“I’m a budding collector and have a couple of pieces, though recently I’ve been intrigued by some customised models from larger brands. Is this sacrilege? If not, who should I look to?”
Though plenty of the more important brands will vehemently tell you otherwise, customised models are far from sacrilege. Is it wrong to buy a bespoke suit? Is it a war crime to drape your Lamborghini in purple velvet? Only on the grounds of taste. The same goes for watches; if what you want just isn’t out there, we see no reason not to go and make it yourself.
As for where to go, some brands already offer a level of customisation – you’ll have seen pieces from military regiments with crests on the backs and unique engravings. Yet the brands themselves are loath to alter their watches all that much; they designed them in the first place after all. If you want to really go horologically off-piste you’ll need a third party.
There are a huge number of companies making customised and bespoke Rolexes – think Bamford Watch Department in London, MAD Designs in Paris, Brevet Plus, Pro Hunter and Titan Black – but most of these do other brands, too. If you have a particular project in mind you can go to pretty much any of them; just remember, regardless of who you opt for, it’s going to cost you…
Check out their Instagram:
Jargon Buster: The COSC
The Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres is the official precision testing authority responsible for allowing any watch to be called a chronometer. A chronometer is more than just a watch; it’s a timekeeper that adheres to a level of accuracy over time. It has to lose no more than four seconds a day and gain less than six under all manner of angles, temperatures and stresses. In short, COSC certification is the industry standard for luxury watches and you can be sure when you see it that your watch is as precise as a fine timepiece should be.
Questions about wristwatches? Dilemmas over luxury goods? Predicaments concerning one’s new choice of motorcar? Ask The Oracle, our all-seeing, all-knowing sage, and your queries will be answered: email@example.com