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If you want to learn more about bustdown watches and see various examples of exquisite bustdown watch creations, you’ve come to the right place. We are going to cover what a bustdown watch exactly is, the history of bustdown watches, and then we will show you some of our favorite iced out aftermarket diamond and gemstone watches at Diamonds By Raymond Lee in Boca Raton, all of which are for sale at a great price. 

WHAT ARE BUSTDOWN WATCHES?

A bustdown watch is another word for an iced out watch. However, bustdown watches are always aftermarket creations. So, if the watch only has factory-set diamonds, it is never considered a bustdown watch. 

The word “bustdown” literally refers to an original luxury watch being taken apart (i.e. bust down) and then drilled and filled with diamonds or other gemstones like sapphires, rubies or emeralds by an independent gem-setter.

From the drilling of the watch’s metal (and/or creation of new pieces like a bezel from scratch) to selecting, cutting and setting perfectly fit high-grade gemstones, creating a bustdown watch is no easy task. It requires many hours of meticulous workmanship from an expert gem-setter. That is, if it is to be done in a respectable manner. 

Now, while most bustdown watches are fully encrusted with diamonds – meaning the case, bezel, bracelet, and dial are fully flooded – they can also just include gemstones in one or some of the components that make up the watch (i.e. only diamond a set bezel). In essence, as long as the watch is high-end and it has any substantial number of high-quality aftermarket diamonds or precious gemstones, it can be considered a bustdown watch. Replicas and fake iced out watches are just that, fake bustdown watches. 

Other names for bustdown watches:
  • Iced Out Watches
  • Buss Down Watches
  • Bust Down Watches
  • Fully Flooded Watches
  • Chandelier Watches

Typically when you here these terms, you will know the watch is an aftermarket creation as the big brands like Rolex, Patek and Audemars Piguet will never refer to their gem-set watches in this way. 

what are bust down watches

HISTORY OF BUSTDOWN WATCHES

Bustdown watches came into the scene in the 90s. Famous rappers like Master P and the Cash Money team paid jewelers large amounts of money to ice out 36mm Rolex President watches. At that time, the Rolex President was the watch of all watches for the rap game and icing out watches was a new endeavor.

From there, aftermarket diamond settings only got more impressive and the watches got a lot bigger. In the early 2000s, it was all about oversized watches. We are talking Franck Muller 48mm watches. Big boys.

As with the early bustdown watches of the 90s, round brilliant diamonds were the aftermarket gemstone of choice.

Then, there was a shift in the trend in the late 2000s. The oversized watch trend started to die down and people were drawn to the kings of haute horology. Rappers began flooding watches that no one would dare touch previously…i.e. the 42mm AP Royal Oak.

Of course, this caused some controversy among watch collecting purists. Audemars Piguet is among the Big Three in Horology, so busting down their watches and “devaluing” them with diamonds was seen as something of a watch crime to these traditionalist. 

Nevertheless, that didn’t stop the bustdown trend. Not by any stretch. Things had only just begun. People who were fond of iced out watches started getting more creative. From Presidential 41’s and Yachtmaster II’s to Royal Oak Offshores, the bustdown trend held no discriminations in what watch could be iced out. As long as it was a high-end watch, it could be bust down and flooded with diamonds. 

What’s more, it was during the late 2000s-early-2010s that settings got tighter and more advanced. Independent gem-setters got better and better, leaving less viewable metal on the watches. The micro-pave setting with round brilliant diamonds stole the show. 

And when you thought things couldn’t get crazier, the bustdown watch trend surprised again. Patek Philippe watches became the go-to watch to flood. To this day, Patek watches are the ultimate watch to bust down. However, you will see bustdown watches from all the big names in watchmaking. Even Richard Mille!

Bustdown watches are a clear expression of IDGAF money. It’s not about an investment, it’s about showing how much money you have through the hottest watches and most extravagant, complex gem-settings. 

