The Glitter and Glamour of Gemstone Set Watches

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Gemstones have a way of making even the modest of watches look glamorous.  The secret to this is how they play with the light, or more precisely, how they reflect the light back at you. Due to the shape of the cut of the gemstone light will enter it, hit one or more of the facets and bounces back out of the stone. While doing this, it creates that fire of which especially diamonds are known for.

Even just a bezel set with brilliant cut diamonds can change the whole look of a watch
Even just a bezel set with brilliant cut diamonds can change the whole look of a watch

While some cut shapes are optimized to give you that fire, like the brilliant and Ascher cut, others are deliberately more subdued like the baguette cut. What they don’t have in terms of fire, they make up for in understatement. Also, don’t think that a baguette cut set watch is less precious: because they are almost a solid rectangle, their carat weight is much higher than when you would set the same watch with brilliant cut stone (who’s bottom section, also known as the pavilion, end in a point).

A very complicated setting on this tourbillon by Jacob & Co
A very complicated setting on this tourbillon by Jacob & Co

It is not only the gemstones themselves that make a watch set with them more precious, but it is also the additional expertise needed to create such a watch. To accommodate the gemstones, you need to cut away part of the case, and bracelet, but the secret is how much to cut away! Too much and the case might lose it integrity or gets punctures allowing dust and moisture enter into the movement. This is why most diamond set watches are first created in a CAD-program, so all the right measurements can be taken, and the quality of the watch remains intact.

Piaget is one of the few brands that can even set diamonds on the bridges of a skeleton movement
Piaget is one of the few brands that can even set diamonds on the bridges of a skeleton movement

Next, to that, it is the setter to put all the gemstones in place, and secure them. In many cases, he/she needs to rely on a cutter to design and create special cut gemstones that have just the right size and shape to fill in the particular shape of the watch. Also, a challenge is the way they are set, as one of the most beautiful ways to do so is when you cannot see that there is actually metal holding the stones into place. Such is called an invisible setting, only to be achieved by the most accomplished gem setter.

At Hublot the diamond setting itself can be called an art thanks to its intricate design
At Hublot the diamond setting itself can be called an art thanks to its intricate design

The result are watches that often redefine glamour, that seemed to be destined for the red carpets, exclusive events, and prestigious galas. Watches that are made for Haute Living!

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