The personalisation of timepieces can take many forms, from a classic black coating to the highly debatable integration of stones (the so-called ‘icing process’). But some workshops are on a mission to demonstrate that customisation can be made with taste and Haute Horlogerie in mind. Artisans de Genève is certainly among the best in this field. Known for radically transforming the look of a watch and applying intricate skeletonisation techniques to movements, this team of specialised craftsmen only works upon request. Following the initial Pearl Project with carbon elements, the workshop presents a new and highly attractive gold version, the Artisans de Genève “Honey Pearl” Project.
Disclaimer: Artisans de Genève is an independent company specialising in the personalisation of timepieces. The present watch is a sample of its know-how and of the personalisation services made upon request. Artisans de Genève is not affiliated with Patek Philippe SA nor authorised by them to intervene on their products for any reason whatsoever. This personalisation was commissioned for private use by a customer who owns a Patek Philippe timepiece.
Artisans de Genève is one of the standout workshops when it comes to the personalisation of watches, as we witnessed with the inaugural “Pearl Project” with carbon bezel or the recent “Cool Hand Brooklyn Skeleton” made together with Spike Lee. It’s not just about changing a dial or adding a coating; the work done here goes far more in-depth and includes the modification of the case, the addition of new material, and one of its specialities, the modification and skeletonisation of movements, re-decorated by hand in the traditional way. While the style of these creations can be polarising – it actually reflects the choice of the owner of the watch – one has to recognise the impressive quality of the work done.
The latest personalisation project presented by Artisans de Genève is a new take on the Pearl Project, which incorporated skeletonisation and Haute Horlogerie touches to the Nautilus 5711. The first project was the result of a customer’s petition for a carbon fibre bezel on his steel Nautilus. For the new “Honey Pearl” Project, the base provided by the client is an 18k rose gold Nautilus 5711/1R, and, once again, the work done by Artisans de Genève reflects the customer’s desires but is also a demonstration of know-how and traditional horology.
The idea, using this famous luxury sports watch as a base, was to define a whole new colour palette, creating harmony between the lines and colours, but also to provide classic high-end watchmaking pleasure, with a movement entirely opened and finished by hand. Here, the original 18k rose gold case, bezel and bracelet are kept intact, with the exception of a personalised caseback engraved with specific literature, with a view on the reworked movement. No modern materials were used in this second chapter of the Pearl Project, resulting in a more consensual design that is both luxurious and elegant.
Where the Honey Pearl Project really differs from the original watch is through its dial and its see-through caseback. Indeed, most of the work done by Artisans de Genève has been focused on creating a new colour scheme and new dial design. As such, the original dial has been replaced by a blue chapter ring, leaving an uncluttered view of the movement. This ring features newly designed and manufactured applied hour markers made of 18k rose gold and filled with luminous material. The chapter ring is bevelled and displays a vertically brushed surface. In the same vein, the client wanted to have newly designed hands, which are faceted, bevelled and straight brushed.
In addition to these modifications on the habillage, most of the work done by Artisans de Genève on this Honey Pearl Project is visible on the movement. Using the original calibre 26-330 SC of the donor watch, the workshop has entirely skeletonised the automatic movement, with most of the parts carved with impressive precision and attention to detail. All the parts have been painstakingly cut, satin-finished and delicately bevelled by hand. Even the arms of the balance cock reveal mirror-polished surfaces. The back displays an original circular-grained surface on the bridges, and the original gold rotor was also finely skeletonised and bevelled by hand. The result retains the elegant blend of the satin-brush and mirror-polish finish, yet with more contrast thanks to an anthracite treatment on the bridges and plates.
With this new Honey Pearl Project, Artisans de Genève once again demonstrates its impressive savoir-faire. Keep in mind that this personalisation was requested by a private customer. It is a sample of know-how and thus reflects the desires of the owner of the original watch, and all modifications have been made according to his requests. The overall look is certainly polarising and not meant to be appreciated by all, but the level of execution is quite spectacular. The price will remain undisclosed, but you can, of course, contact Artisans de Genève to work on a creation based on your own watch that reflects your personality.
More details at www.artisansdegeneve.com.