Modern super-accurate recreation of the famous Gay Frères (GF) beads-of-rice stainless steel bracelet. Fully polished, heavy solid steel, 7 or 9 rows, featuring straight end links 17, 18, 19, 20 and 22 mm sizes, correct foldover clasp, gives killer look to your iconic vintage steel timepiece. The individual links of this bracelet are arranged like grains of rice. This design was introduced in the 1940’s and is one of the most popular designs by Gay Frères. The fine, small parts make the bracelet look slimmer and more elegant that’s why Longines and Patek Philippe used it to embellish their dress watches. In particular, this bracelet gives a vintage charm to classic watches, bringing the look (and value) of your luxury watch to the next level.
Original Gay Frères beads-of-rice (BoR) bracelet created by the most famous bracelet maker, is undoubtedly the best watch accessory money can buy. No wonder that the most expensive wristwatch ever bought at auction, $11 million stainless steel Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 is paired with Gay Frères beads-of-rice bracelet. Chronometers, chronographs, time-only wristwatches, every important vintage steel watch deserve this shiny and gorgeous stainless steel bracelet, however they are usually heavily used, the end-links are often too short and damaged, they cost up to $2,000 on their own and obviously they are extremely rare.
Being a Geneva-based business, Grailium Vintage Watches Co. has tried to contact former Gay Frères metalworker here in Geneva in attempt to reissue these amazing bracelets. However after long discussions and calculations we realized that the cost to produce them locally in Switzerland would be prohibitive for most potential buyers. At the same time we have ordered all the versions of modern beads-of-rice bracelets available on the market (6 different manufactures from EU, Japan, HK and US), carefully tested and compared them link-to-link and clasp-to-clasp to original beads-of-rice Gay Frères bracelets. Based on our research, usage tests results, numerous changes and feedbacks, thanks to invaluable advices made by Gabriel K. (former Gay Frères metalworker), finally we are proud to offer to all our friends and clients the most accurate modern recreation of legendary beads-of-rice stainless steel bracelet.
A bit of history: Gay Frères was founded in 1835 by Jean-Pierre Gay and Gaspard Tissot. In the beginning, the company produced jewelry and chains for pocket watches. From the 1940’s onward, Gay Frères supplied virtually all the major watch brands, including Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Zenith. The company drew particular acclaim with its congenial bracelets for Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak and Zenith’s El Primero classic watches. The major watchmakers treasured Gay Frères for the expertise in steel processing, among other things. In fact, by 1976, family-owned Gay Frères, run by the brothers Jacques-Hubert et Jean-Francois Gay, the bracelet maker was Geneva’s largest and most professionalized factory, with more than 500 specialists in their employ.