You can’t go wrong with a Rolex. At least, that’s what Rolex aficionados want you to believe. However, the moment they begin telling you Rolex is the way to go, you realize that wearing a Rolex is far from being exclusive. With production numbers of approximately 800,000 chronometers per year, chances are quite high you’ll meet someone wearing the exact same model, on the same day as you buy yours.
We at Motoring Exposure love Rolex watches, but at the same time, we applaud your need to express your own unique and individual style; the same as when we write about exclusive super cars you love to read about. So if you crave a Rolex for its style and design, but don’t want the risk of shaking hands with someone wearing the same model, can we recommend a custom watch for you?
Customization allows you to benefit from all qualities a Rolex watch has to offer – an accurate chronometer movement, a classic design that continues to appeal to you 20 years from now, a comfortable bracelet with micro-adjustment and a great resale value, even for limited editions. You can have the watch case and bracelet blackened, to give the watch a deep black glow, by using the DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) technique, or you can request for more specific customization. A Submariner without crown guards for example, like James Bond’s time piece in Dr. No or a Rolex Daytona treated with DLC technique and with the beautiful black and red dial of its white gold version- you name it, it is possible!
Based in London, UK, Project X Designs can customize your watch to suit your taste. There are three options to choose from: Bespoke, Black-Out or Limited Editions. The last two options are various existing Rolex models already customized by the company, and which can be ordered from their web shop.
Black-Out refers to a watch that has been treated with DLC and Limited Editions are existing models extremely modified in several different flavors. Modifications that will make your watch remind you of models from the 1970s or earlier eras, for example. Or modifications that re-style the entire watch, by adding a sapphire display back that will enable you to look at the Rolex movement (can be modified as well, with a DLC rotor for example) or replace the default bezel with a custom bezel with enamel engraving. Project X Designs offers a wide range of Limited Edition models, restricted to a maximum of 24 pieces each. It suddenly has become less likely you will encounter the exact same Rolex model on someone else’s wrist.
Bespoke editions are watches you can pick from the web shop, like Rolex Milgaus, Submariner or Explorer models to name a few, and select modifications you want to apply to the watch. Options are (a.o):
– DLC treatment for the watch case, bracelet, bezel, hands, movement rotor
– Crown guard removal
– Sapphire case back
– Alternate case and bracelet finish
– Custom case back engraving (including enameled)
– Alternative bezel insert
The great thing about a Bespoke option is that you can also bring along a pre-owned watch and have it designed for you, or – of course – buy a new Rolex and have it customized. Project X Designs accept watches from other brands, but they are limited to Panerai and Audemars Piguet for now, and for all other brands, it’s recommended you check with the company before bringing in your watch. Customization takes 4 – 6 weeks, depending on the type of work required. Prices are listed on the Project X Designs website, but to give you an example: DLC treatment of the watch case, bezel and bracelet has a 1750 GBP / US$ 2630 price tag attached to it.
So, the next time you encounter another Submariner owner, let him stare for a while before you tell him you had yours modified. Don’t share all your secrets though! Let’s keep it exclusive!