Thursday, 11 December 2008

Unique Rolex Bezel Options

By Jonathan Zach

Lately, there's been a lot of buzz about custom Rolex components crafted by artisan jewelers, and a lot of that buzz is about custom Rolex bezels. Discriminating men and women commission jewelers to create custom bezels to increase the value of their Rolex watches; to display their senses of style and individuality, and to make bold fashion statements.

The most visible feature of a Rolex is the dial. However, the component that inspires the eye to linger on this legendary timepiece is undoubtedly the bezel. A Rolex bezel's primary function is a practical one: securing the crystal in place and protecting it from damage by accidental contact. The bezel's second function is ornamental. However, according to passionate Rolex owners, the bezel is essential: it allows them to personalize their Rolexes in ways that are as unique as the owners themselves.

If you've been thinking about having your Rolex bezel customized, you've likely conducted some research online to see what other Rolex owners have done with the bezels on their watches. It makes sense to do research, as you can get ideas and weigh your options. You can also view the workmanship and attention to detail required to craft a customized bezel for the world's most respected and admired watch brand.

Bezel Materials

Let's begin exploring your bezel options by considering the composition of the bezel. The bezel material will secure any gemstones that you have chosen, enhance their appearance, and add beauty and value to your Rolex.

The most popular choices are 18-karat white and yellow gold. Aesthetically, gold is hard to beat; its natural warmth and luster have been treasured for centuries. Gold grows in value over time and flatters any precious or semi-precious gems that the owner has chosen for jewelry. As a matter of practicality, gold is a logical choice; its malleability allows it to be fashioned into an infinite variety of shapes. Its ability to hold gems in place has also been proven over and over again.

Next in popularity is platinum, which also has quite a few desirable properties for watch bezels. Platinum is very resistant to wear, corrosion, and tarnishing; has a unique luster, and is also very reliable for securing gems in place. Platinum has long been associated with exclusivity and wealth, and people who choose platinum Rolex bezels tend to be fiercely independent individuals who ignore the fashion trends that wax and wane.

A relative newcomer to the custom Rolex bezel scene (but one that is slowly growing in popularity) is ceramic. Ceramic isn't ideal for those who want to set gems in their Rolex bezel, as it cannot reliably secure them. However, when buffed to a high gloss and engraved, ceramic can be inlaid with gold or another precious metal. This creates a unique and clean look with scratch-proof durability.

Bezel Gems

Your options for types and combinations of gems are limitless. As in most high-end luxury jewelry, diamonds reign supreme among Rolex owners. Many prefer a bezel adorned with diamonds all the way around. Others choose diamond accents at the three, six, nine, and twelve o'clock positions set alongside colored gemstones for contrast.

Following diamonds in popularity are rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. Each gem type has its own natural beauty and allure. Gem cut options are endless, too; however, most Rolex customers prefer traditional cuts, including brilliant, emerald, baguette, and square cuts.

Reputable Bezel Jewelers

Now that you've conducted research on your custom Rolex bezel, you'll need to find a jeweler who has the skills to craft and install one for you. Customizing Rolex bezels and other components is a hot trade right now, with no end in sight. Many jewelers are catering to exclusive clientele by specializing in this field. However, it will be very important that you exercise the same care when choosing your jeweler that you employed when choosing the material and gems for your bezel.

Look for a jeweler with a long and proven history in crafting custom Rolex bezels and other components, as well as certified memberships in professional jeweler organizations. More importantly, look for a jeweler who listens intently to what you want in a custom bezel, who answers any questions you may have, and who can show you a variety of finished bezels so that you may examine the quality of his or her work.

Take your time, weigh your options, and remember that customizing the bezel on your Rolex is as much fun as wearing the finished product!

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