Hands-on Artisans de Genève “Pearl Project”-Hollow Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711
An absolute icon in the world of custom watchmaking.
Today’s high-end Popular watch lovers are increasingly looking for unique products; no one else has a watch that reflects their personality. Some brands provide customized watches, but companies specializing in watch customization services are one of the ways to achieve exclusivity and personalization. There are few such companies, but Artisans de Genève is unique. This independent workshop does not manufacture or sell watches, but is commissioned by customers to modify their watches. What really makes Artisans de Genève top is its expertise and method of creating truly unique things. Although most players usually offer blacked-out versions of Rolex timepieces, Artisans de Genève goes a step further. Brossie, Rolex Daytona’s hollow and hand-wound chain is an example of its methods and capabilities. One of the latest commissions is even more surprising… A client commissioned the company to reinterpret an absolute logo, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711!
The Patek Philippe Nautilus hardly needs an introduction (for more information on the history of this model, click here). Patek Philippe launched this luxury sports watch in 1976. The original reference model 3700 was discontinued in 1990, and its nickname was Jumbo, and its direct product reference model 5711 was launched in 2006. This watch icon is one of the most popular watches on the market now. Is conversion 5711 relevant? Although opinions on this issue will certainly be different, one thing is clear, the way in which Geneva craftsmen personalize this Patek Philippe icon is impressive.
Pushing the limits of custom watch design
The idea here is not to transform a few components, but to create a unique hollow version of 5711. This customization work means recreating the external components of the watch (habillage, for those eager to build their French watchmaking vocabulary), and even the sport, has been completely changed.
The case is equipped with a forged carbon fiber bezel, which is a trademark of Geneva craftsmen, and the back cover now has a specific engraving. To showcase the movement, the dial is completely hollowed out and beveled by hand. It is satin-finished and has a matte finish. Rose gold markers enhance the subtle color contrast. New hands were specially made for this project to ensure the best match with the movement. These are all hand-carved, chamfered and satin-finished.
The movement itself is where more substantive work is involved. Skeletonizing the PP 26-330 movement requires more than disassembling it, engraving the metal and re-decorating some parts. Artisans de Genève mentioned that it took them three years to achieve this design. Each piece is hand-decorated and has first-class finishes. For example, this can be seen through the hollow balance bridge that is mirror-polished. The overall anthracite treatment gives the movement an absolutely modern appearance. Finally, the gold rotor is hollowed out and cut obliquely by hand.
Overall, this customization process gives the watch a distinctly modern and technical appearance. Naturally, many best Patek Philippe fans will think this is inappropriate, Nautilus is perfect and does not require modification. But this personalized way of fulfilling the wishes of private collectors is impressive.
Technical specifications-ARTISANS DE GENÈVE “THE PEARL PROJECT”
Case: Original 40mm stainless steel case-forged carbon bezel
Dial: Skeleton, beveled and vertically brushed dial-rose gold hour markers-rose gold hour and minute hands, central satin finish-rose gold, sandblasted second hand
Movement: 26-330 SC calibre modified, hollowed out, beveled and satin-finished, anthracite treatment, hand mirror-polished balance splint, hollow 21-carat gold balance wheel, hand-beveled and satin-finished
Bracelet: Original stainless steel bracelet and folding clasp