is equipped with the Calibre 1120 QP, which elegantly displays the days, dates, months and years on a four-year cycle, including a leap-year indication, without any need for correction before 2100. This calendar display is complemented by a moon-phase indication at 6 o’clock.


If Richard Mille’s RM 07-01 shines with extreme mechanical perfection, it also glistens with the sensual and curvaceous lines of its tonneau-shaped case design — the smallest of the collection — and dial with a gemstone set centre field. The heart of this timepiece is the in-house designed Calibre CRMA2, a highly skeletonised automatic movement developed specifically for the RM 07-01.


The Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet collection evolves with two new 41mm tone-on-tone models in 18-carat white and pink gold entirely paved with 1,085 brilliant-cut diamonds. The timepieces are powered by Calibre 4309, the manufacture’s latest automatic hour, minute and second movement. Contrary to the other self-winding models in the collection, these two timepieces do not have a date indication so as to provide maximum emphasis to the fully gem-set dial.


This article first appeared on Aug 22, 2022 in The Edge Malaysia.


Follow us on Instagram