The Watch Expert's Guide: J For Jewellery-Setting
The A-Z of luxury watches: How the worlds of watchmaking and jewellery-setting are intrinsically linked.
Where there are luxury watches, there will be precious stones. The two go together like good food and fine wine. Jewellery setting, or sertissage, is a specialised craft that is often handled by the jewellery atelier of the manufacture.
To pave a case with diamonds, cavities have to be bored into the material and depending on the cut of the stones, claws have to be manipulated by hand. Brilliant-cut stones are the most commonly seen but manufactures, like Franck Muller, also occasionally design watch cases with snow setting or invisible setting.
With snow setting, the jeweller uses brilliant cut stones in a variety of sizes ranging from small to very small. He or she then fully covers every perceptible surface of the case, so that glittering result resembles freshly fallen snow.
Baguette-cut stones are decidedly more valuable than brilliant-cut ones by sheer virtue of caratage and clarity. Indeed, this cut requires stones to be bigger and the fewer number of facets involved means that stones must lay within the DEF range. Anything beyond that will be deemed unsuitable for the cut. Additionally, baguette cut stones are often set using the invisible setting technique where there is a distinct absence of claws, resulting in a seamless paving of gem stones.
Whether with diamonds, coloured diamonds, or rubies and sapphires, the bling factor is thus played down, which may please connoisseurs looking for an understated but gem-set timepiece.