Les Artisans de Genève is a brand new firm that focuses on recreating basic watches from the previous, however updating and personalising them the place they see match. There isn’t any doubt in my thoughts as to the standard of their work, or the qualifications of their artisans, however this can be a novel apply that I think about will divide the group down the center. Utilizing a base mannequin from a model’s present vary, parts of the case, motion, and dial are modified or changed in homage to an previous, out-of-manufacturing mannequin. Their first piece – Les Artisans de Genève Tribute to Rolex Daytona 6263 – takes inspiration from one in every of Rolex‘s most iconic fashions, however brings it again to life and up-to-date, in their very own means.
That is the primary watch from Les Artisans de Genève, and it’s obtainable with both a black or white dial. These watches, produced in significantly restricted runs, begin life as a Rolex Daytona 116520 earlier than being reworked right into a ticker from antiquity. Earlier than I delve into the specifics of this watch and the way these craftspeople have concurrently modified and stayed true to the Rolex Daytona 6263 within the creation of this homage, I really feel it will be useful to put this firm within the wider context of watchmaking and ask whether or not we’ve seen something like this earlier than.
Once I first learn the press launch, I assumed I used to be wanting on the proposal for a Swiss-based mostly Bamford Watch Division, however that is not the case in any respect. This firm takes a special tack to the idea of customisation of a Rolex within the type of Bamford or Made Worn (this Rolex Milgauss by Made Worn continues to be my favorite Rolex ever). That is extra like an homage, with a restoration to make the watch a up to date piece. It sort of jogs my memory of ICON Automative and what they do with automobiles.
Attending to the nitty-gritty… The unique Rolex Daytona Massive Pink 6263, launched in 1967, was powered by a Valjoux seventy five. That was a guide motion. This model contains a modified 4130 base calibre, an automated motion. Two main customisations have been made by Les Artisans de Genève to place their stamp on the undertaking: a properly adorned 22 carat gold rotor weight bearing their identify has changed the usual oscillator; moreover, a gold stability bridge has been put in, altering the general look of the calibre.
The Rolex Daytona 6263, takes its “Huge Pink” nickname from the massive, pink Daytona that curves across the prime of the six o’clock sub-dial, and this was important for Les Artisans de Genève to get proper. Seemingly, the staff spent over two years researching its nuances, and the mixed efforts of 9 craftsman over a seventy eight-hour interval have been required to assemble the dial. The dial and the up to date palms (which aren’t similar to the unique, however a pleasant evolution) supply distinctive legibility, and are the epitome of a racing chronograph when paired collectively.
Different exterior modifications embrace the hand-made “push-pump” pusher items, which nonetheless assure water resistance to 100m, but in addition supply a clean feel and appear throughout operation. The modern type is complemented by the bakelite bezel, which mirrors the fashions of 1970. Today, we’re used to seeing metal, aluminium, or ceramic as the primary materials for bezel inserts. This materials provides a very classic, genuine really feel to the piece, and was well worth the necromancy it should have taken to resurrect the just about forgotten talent of working bakelite right into a luxurious product.
The final modification made to the surface of the case and bracelet is the re-sprucing (completed by hand) to match the unique mannequin’s end. That is carried out by Tiago, their in-home grasp polisher (and, by the appears of the web site, half-time mannequin/native coronary heart-breaker). Judging by the outcomes, they’ve cause to shout about it – the watch does seem like the unique, from the entrance at the least. Turning it over to see the glass case again, a customized gold rotor and stability bridge, and a reputation aside from Rolex adorning the motion may shatter the phantasm – or perhaps not. Les Artisans de Genève will produce simply two watches per thirty days, and I sit up for what comes subsequent. Worth for the Les Artisans de Genève Tribute to Rolex Daytona 6263 is $22,458. lesartisansdegeneve.com