This custom Rolex was sent to a remote island to rust out on purpose

by | Last updated on May 18, 2022 at 4:57PM | Published on Apr 14, 2022 | Luxury, Watches


Artisans de Genève, a Swiss watch company that specialises in one-off customisation projects, has just revealed a unique Rolex Daytona nicknamed “Rusty”.

The name is a reference to the hue that they used for the bezel and the sub-dials, which makes it look like they’re rusting out.

This idea is guaranteed to divide opinions because the Daytona is an icon and it also set the world record for the most expensive wristwatch sold at auction in 2017 when one formerly owned by Paul Newman ended up selling for $17.75 million.

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Everything you see here was done on purpose, using methods and patience that some would describe as scientific.

The company carefully oxidised the dial by sending it to the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago with one of the highest humidity rates in the world, where they painstakingly controlled the patina for 10 weeks, after which they applied rhodium-plating on the dial.

The bronze-rusty look was also used for the movement, which was customised with 21k gold rotor bears and rose-gold gears.

How much? Well, this is a one-off project so the price was not disclosed.

But bear in mind that Rolex Daytona 116520 models – just like this one – cost between $35,000 and $50,000, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the customisation work added another $50,000 to the bill.


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