Project X Designs Ultimate Custom Rolex Watches Hands-On

Project X Designs Ultimate Custom Rolex Watches Hands-On

Project X Designs Ultimate Custom Rolex Watches Hands On   hands on

Project X Designs Ultimate Custom Rolex Watches Hands On   hands on

Project X Designs Ultimate Custom Rolex Watches Hands On   hands on

Modifying New Rolex Watches

The easiest thing to miss in images is quality. If I could express one point about Project X Designs customized Rolex watches, is that they ensure their work is on par with "manufacture quality standards." This means that they invest enormous effort into ensuring that their customization of Rolex watches leaves the finished pieces with a level of quality that is expected from stock Rolex watches right out of the Rolex manufacture. This feat is increasingly difficult, because as you see, there is an ongoing tug of war between Rolex and outfits like Project X. A major difference between Project X Designs and other Rolex modifiers that you've seen my mention is that Project X mainly works on new Rolex watches. Please note that the watches in the images are samples, and as such have finger oil blemishes on them that create some unevenly toned surfaces. All Project X watches are thoroughly cleaned and meticulously finished before being shipped to their clientele.

Rolex isn't too keen on their watches being modified, but I am sure they love the ideas that Project X gives them. They have an odd protectionist sentiment about their timepieces. Preferring that you should want only what they offer - which while spectacular, is limited. Given the sheer popularity of Rolex watches, it comes with no surprise that wanting to make a "Rolex watch your own" is an expected desire given the options seemingly available. Say you want a Rolex watch in all black, with a different color dial, or perhaps a sapphire case back? Maybe your wishes are for something more grandiose with complex engravings or designs on the watch? Well Rolex has no ear for you, but Project X Designs does. The hidden efforts behind their pieces involve a determined Rolex company that keeps making their watches harder and harder to modify. Project X Designs can be seen as one of Rolex's biggest fans, faithfully preserving the brand's high quality image.

Project X Designs Ultimate Custom Rolex Watches Hands On   hands on

Project X Designs Ultimate Custom Rolex Watches Hands On   hands on

Project X and its partners keep up the intellectual and engineering battle of overcoming Rolex's latest challenge. The two companies that aren't connected still seem to need each other, and in the end actually effectuate that each is better in the long run. Project X help Rolex maintain that their watches are harder and harder to replicate (as Rolex keeps making their basic parts harder to make), while Rolex keeps up a challenge for Project X as it continues to modify Rolex watches giving us its wonderful modified creations. This challenge for Project X may make its work hard, but maintains that fewer and fewer competitors can offer what they can given the skill and know-how required.

It goes without saying that Project X Designs is not affiliated to Rolex in anyway. Their operation takes mostly brand new Rolex watches and puts them metaphorically under the knife for enhancement. As I have said before, companies like Project X take a good product and makes it arguably better as an aftermarket value-added retailer. Consider them like a tuner for fine automobiles. A Mercedes Benz, BMW, or Porsche are stellar right out of the factory. Though the enthusiast might want any number of modifications to make their vehicle more unique. This might involve adding new wheels or even enhancing the engine. No matter how small or large the changes are, they are fulfilling and something that the factory itself does not offer.

Project X Designs Ultimate Custom Rolex Watches Hands On   hands on

Project X Bespoke Edition Rolex Watches

Project X offers three main useful services for watch lovers. First, they offer a full customization service where you choose what Rolex watch you want, and everything you want done to it. As the term "bespoke" isn't used too often in the US, it simply means "personalized." They source the new Rolex watch and you can either choose from various options on their website, or enjoy a very personal consultation with them to communicate precisely what your dream is. Project X invests a large amount of time privately with clients working with them on designing their ultimate Rolex watch creation. Often times the costs for such modifications can be high given the complexity. For customers who opt for this, it is not a matter of cost, but joy that a company like Project X even exists to offer such services with quality results. Project X takes great pride in their Bespoke Edition watches.