From 2010 to present, advancements only continued. For much of the past decade, the flower setting was the best option, as it literally made the watches devoid of metal from the surface view. Flower settings (aka the honeycomb pave setting) makes it so the watch looks like it is truly completely diamond covered. Comparing these aftermarket bustdown settings with those of the 90s shows just how far bustdown watches have come. 

And while the round brilliant flower setting is still in great demand, the newest and hottest style are baguette diamond settings. The Patek baguette diamond bustdown watch being the supreme creation…

Be that as it may, you are also seeing even more creativity these days. All different kinds of Rolex, Patek and AP watches are being set with aftermarket diamonds. Some have subtle designs while others are fully flooded. It’s also popular to use both baguettes and round brilliants now, as it creates immense and stunning contrast. The round brilliants create that icy look while the baguettes offer a watery appearance. 

All in all, the bustdown trend has become something like the watch market in general. It varies greatly. There are no limitations and guidelines. Ideas are employed and people express creativity through bustdown watches. The more different, whether that is in the setting or the watch used, the better. Just like watches themselves, bustdown gemstone creations show individuality…

ARE BUSTDOWN WATCHES STILL IN STYLE?

Bustdown watches are as popular as ever. We know this as we have constant demand for our bustdown watches at Diamonds By Raymond Lee in Boca Raton. While iced out watches are not for every occasion, when the time is right, they make a big statement. Here in South Florida, the desire for watches flooded with diamonds has only continued to increase. We simply don’t see a shift in the other way happening. People will always like “bling”. It’s like asking if diamonds and other precious gemstones will go out of style. They’ve remained highly sought after and “in style” since they were discovered thousands of years ago. 

All that said, “Plain Janes” are hot these days too. A Plain Jane is a Rolex or other high-end watch without any diamonds. The appreciation for exquisite sports watches in their natural form, i.e. plain, has become as popular as iced out watches in the rap game. Both iced out watches and plain sports watches are equally desirable. The modern culture recognizes watchmaking in its purest form just like old-timer collectors do, so not altering the designs of the manufacturers has become a trend in itself, hence the name “Plain Jane”, which actually has a positive connotation. 

To sum it up, both iced out bustdown watches and unadulterated sports watches from the top brands are and will always be popular. 

rolex bustdown watches

MOST POPULAR BRANDS OF WATCHES TO BUST DOWN

This is easy. The most popular brands of watches to bust down are Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. These are also the most popular watch brands in general.

And while some traditionalist will still scoff at a Rolex, AP, or Patek watch that has been bust down, this negative sentiment is not as common as it was when the bustdown trend first started. Even watch purists recognize that busting down watches and icing them out is an art itself. Pending the quality and craftsmanship is superb, bustdown watches are respectable and should be appreciated. 

DIFFERENT TYPES OF BUSTDOWN WATCHES

Bustdown watches come in many forms. First, you can set diamonds into any of the parts that make up the watch, such as the appliqués, dial, bezel, case, bracelet, and clasp. A bustdown watch can have any or all of these parts encrusted with diamonds. Next, you have different diamond shapes and cuts. The most popular diamond cuts are round brilliants and baguettes, but emerald cut diamonds are also somewhat common. Moreover, you have precious gemstones that can add color to a bustdown watch. While sapphires are the most common, as they come in many different colors, rubies and emeralds are often used as well.

Finally, you have the setting type. The two most popular setting types are the chandelier style setting with baguettes. This setting makes the watch look like it is entirely covered with baguettes, as the only metal that can be seen are the edges. The second most popular setting type is the pave setting, and more specifically, the flower setting, which is a micro-pave setting that makes it so virtually no metal can be seen, similar to the chandelier setting, but with round brilliants. The flower setting doesn’t put the diamonds in rows like pave settings of the past, it puts them in a honeycomb formation. 

Let’s have a look at some examples of different bustdown watches, taken from the main images in this post.

