What is a Bust Down Rolex?

Bust down is a slang term referring to Rolex or other luxury watches that are ‘broken down’, or disassembled to have diamonds set on the case, bracelet and other components. Another slang for diamond encrusted jewelry is ‘iced out’.

Even though it is slang, there is science behind diamonds referred to as ice;  because of their ability to conduct heat higher than other gemstones, they extract or conduct heat away from the body and can feel like ice to the immediate touch.

Being referred to as ice in today’s culture, hip-hop really deserves the credit for that one. Even the-bigger-the-better-bling really came desired because of hip-hop artists.

Bust Down Rolex


Ancient Civilizations

For centuries and centuries jewelry has been a sign of status and the first ways humans adorned themselves. Ancient jewelry made of bone and gold, Cleopatra’s jewels and crowns, ancient Roman and Greek diadems. I think we can all agree humans have always had a penchant for decorating themselves.

Whether it be to portray power and status, for religious reasons, to pay homage to your tribe, or just another layer of decoration; jewelry has long played a role in our expression.

Diamonds have also been a long standing symbol of wealth, power and status; Rolex has been a long standing symbol of success. It’s only natural that combining them would be an ultimate symbol of success and wealth. It’s also really pretty. Can we say light refractions, yes please!

Hip Hop Culture

Really beginning in the 70’s, hip hop culture gave men the comfort to adorn themselves in jewelry once again. From Run DMC and Master P, to 50 Cent and Migos, Vanilla Ice and Tupac…..hip hop has played a major role in how jewelry on men and diamond encrusted jewelry has been perceived in today’s culture.

The bigger, the better. The more diamonds, the more success. Ice Ice, baby!

I mean let’s be honest, how many men rocked a sparkling glove after seeing Michael Jackson debuting it in 1983? Performers are idolized and set standards in fashion and jewelry.

While trends obviously change, looking through the lengths of history it shows…. We always love to sparkle!

Is it Rolex or aftermarket?

While Rolex does offer some fully diamond encrusted watches, a bust down specifically refers to aftermarket additions. People believe aftermarket additions will devalue the watch, but there can be exceptions.

A luxury watch covered in diamonds is still going to add value. However, the diamond size needed to encrust a watch is pretty small; so each individual diamond won’t have much value on it’s own. And once a watch is fully set in diamonds, there’s no going back.

How do I know if I should do it?

Should you take an original Paul Newman Daytona ref. 6262 and ice it out? We really hope not. But anyone wanting to fully encrust a watch in diamonds isn’t doing it because they want to resell down the road.

This is a custom piece designed for you. It is a personal investment, not a financial investment.

Which watch is the best to ice out?

Obviously a collectors watch would not be the ideal candidate. While some people do ice out their GMT or Submariner, Pateks, and Richard Mille’s; some of these could appreciate quite well if left untouched. Our suggestion would be to call and gather information on your specific watch before moving forward.

While gold is a beautiful backdrop to the diamonds, stainless steel can be just as beautiful and a great material choice to hold these stones because of its strength.

In either case, the best option in my opinion would really be to purchase a pre-owned Datejust or Day-Date (if you want gold) and customize it to your heart's content.


If you’re interested in some extra shine in your life, please only take your watch to someone experienced with Rolex and have gem setters on staff; or know and have worked with experienced gem setters.