Rolex gem-setters use four traditional techniques. The most frequently seen is “bead” setting, which is employed in particular for surfaces that are “paved” – or encrusted with diamonds. Here the stone, which is always round, is held in place by three to five small, bead-shaped pieces of metal. Bead setting is aesthetically similar to “claw” setting, in which the metal prongs are longer, and more of the stone is visible. In a “closed” setting, a metal band encircles the gemstone, holding it in place. “Channel” setting, also known as “baguette” setting, is most often used with baguette- or trapeze- cut stones, allowing them to be aligned side by side to form a circle, on bezels, for example. Here, the stone is seated in a channel of precious metal, the edges of which are folded over to secure the stone, in a similar way to closed setting. This repertoire of techniques, combined with efforts to source the most impressive stones, illustrates Rolex’s exacting requirements. Its gem-setters are among the most skilled in the profession, and the brand equips its teams with the latest technologies, all to create gem-set timepieces that exude excellence.