A fully iced-out watch is probably one of the most beautiful in a luxury watch collection. It does not matter what brand it is from, Rolex, Cartier, Patek Phillipe, or even second-tier. Once you perform a complete ice treatment, it looks like a piece of jewelry instead of a functional tool. However, when you see one, a question that pops into your mind is whether the icing was done by the company or the individual owning the watch.
Well, more often than you might think, the answer to that question is customized work. When customized after purchase, it becomes a bust-down watch – a process that covers the entire look with diamonds, ultimately making it shine like a diamond. Put that thing under the sun, and you will easily blind yourself and the people around you. The term found its slang in hip-hop, and you hear it being called “buss down.”
Understanding Bust Down
Bussdown is the slang term for “busted down,” which involves taking a watch apart completely until you separate all the frame from the mechanical parts. Once the separation is done, a highly experienced craftsman starts putting diamonds on all the details of the structure that will be on the outside. This process is time-consuming, meticulous, and incredibly delicate as well. Once the entire watch is completely covered, it is put back together, and then you start to understand why it also has alternative names like “iced watches” and “flooded watches.”
One thing to remember here is that this process only applies to original watches from proper brands. You can also find fake versions of this, but you can easily ignore those as they do not count among properly iced watches.
How are Diamonds Inserted?
This is probably the most intriguing part of the process, as you almost embed diamonds into something that barely has space. However, there is actual physical alteration needed for the body. The jeweler on the watch carefully grooves all the diamonds with a drill. A lot of planning is required to ensure that the holes being drilled are perfect for the look and align all the diamonds properly upon installation. The diamonds must also be measured, as the grooves should all match the installed diamonds.
In some cases, working on the bezel to create space for all the diamonds may not be possible. That requires something bigger, and they do it by creating a completely new bezel for the watch. Doing all this is incredibly difficult, and only the most masterful diamond setters can do it properly without messing anything up.
Will the Watch Still Work the Same?
A big concern with taking the watch apart is losing its ability to work fine in some cases or losing the watch’s waterproofing. However, if you are getting it done from an expert who knows how to do a bust down properly, that can help you. Expert diamond setters can return the seal to its original position and save your water resistance rating.
We strongly recommend a secondhand watch if you are new to the bust-down culture and want to feel the market. It will give you an idea of how much you will spend before committing a huge sum.