The Art Of Invisible Gem Setting
Sometimes, watches are entirely dressed with diamonds or colored stones. In terms of what is known as invisible setting, each of these stones is precisely cut to fit next to the other without any space in between. The result is stunning: harmonious, luminous surfaces without interruption.
Invisible setting arrived in the watch world in the early 2000s thanks to improvements to tools and machines, which allowed the design of the structural components upon which the gemstones are set as well as the gems themselves. The aim is to create a cavity for every gem that has stretchers on the sides. These stretchers secure the stone using grooves cut into it.
The firm Bunter located near Geneva is the only one in Switzerland (and possibly even outside of Switzerland) to be able to realize the most complex shapes using the best stones. Led by Claude Sanz, who is also the owner, Bunter began life as a producer of machines and tools for gem-cutting. Sanz realized his dream by adapting the skills found within the company so that it is now able to invisibly set a watch from beginning to end. To succeed in this, he also hired engineers and specialists as the firm works directly from the original plans provided by the brands.
Also a gemologist, Sanz invented workflow that respects the gemstones’ beauty such as perfectly positioning every stone so that it best reflects the light. In terms of colored stones, the challenge is even bigger. Did you know that the more you cut a colored stone, the brighter it gets? To have a harmonious visual surface, the craftsperson must evaluate the result before he or she starts to cut, having the final product in mind.