Swiss atelier Artisans de Genève has made a real name for itself with superb and stunning customization projects over the past several years. For Formula 1 racing legend Mika Häkkinen, Artisans de Genève customized a ROLEX Daytona® watch by transforming it into a skeletonized version with a manual winding movement. Then there was the Zinal Challenge which took the client’s existing Rolex® 116520 and made significant modifications — all inspired by a Swiss glacier. Now, Artisans de Genève presents The Maggiore Challenge. The canvas for The Maggiore Challenge is the venerable Rolex Daytona reference 116505, a classic sporting chronograph watch loved and coveted by collectors all around the globe. The client expressed his wish to use warm, autumnal colors and specific materials to evoke his childhood memories of Lake Maggiore, Italy. Anonymously referred to as Mr. R.D.L, he said: “To me, Lake Maggiore is my childhood. It’s where I spent all my family holidays, where my father gave me his love of sailing, and where I first understood the beauty and majesty of nature.”
The final result is stunning. A sapphire dial and sapphire display case back allow unobstructed views of the heavily refinished and skeletonized Rolex 4130 chronograph movement. Each piece of the caliber 4130 was hand-cut and treated in gray anthracite. The Artisans de Genève craftspeople then hand-beveled and hand-polished each element to bring contrast and shine. The sapphire dial features solid rose gold hour markers and sub-dial borders that appear to “float” on top of the movement within. Black translucent rings on the outer edges of the dial and subdials allow for increased legibility of the chronograph scales and minute track.
Artisans de Genève chose solid rose gold for the custom-made hour and minute hands. The sub-dial hands and the orange-tipped central second hand are also made of solid rose gold. The sub-dial hands are painted white on the tip and counterbalance. Upon seeing his watch for the first time, Mr. R.D.L. said, “I immediately got immersed into my childhood memories and the time spent at Lake Maggiore. I looked at it for seconds and was amazed by the final result, it exceeded my expectations. The artisans have combined the aesthetic and the technique with great elegance.”
For another recent Artisans de Genève challenge, check out The Sea Shepherd Challenge.
DISCLAIMER: Artisans de Genève is an independent company specialized in the personalization of timepieces. We are not affiliated with ROLEX SA nor authorized by them to intervene on their products for any reason whatsoever. This personalization was ordered by a customer, who owns a Rolex® timepiece, for his private use. It is an example of our know-how and the personalization services we offer at our customers’ request.