Rolex is the biggest watch brand in the world, and the most famous one worldwide. Among the many iconic rolex watches produced up to now, the Oyster Perpetual Datejust is one of the most recognized and looked after.
Rolex watches are known for maintaining their value over time and many rolex owners and watch lovers like to customize their luxury watch to their own taste.
In the case of this project, we had to customize our client’s Oyster Perpetual Datejust model that had already been personnalized in the past, as described below.
Please, be aware we are not watches experts and the focus of this article is the presentation of the jewelry work on this rolex watch. If you find errors about watch, rolex watch model or information relative to the watch industry, feel free to share your knowledge in the comment section to improve our article. Thanks.
View of the Datejust Rolex model after customization with a brand new 18k gold bracelet paved with 66 diamonds of 1,5 mm in diameter with a total diamond weight of 0,8 carat for the bracelet alone
Also, discover our publication about a custom 14k gold bracelet made for a 5054 Patek Phillip, and our work about a custom 18k gold dial for a French watch brand: Sartory Billard.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust
This rolex model came to us with a rolex datejust diamond dial in 18k gold, set with 1,7 millimeters diamonds and a stainless steel bracelet upgraded with a 14k yellow gold chain links, as shown in the picture. This gold bracelet was not original from Rolex and was showing signs of breaking up soon.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust before customization
The overall state of the watch was a general wear visible on the gold bracelet and stainless steel, deformed chain links with space between them announcing a future failure of the bracelet in the coming months.
Our mission from our client was as follow:
- Change the 14k gold links by 18k yellow gold links
- Set 1,5 millimeters diamonds on every links of the bracelet (66 diamonds in total)
- Change the stainless steel clasps by a new one made of 18k yellow gold
- Polish as new the whole watch
Real gold watch bracelet making
As 18k gold is more malleable than 14k gold, and because we needed to set diamonds on each link of the bracelet, it was necessary to make new gold links, thicker than the old ones.
The first operation consisted in disassembling the bracelet from the rolex watch and checking the thickness of the gold links.
Above, you can see the gold links of the gold bracelet, compared to the new one in the picture below. The new 18k gold links are 80% thicker than the old 14k gold links.
Rolex watch in spare parts with some new 18k gold links
The original links of the bracelet made of stainless steel are then weighted to be able to determine the final gold weight of the bracelet.
The making of such a gold bracelet is tedious as each of the 68 links (66 plus the 2 large links located on the watch case) have to be made one by one and also be assembled one by one.
We already had the experience of a custom 14k white gold bracelet made for 5054 Patek Phillip watch, but this time the job was totally different.
For the making of the new 18k gold links, a gold bar is laminated, then cut in parts and every one of this parts is adjusted and polished one by one before starting the assembly onto the stainless steel links.
You can see each 18k gold links with its relative stainless steel link before assembly
Then, diamond locations are pointed out on each gold link before the setting, as shown below.
Check the gold links before assembly and the gold links once linked with the stainless steel links with the locatioon of the diamond pointed out.
Diamonds are then set onto the gold links with claws and the gold links are decorated with false claws to give a better finish and shinier aspect. Both lines on the link help to keep the symetry of the setting and decoration.
Close up view of the gold link set with real diamonds. You can see the 4 prongs around heach diamond and the decorative prongs around made as a decoration
Each link once finished and set with a diamond is then polished individually before assembling on the watch bracelet. This is a long process before materializing the assembled bracelet.
Here is a view of a gold link set with a diamond being polished before assembly
After polishing, each group of 3 links are set onto the stainless steel links to assemble the whole watch bracelet. We can then weigh the finished bracelet to get the real weight of 18k gold used for the making. In the case of this wath, we have used 21 grams of 18k yellow gold for the making of the sole bracelet.
Once the bracelet finished, we still have to make the gold clasp of the bracelet, reproducing the size and mechanic of the original one made of stainless steel.
Gold Clasp Making
The making of the gold clasp is straighforward after the tedious making of the godl & diamond bracelet. We used laminated sheets of 18k yellow gold to cut and solder them to replicate the original stainless steel clasp of the rolex watch.
As you can see, this solid piece of gold is quite small but is quite heavy. You can see the perforations on the side for the length adjustement of the bracelet. The gold clasp is finished with an aspect of brushed gold to keep it more ressistant to wear so it will not show visible scratches in the futur (even when receiving scratches).
We can appreciate the diamond iced-out rolex watch, once the real gold bracelet assembled with the gold clasp and the watch.
This view shows the rolex watch with full diamond setting on the real gold bracelet and the rolex dial. The total diamond weight set on the bracelet is 0,8 carat.
This view shows the 18k gold clasp and diamond setting of the rolex watch
Detailed view of the diamond setting on the rolex gold bracelet
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