Experience Designa's Personalized Aftermarket Carbon Daytona and What It's Like to Customize a Rolex Watch
Designa Individual (DiW) is one of many small companies around the world that customize Rolex timepieces for at least part of their business. Although the aftermarket for Rolex watches is very rich, the industry can't even agree on their terminology. These watches also happen to be quite controversial, as Rolex officially denounces them, and they often cost considerably more than the original Rolex watches retailed for.
Nonetheless, Rolex watches are popular in the aftermarket/custom/modification/Frankenstein/custom and so on, and the size will only grow as the underlying demand for the Rolex watch itself continues to grow. Probably the most famous customizer in the Rolex aftermarket is George Bamford, who recently stopped selling Rolex watches publicly to focus on other products, such as his own watches and watches from LVMH group brands like Zenith or TAG Heuer. Bamford and others first gained notoriety for painting Rolex cases with colors like black, and later changed dial colors and other details on the watches. That said, what Bamford and his contemporaries did was not to invent the aftermarket Rolex, but to make it a commodity. For generations, Rolex dealers and customers have been doing aftermarket gem setting and other dial modifications or case work, although most of these aftermarket Rolex watches are produced on a case-by-case basis for individual customers. None of them compete with factory Rolex high quality replica watches.
The internet has really made aftermarket watches a conundrum for Rolex Geneva. The brand's reason for being aggressive with aftermarket Rolex watches is sensible, and the logic is twofold. First, they were concerned that people would mistake them for the actual watches that Rolex was selling, which would lead to a dilution effect of the brand's intellectual property. I agree with this sentiment, although Rolex may have exaggerated the actual number of these watches. In fact, what Rolex cares most about is not brand new Rolex watches that have been modified and resold, but rather old Rolex watches that have been "touched up" to give them new life but ultimately don't look like real watches from Rolex in the past. Rolex has gone to court on the matter many times, and cases often work in their favor. Rolex takes protecting its brand very seriously, and they don't let that go too far. My understanding is that most (if not all) aftermarket Rolex dealers will sometimes receive a not exactly friendly letter from a Rolex lawyer. Of course, whether they comply with the requirements is an entirely different story.
Rolex's second concern about aftermarket versions of its watches is also justified, but it's hard to know the actual seriousness of the concern. Rolex is concerned that aftermarket Rolex watches not only look different from their stock models, but also have a lower quality level. It does sound a bit pretentious, but if you know Rolex well, you also know that they are indeed of the best quality in many areas and important details. At the very least, boutiques like aftermarket watch mods won't have equipment that matches the level of quality of other high-end watch brands. Sometimes these problems are visible to the naked eye, sometimes not. That said, Rolex is technically correct that aftermarket Rolex watches are not as built (or guaranteed to be durable) as Rolex factory luxury replicas.
What Rolex has to admire is the elegant creativity and artistic flair that come with many aftermarket Rolex watches. There is no doubt that many of these aftermarket Rolex watches can easily be considered pop art — and most importantly, valuable pop art. I've personally worn some aftermarket Rolex watches and they look really cool, if not terrific. However, I am an experienced expert in the field and know that these are not Rolex products, but Rolex products that were later modified by a company not affiliated with Rolex.
Rolex wants all Rolex watches to represent only the designs they make and the quality they can control. However, they can't legally tell people who buy a watch that they can't hire a third-party company to modify a legally purchased Rolex product. That's why aftermarket dealers operate, but they don't (ideally) copy the Rolex name even if they're using a product with the Rolex name on it. They're just modifying the watch because a custom car might take an existing car and modify it for the owner. The aftermarket car analogy applies on multiple levels, and I find this helps explain why there are aftermarket Rolex watches.
