Arrayed in a dazzling cloak of gems, the latest model in the Corum Admiral's Cup Legend 38 line appears in a High Jewelry version. Diamonds and sapphires play a fascinating musical score, backed by a symphony orchestrated around 1,444 stones totaling 11.56 carats. This virtuoso work features the hand-crafted invisible and snow setting techniques, showcased in a masterful execution.
It all began with an idea, an inspiration: floral, feminine and flamboyant. Then came the first sketches, followed by the emergence at Corum of the motif that would govern the choice of the purest gemstones. The key to this endeavor lay
in determining their size, their cut and their color so as to ensure they would fit seamlessly together. Once each part of the watch to be set – dial, bezel, case, oscillating weight, bracelet and buckle – was meticulously prepared in keeping with the rules of the art, the gemsetting work as such could begin. First came the dial, working with one of the most demanding techniques: invisible setting.
The complexity was further heightened by the need to reinterpret this technique in order to set the 462 stones composing the floral dial motif. This was because the smallest stones – the dial alone features seven different sizes – might have been broken if the classic method has been used: namely cutting a notch into the gem to accommodate the seating that was to support it. The artisan therefore innovated by initially fitting the dial upside down on a transparent plate, before meticulously pouring a silver-based alloy over the structure. By seeping into the tiniest gaps between the stones, the matter thereby solidly holds together the 24 baguette-cut purple sapphires (approx. 2.04 cts), 138 baguette-cut diamonds (approx. 3.11 cts), 108 baguette-cut pink sapphires (approx. 1.67 cts) and 198 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.25 cts).
These stones, having thus become a plate, could then be removed from the transparent backing. After a final polishing to eliminate any traced of impurity, this precious plate could at last be fitted on the white gold dial, thereby unleashing the full radiance of the gems beneath which the underlying metal structure has completely vanished.
SNOW SETTING - A FLURRY OF DIAMONDS
The case and bracelet are adorned by means of another technique: snow setting. No less than 804 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 3.79 cts) merge into each other, playing on their varying diameters to entirely carpet the 18K white gold of the case, bezel, lugs and crown. Embodying a wealth of patience and expertise, the bracelet secured by a folding clasp also comes in a snow-set version featuring entirely hand-crafted white diamond flakes in 10 different sizes exquisitely embracing the curve of the wrist.
While only a handful of virtuoso craftsmen are capable of performing the gemsetting work enhancing the Admiral's Cup Legend 38, these impressive skills are matched by the horological excellence within. This model is driven by a mechanical automatic movement, Caliber CO 082 – an equally unusual feat for a jewelry watch. The dial has chosen to reveal only essentials, marking off the hours and minutes to the beat of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz). Through the sapphire caseback, this fine mechanism with its 42-hour power reserve reveals its most distinctive feature: an entirely gemset white gold oscillating weight.
The latter represents an extremely rare challenge due to the stunning complexity of such an endeavor on a rotor, that is part of the functional movement components. This uncompromising aesthetic approach features 71 pink sapphires (approx. 0.23 cts), 14 purple sapphires (approx. 0.05 cts) and 73 diamonds (approx. 0.21 cts) reproducing the floral dial motif. Further sublimating these delicate petals and corollas, hand-crafted engravings around the white gold circumference of the caseback further accentuate the inspired refinement of this creation.
The Admiral's Cup Legend 38 is available with a white crocodile leather strap fitted with a white gold folding clasp set with 20 diamonds (approx. 0.21 cts).