Project X Designs Ultimate Custom Rolex Watches Hands On   hands on

Project X Designs Ultimate Custom Rolex Watches Hands On   hands on

Project X Designs Ultimate Custom Rolex Watches Hands On   hands on

Project X Pre-Black Edition Rolex Watches

The second offering from Project X are its "Pre-Blacked" Editions. This is one of their most popular services and is very attractive. While simple in result, the process is of course complex. Here Project X takes any new Rolex watch and makes it black. The black color is accomplished via a DLC coating (diamond like carbon). Superior to PVD, DLC is a very hard and scratch resistant chemically bonded coating that covers the steel (or other metals if necessary). DLC can be done in a matte finish, or can match the various polishes present on Rolex watches (such as brushed or mirror polished). Technically DLC can be done in any color (Project X theoretically can make a Rolex watch pink if desired), but black is by far the most popular. The dial and bezel insert remain untouched.

The complex process of making them black is worth it. Each of these images I took of the watches pretty well indicate how good they look. I met with Project X Designs founder and owner Daniel Bourn recently to discuss the creation and what is involved. It is amazing to me the level of interest they get from high profile individuals. The ability to get a customized Rolex is seemingly a dream for many. What I had before me were a few of the DLC black Rolex watches they make. I spent an awful lot of time inspecting them with detail and was impressive with Daniel's meticulous knowledge of what goes into each watch and the challenges thereof. Anyone who would think to compete with Project X must realize that they are in store for years of trial and error to get things right - assuming that they can even get the right people or equipment to do it.

Project X Designs Ultimate Custom Rolex Watches Hands On   hands on

Project X ensures that the DLC coating process is done in a special way to ensure that all surfaces are even and the same color. I love how they got really tricky parts of the modifications right - proof of their years of experience that is required to make these dream Rolex watches a reality.Consider this and realize that a simple thing like making a watch all black with an ultra tough coating, and up to the standards people have with new Rolex watches... and you begin to get a lot more impressed with the result.

Before you are a few Rolex watches from Project X Designs in all black. Once again, these are highly handled samples - so ones you buy are delivered in pristine conditiion. There is a DeepSea Sea-Dweller (very cool by the way), a handsome GMT-Master II, and two stately Milgauss models. The difference between the two is the polish on the bracelet. One has the retained polished center link, and the other has a center link that has been brushed to match the rest of the bracelet. Just an example of the type of customization Project X can do. I asked about the price of the watches in relation to what a new Rolex watch costs. Even with the Project X exclusivity and detailed work, the blackening process is just a few thousand more on top of the price of what a standard Rolex watch costs. You can tell by the copious amount of images I provided I quite liked these watches. In a sense, Project X Designs has taken a good thing, and for many people, made it better. Seeing these Rolex watches in black convinces you that it is a style primed for the pieces - a color these watches are meant to arrive in.

Project X Designs Ultimate Custom Rolex Watches Hands On   hands on

Project X Designs Ultimate Custom Rolex Watches Hands On   hands on

Project X Limited Edition Rolex Watches

Come to think of it, I don't know of any watches from Rolex themselves that are actual limited editions. Have they ever even done that? To get your limited edition fix with a Rolex, Project X has some attractive unique creations from time to time. Such Project X limited editions watches come in a series of 24 pieces as designed by them. Each model displays a beautifully re-visioned Rolex watch with various levels of modifications. Favorites include adding sapphire caseback, altering colors, engravings, and adding dial text or graphics.  There have only been a few Project X limited edition series so far, and they have all quickly sold out. Look out for more to come in the future.

It is important to mention that in addition to Project X Designs not being associated with Rolex watch company, they also offer their own warranty. Meaning you do not send Project X Rolex watches to Rolex for service, but rather direct to Project X. This is good news because it coincides with their high quality of customer service. Getting your watches serviced can be a frustrating endeavor, and Project X seeks to keep the process quick and painless. No more waiting 8 months for your watch to be sent back to you. More details about service and the Project X warranty is of course available on their site. More in the future on these new Rolex watch modifications from Project X Designs.

1 comments
Narf Nard
Narf Nard

DLC is a type of PVD therefore DLC cannot be superior to PVD.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I last wrote about Project X Designs here. As you recall, they have no relationship with Rolex, but rather take new Rolex timepieces and perform various modifications on them. The results are usually very cool. Rolex modifiers are pretty common, but those who do it well are rare. The Project X Stealth watches are meant to hearken back to military Rolex Submariner (Mil-Sub) watches, and they look really kick-ass. Awful worn-torn Vietnam would have been just a bit better with one of these… don't you think? [...]