After-sales personnel who purchase a Rolex timepiece must be careful not to infringe on Rolex's intellectual property rights, such as copying its trademarks. This means that if they create a brand new dial for a Rolex watch and put the Rolex logo on it, the Rolex modifier could be in trouble. All the modifier can do is adjust the original dial in some way and make sure the Rolex logo is still visible. If the watch is modified to create a new dial to put in a Rolex, it cannot have the Rolex emblem if the competition is fair.Jacob & Co. Astronomia Sky
Consumers interested in buying an aftermarket Rolex should certainly ask a lot of questions about where the watch came from. I've actually seen some Rolex aftermarket companies offer original parts as well as replacement aftermarket parts. This way you get the entire original Rolex as well as aftermarket parts. However, it doesn't make any sense if aftermarket Rolex watches spoil the original character of the case, dial or bracelet components. If you're concerned about the investment, it might be wise to view any aftermarket Rolex modification as having the effect of completely erasing the watch's original value. If the same watch is of similar or higher value to an aftermarket Rolex, it's only because it has a value in a completely different classification than a non-original aftermarket Rolex.
The main reason why aftermarket Rolex watches are so expensive is because they all have to start with a genuine Rolex. I'm sure at least some aftermarket Rolex watches use Rolex watches that are either incomplete or have broken parts. Using these products to create a modified Rolex takes them from almost worthless (except for the parts) to a different kind of commodity.
It's not uncommon for aftermarket Rolex watches to cost twice or more the original retail price of the base watch. Since the resulting custom Rolexes are often less valuable than original Rolexes, and since they are not easy to resell in many cases, the customers for aftermarket Rolex watches (especially brand new) tend to be comfortably wealthy. Today, that's a relatively small crowd, as even very wealthy watch buyers in today's economic climate pay attention to the resale value of a watch. My point is that by far most aftermarket modified Rolex watches are playthings for those who can easily afford far more than the retail price of a Rolex watch, but also have no qualms about getting a replica watches for sale of the same level, with a lower monetary value. thing.
It all gave me hands-on experience with an aftermarket modified Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona from a company called Designa Individual, which the company calls the "Carbon Emerald." This is one of many aftermarket Rolex watches I've dealt with. However, this is the first time I've seen a full carbon case. The company takes great pride in the precise cut of the carbon case, which has an elegant feel and is very lightweight compared to metal Daytona watches. Designa Individual seems a bit like a Richard Mille theme, but with a custom Daytona. It works, and the combination of the 18k yellow gold, black carbon and green strap creates a very inspired look. Note that Designa Individual offers a small number of limited-edition Rolex Daytonas with carbon fiber cases and colors (and straps) other than green. Carbon Emerald is,
For the strap, Designa Individual uses a leather strap with a Velcro strap. Since it's not a great size, they actually include three straps and kits of different lengths, although there isn't a sizing tool to help the owner (who paid quite a bit) to replace the straps properly.
Aesthetically, the carbon dial, case, and bezel are all beautiful. The Daytona is a universally appealing watch that will probably look good in most any material or color. There are sure to be at least some people who believe that, for them, the ideal shades of Daytona are indeed black carbon, gold and green. Once again, the key technical talking point for Designa Individual is that the Carbon Emerald is very light.swiss replica watches
Inside the watch is Rolex's 4130 automatic chronograph movement (definitely made by Rolex). What's less clear in Carbon Emerald is what else Rolex produced, or what it was originally. I think what should bother consumers is if they don't know what the origins of aftermarket Rolex watches are - there should always be a before and after photo. If anything, this was to ensure that a brand new or at least complete Rolex was sacrificed for a Dionysian custom ritual for the price of the product.
So while I know Designa Individual makes the aftermarket Daytona 40mm wide case, bezel and dial, I don't know where the hands and hour markers come from. My assumption is that the watch's sapphire crystal, hour markers, hands and Rolex logo were carefully removed from the original Rolex watch and carefully re-applied to the aftermarket dial. The problem is I'm not sure, Designa Individuals' website is silent on the matter. For a price like this, I really believe consumers are expecting more communication and information about where the aftermarket Rolex came from in the first place. Maybe not all consumers will be so worried, but in my opinion, enough.
Buying an aftermarket Rolex timepiece is not without considerable risk. Anyone should be aware that aftermarket modified Rolex watches are not as valuable as "factory Rolex watches", and in many cases, Rolex will not provide service. To address the lack of Rolex warranties, aftermarket Rolex modifiers (including Designa Individual) offer their own warranties (theirs are seven years) - so, at least something is in place.Richard Mille Le Mans Classic