Anyone looking for a bespoke watch wants a bit more than a new paint job. I say that sitting in Jerez at the Lamborghini Super Trofeo final, where every car has a bespoke paint job, which got me thinking about how impossible that would be to do with a watch. After all, knock a watch and you need to get it completely redone; knock your car on the track and you have bigger problems than the paint.
That’s why watch customisation is all about the materials you use, be they cutting-edge or exotic, lightweight or precious metal. It’s also what makes watch customisation a pain to do properly, let alone well. It’s also why Designa Individual is a singular place for getting your bespoke watch.
Designa Individual didn’t start in watches initially, but phones. They began by creating phones from carbon fibre, skins, anything and everything that not only protected the phone but looked killer as well. It was a learned mastery of shape and style that it didn’t take long for them to transplant into the world of watches.
It’s easy to look at some of its watches and just think: ‘Ok, that’s a black Rolex.’ Look a bit closer though and you’ll see that, like the cars currently racing around me, there’s a lot more going on beneath the hood.
For one, that black Rolex might just happen to be the lightest version of the Daytona ever built, the raciest version of the iconic race watch. Part of that is thanks to the quality of the carbon fibre – and yes, there are very different qualities around – and to ingenious construction. Sure it’s anathema to Rolex purists, but for anyone looking for a twist on the classic there is no lightweight equal.
That’s of course just one example and you only need to head to its website to take a look at some of its other creations. Some are stealthy, some have a splash of pop-art in tow, some are just completely off the wall. They are all, however, built to order.
These aren’t mass-produced watches; mass production with this kind of quality is an impossible paradox, and Designa Individual is at capacity in what it can do. It won’t be scaling up any time soon either, so you won’t be seeing its creations on every wrist.
The creation process is streamlined as much as possible; there are none of the endless customisation options you get on some websites, the kind that are intimidating in their vastness. Instead, you can choose from colours and materials that the watches would not have originally come in and rest assured that you’ll be presented with your ideal take on a Milgauss, Daytona, Worldtimer or even a unique Konstantin Chaykin Joker.
Just be warned: waiting times are increasing. As I said, Designa Individual has no inclination to scale up and risk the quality and with demand growing the rules of supply and demand dictate its lead times. So, if you decide you need a rare, rarefied custom watch, you might want to get in there early. After all, it’s a damn sight harder than wrapping a car.
More details at designa-individual.com