Les Artisans de Genève is a watchmaking workshop offering customisation services for private customers. The original aspect of their work is that they perform elaborate modifications. Do not expect them to go for the straightforward black-PVD coated case… Their collaboration with Juan Pablo Montoya already gave us an idea of their “in-depth” approach. Today, Les Artisans de Genève unveils a new customisation performed on a Rolex Daytona, a fully skeletonised piece made in collaboration with ex-Formula 1 driver Rubens Barrichello.
Based on the classic Rolex Daytona 116520 in steel with steel bezel, the Artisans de Genève ”La Barrichello” stands out by the way its team has transformed the Rolex calibre 4130 Chronograph, giving the watch a sportier and highly mechanical style.
Presented in a completely different light, the Rolex Chronograph movement is completely disassembled, skeletonised – parts sometimes have to be fully manufactured – and (re)decorated by hand in an impressive way. The rotor is inspired by the shape of Rubens Barrichello’s car trim. It is fashioned out of 21k gold and is coated with black DLC. The movement features some high-end decorations, such as hand-chamfered bridges or polished bevels. Altogether, the modification requires 260 hours of work. The movement is also visible through a specific sapphire caseback.
With regards to the “habillage”, the matte openwork dial now reveals the modified movement. Only the rings around the sub-dials are kept, with their redesigned shape and different inscriptions. For instance, the 12-hour counter is treated in silver with red font while the two others are discreetly picked out in black with white font. The inner flange on the periphery of the dial is also new, with unique luminous markers. The hands are replaced and repainted by hand.
The case stands out with DLC-coated pushers/crown. Also new is the ceramic bezel, replacing the original steel bezel of the Daytona 116520. The Artisans de Genève ”La Barrichello” features its own, original bezel with a red “tachymeter” inscription and specific scale/markings. Finally, the case is re-polished and re-brushed for a distinctive finishing.
For the creation of this special watch, Artisans de Genève collaborated with two watchmakers/craftsmen from the Vallée de Joux, Philippe Narbel and Julien Tixier. The Daytona ”La Barrichello” is worn on a re-finished Oyster steel bracelet or on a black rubber strap with a red central stripe, on a folding buckle.
Naturally, we do not expect Rolex to approve this watch, but all in all, the Artisans de Genève ”La Barrichello” is a spectacular take on the Daytona. Price is set at CHF 50,800. For more information, you can visit www.artisansdegeneve.com.