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The Art of Customized Watchmaking: Artisan de Genève

Francesco Ciorra

drawing a luxury watch

Source: Artisan de Genève

As probably most of you already know, the value of a watch is largely determined by the brand as well as the exact watch model including its scarcity. Nowadays investors and collectors aim to have the best performing watches on the market and also the most exclusive and personalized ones. For this reason, at Konvi we choose to list only the best high-profile watches on our platform and also to inform you about other trends in the market. In this article in particular, we are going to explore the last frontier of watch personalization together: Artisan de Genève.

What is Artisan de Genève?

Artisan the Genève, as already suggested by the name, is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and is an independent and innovative high-quality watchmaking workshop. They offer an exclusive service of watch modification for selected private customers. In fact, their clientele includes a number of VIPs like Juan Pablo Montoya, the former Formula 1 driver, Andrea Pirlo, Former Football player and world cup winner, and also the famous American director, Spike Lee. These watch modifications are made exclusively upon request in a very limited capacity, in their workshops in Switzerland. Artisans de Genève gathers the best Swiss experts and manufacturers around their three essential values of savoir-faire, excellence and uniqueness.

The watch customization landscape

In this special industry of luxury watch customization with the right passion and professionalism, Artisan de Genève is actually not the only player. Skeleton Concept is the second renowned watch atelier which is based in France. Both market players are globally recognized as the best craftsmen for watch modifications and customization. While Artisan de Genève is focusing only on Rolex timepieces, Skeleton Concept focuses mainly on skeletonizing high-end watches, which involves removing everything from a watch deemed unnecessary in order to showcase the mechanical movement within.

“Challenges” by Artisan de Genève

Whenever Artisan de Genève is working on new projects, they call them "challenges". Once the atelier has selected the right customers, they start defining a challenge to customize a watch that reflects the owner's personality. A challenge for Artisan de Genève is in fact the process of making a common luxury watch more similar to the VIP that owns it. The challenge that revolutionized Artisan de Genève’s brand was the watch customization challenge for Juan Pablo Montoya (former Formula 1 driver). The watch workshop decided to modify the Rolex Daytona of the former F1 pilot by mixing an F1 wheel and the flag of the home country of the pilot: Colombia. Overall, Artisan de Genève produced just 50 pieces of this incredible watch. The rarity of this craftsman luxury item is reflected also in the price: a normal Daytona can be easily found around 25K€, while a Rolex Daytona Montoya challenge is almost impossible to find and if you’re lucky to find one, the related purchase price lays around 150K€.

The latest challenge: Spike Lee Challenge

The latest challenge carried out by Artisan de Genève has been released recently (fall ‘21): the Spike Lee Challenge for the American film director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and professor Spike Lee himself. The craftsmen began working with the Rolex Daytona of the director, trying to personalise it as much as possible to match the owner's personality and life. The resulting unique timepiece embodies many characteristics of Lee, e.g. a “Brooklyn, New York” stamp inside the dial and “BKLYN” written on the watch’s back. Moreover, the colors orange and blue symbolize the colors of New York city. The bracelet was also replaced with Artisan de Genève’s “Cool Hand Strap” to make the watch even more unique.

At the moment, there are 40 pieces of the Spike Lee Challenge Rolex priced around 40K€. Yet, following the past trends of Artisan De Genève’s masterpieces there is a high chance that the value of this timepiece grows fast in the near future. The uniqueness and scarcity is what makes these customized watches a timeless and strong potential investment.

Sign up to Konvi, and discover how you can invest in a rare, luxury watches, potentially even an original Artisan de Genève timepiece.

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