In the world of watches, opinions about modified or customized or ‘tuned’ watches are usually not very positive. That’s why the official collaboration between LVMH brands Zenith and TAG Heuer with one of these customizers, Bamford, was remarkable, to say the least. For a few years now, another customizer is making a name for itself and does it in a rather qualitative and original way. I’m talking about Artisans de Genève, and today they launch a fully skeletonized Rolex Daytona, which they designed together with ex-Formula 1 driver, Juan Pablo Montoya. And it looks pretty cool!
So, what makes this one so different from the vast majority of modified watches? The stainless steel case and bracelet are more or less unaltered, although the caseback and bezel have been modified. The caseback now has a sapphire inset pane, so the (now) skeletonized Rolex calibre 4130 can be seen (or admired.) Around that sapphire crystal, the caseback has been engraved with “Les Artisans de Genève” and “Juan Pablo Montoya” and the individual number of this limited edition.
On the front side, many things have changed and the bezel has been exchanged for a custom-made bezel with tachymeter that has been machined from a forged carbon block. And as a good-old racing-inspired chronograph (and as the original model), it comes with a tachymeter scale.
The movement has been skeletonized and by that, we mean the mainplate, bridges and even the mainspring-drum have been opened. Many of the parts have been coated, but not before they have been brushed, bevelled and polished by hand. The finishing is really top notch!
The 22k grey gold rotor is polished with a circular finishing. All this creates a rather entertaining display. Especially with the skeletonized dial that is bevelled and polished by hand too and comes with three coloured counters. Like the hands, the counters are individually painted by hand, in the colours of Juan Pablo Montoya’s country, Colombia.