Personalization of timepieces can take multiple shapes, from the classic black coating to the highly-debatable integration of stones (the so-called icing process). But some workshops are on a mission to demonstrate that customization can be made with taste and haute-horlogerie in mind. And the Artisans de Genève are certainly among the bests in this exercise. Known for pushing the idea as far as deeply transforming the look of a watch and applying intricate skeletonization techniques to movements, this team of specialized craftsmen only work upon request of its customers. Following the initial Pearl Project with carbon elements, the workshop presents today a new and highly attractive gold version, the Artisans de Genève “Honey Pearl” Project.
Disclaimer: Artisans de Genève is an independent company specialized in the personalization of timepieces. The present watch is a sample of their know-how and of the personalization services made upon request of a customer. Artisans de Genève is not affiliated with Patek Philippe SA nor authorized by them to intervene on their products for any reason whatsoever. This personalization was ordered for his private use by a customer who owns a Patek Philippe timepiece.
We’ve said in the past when presenting the inaugural “Pearl Project” with carbon bezel or the recently-presented “Cool Hand Brooklyn Skeleton” made together with Spike Lee, Artisans de Genève is among the most noticeable workshops when it comes to the personalization of watches. It’s not just about changing a dial or adding a coating, the work done here goes far more in-depth and includes the modification of the case, the addition of new material, and one of their specialities, the modification and skeletonisation of movements, re-decorated by hand in a traditional way. While the style of these creations can be polarizing – it actually reflects the choice of the owner of the watch used as a base – one has to recognize the impressive quality of the work done.
The latest personalization project presented by Artisans de Genève is a new take on the Pearl Project, a project that was on a mission to add skeletonization and haute horlogerie touches to the Nautilus 5711. The first project resulted from the wishes of a customer and owner of a steel edition of this watch, who wanted to set it apart with a unique bezel, which was executed in carbon fibre. For the new “Honey Pearl” Project, the base provided by the client is an 18k rose gold Nautilus 5711/1R, and the work done by Artisans de Genève is once again reflecting his desires, but also is a demonstration of know-how and traditional horology.
The idea, using this famous luxury sports watch as a base, was to define a whole new colour palette, along with creating a harmony between the lines and colours, but also to provide classic high-end watchmaking pleasure, with a movement entirely opened and finished by hand. Here, the original 18k rose gold case, bezel and bracelet are kept intact, with the exception of a personalized caseback engraved with specific literature, with a view on the reworked movement. No integration of modern materials either in this second chapter of the Pearl Project, resulting in a more consensual design, both luxurious and elegant.
Where the Honey Pearl Project really differs from the original watch is through its dial and its see-through caseback. Indeed, most of the work done by Artisans de Genève has been focused on creating a new colour scheme and new dial design. As such, the original dial has been replaced by a blue chapter ring, leaving an uncluttered view of the movement. This ring features newly designed and manufactured hour applied markers, made of 18k rose gold and filled with luminous material. It is bevelled and shows a vertically brushed surface. In the same vein, the client wanted to have newly designed hands, which are faceted, bevelled and straight brushed.
In addition to these modifications on the habillage, most of the work done by Artisans de Genève on this Honey Pearl Project is visible on the movement. Using the original calibre 26-330 SC of the donor watch, the workshop has entirely skeletonized the automatic movement, with most of the parts carved with impressive precision and attention to detail. All the parts have been painstakingly cut, satin-finished and delicately bevelled by hand. The balance cock even shows impressive arms with mirror-polished surfaces. The back reveals an original circular-grained surface on the bridges and the original gold rotor was also finely skeletonized and bevelled by hand. The result retains the elegant blend of the satin-brush and mirror polish finish, yet with more contrast thanks to an anthracite treatment on the bridges and plates.
With this new Honey Pearl Project, Artisans de Genève once again demonstrates its impressive savoir-faire. Keep in mind that this personalization has been requested by a private customer. It is a sample of know-how and thus reflects the desires of the owner of the original watch and all modifications have been made according to his requests. The overall look is certainly polarizing and not meant to be appreciated by all, but the level of execution is once again quite spectacular. The price will remain undisclosed but you can, of course, contact Artisans de Genève in order to work on a creation, based on your own watch, that will reflect your personality.
More details at www.artisansdegeneve.com.