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The story behind precious stones and gem-setting

Through their high quality and the extreme care taken in their setting, the precious stones selected by Rolex endow the gem-set watches with unparalleled prestige.

Rolex uses only the finest stones to adorn its watches: diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. The selection criteria for these gems is exceptionally demanding. Each stone is closely examined by the in-house gemmology department, which ensures strict compliance with the specifications defined by the brand in the four key areas determining diamond quality: carat, clarity, colour and cut.

In terms of clarity, the brand uses only diamonds corresponding to the highest standards.

As for colour, Rolex sets only superior quality diamonds in the colourless category.

When it comes to cut, which is a decisive factor for the brilliance of a diamond, Rolex uses full cut (or brilliant cut), 8/8, trapeze or baguette cut stones selected from the first two categories of the professional classification scale.

For models set with coloured gemstones – rubies, sapphires and emeralds – Rolex takes particular care in ensuring that all the stones on a given watch are of the same hue. This requirement is met through a long sorting process carried out by hand, stone by stone, in the Rolex workshops.

The authenticity of the stones is checked using several sophisticated machines acquired by Rolex. Such equipment is usually found only in independent gemmological laboratories.

A Rigorous Art

The precious stones are then entrusted to the gem-setters, masters of their art and skilled in the various techniques of their profession: bead setting, channel setting, bezel setting, and prong or claw setting. Besides the intrinsic quality of the stones themselves, several other criteria contribute to the reputation of Rolex gem-setting: the precise alignment of the height of the gems, their orientation and position, the robustness, regularity and aesthetics of the setting as well as the finishing of the beads.

Nothing is left to chance. Everything works together to enhance the stones and the watch.