Gay Frères was founded in 1835 in Geneva by Jean-Pierre Gay and Gaspard Tissot. They specialized in making chains for pocket watches and jewelry. They became well known metalworkers particularly in stainless steel which was more difficult to work in than precious metals for jewelers of that time. Rolex even became a client of Gay Frères; they produced stainless steel, gold and platinum bracelets in a wide range of styles and sizes. By the 1940’s they were supplying Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin and others followed like Audemars Piguet and Jaeger LeCoultre. In the 1970's Gay Freres was still family owned and had the largest factory in Geneva! At the time they employed over 500 specialist craftsmen for their watch parts business and they were also designing and making jewelry. Necklaces and bracelets in a wide variety of designs were a staple of their business for obvious reasons however the also produces rings, and bangles, and other pieces with and without diamonds and gems. They also enameled pieces and experimented with different finishes. They exhibited at the Basel show over the years and created four factories including ones in Lyon and Hanoi. They even have manufactured for Van Cleef & Arpels and Hermès through to mass market stores . In 1998 the company was acquired by Rolex. Then in 2010 they became the first certified member of France’s Responsible Jewellery Council (The RJC).