New Customized Rolex Daytona from Titan Black – Bespoke Watch For Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of UAE
Surely, we see customised Rolexes, APs, Pateks and even some less famous brands all the time: blacked out, coloured purple or engraved with initials, etc. Sometimes it looks nice, maybe even better than the original, and sometimes we just want to find the person who had the idea of customising that watch and smash that hideous thing against his hands, so he can never complete another one of his ‘genius’ concepts. Of course it’s all about the models you choose, the colours you ‘wrap’ them in and the quality of work, starting from the materials to mechanics and finishing. And I usually wouldn’t even write an article on a modified Rolex if it was an regular custom job; this case however is completely different, as Titan Black, one of the few high quality customisation firms is constantly coming up with something unique and awesome. This time they’ve really surprised us by showing their latest project – a customised Daytona with a light function commissioned for Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of UAE…
A Rolex Daytona is probably one of the most timeless watch designs in the world, so when customising anything you need to be extremely cautious in order not to mess it up and turn it into something people would be turning away from. Especially if you’re not just changing its colour or material, but if you are removing the function that it was meant to have (a chronograph). Titan Black was commissioned to do a custom Rolex for Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, and in order to present something completely different they had an idea of inserting a light function to the dial of the watch with the display of Sheikh’s name. That function would be activated with the chronograph pushers, and you can see it at 6 o’clock of the dial.
Obviously, to make it possible Titan Black had to disassemble the watch and create a new dial as well as hands while the movement had to be kept original. Hard at the best of times, but this project had a constraint of only 2 months from the idea to its execution and presentation of a working model!
Of course that’s when the whole team of electronic engineers, watchmakers and dial artisans had to join forces in order to come up with the best solution to create the clients requests, while still having other projects to work on. In the end, however, the watch turned out to be so nice that Titan Black is planning to release a model for sale, which we definitely are looking forward to. I believe with custom watches you’ll either love it or hate it, and personally I find this Daytona extremely cool as a concept and as a real watch, though now (after seeing this one off model) it’s hard for me to imagine any text other than Arabic on the dial. But seemingly the new range will surprise us all!
Photography and Videography by James N Cole & Harriett Nero for WatchAnish.com