This extremely crazy custom watch project was undertaken by Label Noir, a luxury brand entirely dedicated to personalization of high end wristwatches.
Firstly, this is an authentic Daytona whose look is inspired by the mythical Paul Newman except that on closer examination, a tourbillon appeared instead of the seconds counter at 6:00 am. Produced on special order for a customer who wishes to remain anonymous, this unique piece will be delivered after four exhibitions: Geneva, Paris, St-Tropez and Monaco.
Before being released to its owner, this very first Daytona Tourbillon in watchmaking history is in safe custody with watchmaker Emmanuel Curti, a member of the venerable Société Suisse de Chronométrie (SSC) and CEO of Label Noir.
It is difficult to measure the level of madness that sometimes prevails in the world of collectors. The most affected, satiated to possess all forms of rarities or treasures among the most in demand, venture into the limitless path of personalization. They would even be ready to require the modification of a legend caliber. Thus they can associate their name with mythical models to which they bring a touch of their personality, as was the practice at the origins of watchmaking.
From a Rolex Daytona reference N° 116520 series model, which no longer appears in the catalogue since it has been replaced by reference 116500 (ceramic bezel), Label Noir has agreed to offer its customer the fulfillment of its wish, with respect for the fundamentals of watchmaking and in the context of uncompromising ethics: to add a tourbillon to the 4130 caliber of his Daytona, the complication of complications. And by the way, soaking the piece in an aesthetic bath that gives it a visual coziness with the most mythical of timepieces, the famous Paul Newman steel watch dating from the 1970s and still the most expensive wristwatch ever sold to this day.
The transplantation of regulating organs has been successful. The seconds counter positioned at 6 o’clock has been erased to make way for a superb tourbillon whose frame uses the letters LN from Label Noir. It is worth noting that this complication, whose cage turns in one minute, also epitomizes the indication of the seconds in the form of a hypnotic kinetic ballet.
The height of watchmaking expertise: Label Noir’s golden fingers respectfully and humbly lean towards the heart of a legendary timepiece, the Daytona, the flagship model of a legendary brand, Rolex. As for the third legend, it is the complication of the tourbillon, invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in order to avoid the negative effects of gravity on the precision of a watch. Already in September 2018, in Geneva and on behalf of a Qatari customer, a similar transplant had been successfully performed on a Milgauss that had become, the very first Rolex Tourbillon in history.
Doing everything possible to ensure that as many components as possible of the original Rolex calibre are kept, this is the challenge that Label Noir has risen to. The 4130 caliber was completely dismantled, the 61 components that had become useless were removed, especially those of the small seconds hand mechanism indicated at 6:00 am. Only the base plate that still holds the original Rolex engravings has been modified.
Then 93 components related to the tourbillon and its cage were added. Used materials: brass and steel. Increasing the force of the barrel spring since it must now be able to move a Tourbillon, increases the oscillations of the mechanical calibre from 4 Hertz, or 28,800 vibrations per hour, to 3 Hertz, or 21,600 vibrations per hour.
The successful operation created real connection challenges. Micromechanical surgery coupled with a mastery of finishes since it will have been necessary, in order to preserve the box and its original waterproofness, to raise the glass, to manufacture a larger joint. The original base dial in brass has been sprayed matt in vintage mode.