Note: All of these watches are for sale and available to try on and inspect at Diamonds By Raymond Lee in Boca Raton.

Rolex 326139 Skydweller 18k White Gold All Diamond Watch

iced out sky-dweller

This is the first ever fully iced out white gold Sky-Dweller ever made. Read more about it here

Rolex 228238 Day Date with Diamond Bezel Black Dial Watch

iced out rolex president

This is a sophisticated bustdown design. It features 4 carats of high quality round brilliant diamond in the bezel. That’s it. It’s a simple touch that makes the watch standout in a powerful way.

Rolex 116759SA 18k White Gold GMT-Master II Watch

sapphire rolex

Here’s another subtle busdown watch creation. This GMT-Master II features a sapphire and diamond bezel and the lugs of the case showcase small round brilliant diamonds. 

Rolex 116655 Yacht Master 18k Rose Gold “Tutti Fruity” Aftermarket Bezel Watch

sapphire rolex yachtmaster

This is an aftermarket Tutti Fruity Yacht-Master (bezel set with exquisite sapphires). With this aftermarket creation, you get the factory look for a much more reasonable price (another benefit of aftermarket bustdown settings). 

Patek Philippe Nautilus 18k White Gold Diamond Wrist Bust Down Watch

iced out patek

This Patek Philippe Nautilus uses both baguette diamonds and round brilliant diamonds to create an unparalleled contrast of diamond shine. This is one of the newest style bustdown watches you will find. 

Patek Philippe Nautilus 18k Rose Gold 70ctw Baguette Diamond Bust Down Wrist Watch

chandelier patek

Here we have a highly desirable look in the world of bustdown watches. First of all, the watch is Patek Nautilus in Rose gold. That alone is one of the most sought after watches. Then you have the baguette diamonds setting. The baguettes fully flood this watch and they contrast with the rose gold beautifully. This is a watch that is going to standout even among the iciest. 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 25ctw Diamond Pave Stainless Steel Watch

bustdown Audemars Piguet

This micro-pave setting completely floods the watch with round brilliant diamonds. This watch is literally fully encrusted with round brilliants. This is the definition of icy. For a special touch, it features rubies at the 12, 6, and 9 o’clock. 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 18k White Gold with Factory Diamonds Watch

iced out AP

A bustdown Royal Oak Chronograph is not just coveted, it is rare. This bustdown watch uses a pave setting to cover the case, bezel, dial and clasp in diamonds. With the black strap, it creates a strong polarization on the wrist. 

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY A PRE-OWNED ALREADY-MADE BUST DOWN WATCH?

The main benefits of buying an already-made bustdown watch like the ones above rather than paying someone to do it for you with an existing untouched watch is that you won’t be losing any value. As we all know, busting down a watch and icing it out devalues the watch itself. Of course, it adds value intrinsically, but sometimes the value of the watch itself is more than the gemstones that were added. So, with already-made bustdown watches, the value is stable. You could resell the watch for a similar price as you pay at a later date. 

In terms of styles, you have a lot more options for iced out watches than if you only look to factory-set diamond watches. Bustdown watches are typically more extravagant than factory-set watches, as the classic watch brands like Rolex, Patek, and AP use diamonds in a subtle way. Therefore, if you want something from Rolex, Patek or AP that is very icy, you will need to look towards bustdown watches. This is why bustdown watches became so popular in the first place. 

bust down Patek Philippe watches

BUST DOWN WATCHES FOR SALE IN BOCA RATON

If you want to choose from a wide selection of bustdown watches, come to Diamonds By Raymond Lee in Boca Raton. All of our bustdown watches are exquisite quality and they are of the best brands, like Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. We know what the people want, and that’s what we have for sale. What’s more, our prices are unbeatable.

See our collection of Diamond Watches at Diamonds By Raymond Lee

Florida Jewelry | Luxury Watches | Raymond Lee Jewelers

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