Fans of high-end watches are looking for more and more unique products, an object that tries to reflect, in the best possible way, its personality. Some brands offer bespoke watches, but companies that specialize in watch customization services are one way to exclusivity and personalization.
Few of these companies exist, but, of course, Artisans de Genève is the most important of these. An independent workshop does not manufacture or sell watches but are commissioned by customers to transform their timepieces. The Geneva-based company has been entrusted with countless challenges, the latest in chronological order is the reinterpretation of an absolute icon, a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus needs a few introductions. The version of Patek of the luxury sports watch was introduced in 1976 with the reference 3700. The recently discontinued reference, the 5711 was launched in 2006.
The idea here was not to transform a few components, but to create a unique skeletonized version of the 5711. This customization work involved re-creating the external components of a watch and even the movement, which was completely transformed.
The case was fitted with a forged carbon bezel, a signature of Artisans de Genève and the caseback now features specific engravings. To reveal the movement, the dial has been entirely skeletonized and beveled by hand. It is satin with a matte finish. The rose gold markers enhance the subtle color contrast. New hands were made specifically for this project to ensure optimal correspondence with the movement. These are hand carved, beveled and satin finished.
But it is precisely in the movement that the most substantial work has been done. Skeletonize the caliber PP 26-330 it required much more than taking it apart, cutting out the metal and repainting some parts. Artisans de Genève states that it took three years to implement this project. Each piece is hand-decorated with first-rate finishes. This can be appreciated, for example, on the openwork balance wheel bridge with its mirror polished finish. The overall anthracite treatment gives the movement a decidedly modern look. Finally, the gold rotor is perforated and beveled by hand.
Overall, this customization process gives the watch a decidedly modern and technical look. Of course, many fans of Patek Philippe they will think this is inappropriate and that the Nautilus is perfect as it is and needs no retouching. But the way this customization was done to fulfill a private collector's wish is truly impressive!