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Les Artisans De Genève ‘Cool Hand Brooklyn’ Customized Rolex Daytona Watch Designed By Spike Lee

Les Artisans De Genève 'Cool Hand Brooklyn' Customized Rolex Daytona Watch Designed By Spike Lee Daytona Watch Releases

Earlier this year I reviewed the Kravitz Design X Les Artisans de Genève LK 01 Rolex Daytona watch by Les Artisans de Genève. This time they have teamed up with filmmaking legend Spike Lee by taking a base Rolex Daytona ref. 116520 and modifying it into what they call the Cool Hand Brooklyn watch with a blue and orange color scheme. Yes, as any New York (and Brooklyn) native like myself is bound to point out, orange and blue are the colors of the New York Knicks while the Brooklyn-based Nets are black & white. That being said, I think the Nets moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn only a couple of years ago. From the images of the watch, I am looking forward to seeing what the piece looks like in the metal. Bound to create divisive opinions and controversy (which arguably has given Les Artisans de Genève quite a bit of buzz), I think the Cool Hand Brooklyn’s crisp and fun design makes for a luxury product with a strong identity.

Les Artisans De Genève 'Cool Hand Brooklyn' Customized Rolex Daytona Watch Designed By Spike Lee Daytona Watch Releases

Les Artisans De Genève 'Cool Hand Brooklyn' Customized Rolex Daytona Watch Designed By Spike Lee Daytona Watch Releases

Obviously, the first thing you’ll notice about the Cool Hand Brooklyn is the blue color, which LAG refer to as their proprietary Blee SPZK color. A deep navy blue, the color is used on the bakelite bezel and dial as well as the top chronograph pusher. To contrast, the orange is used on the sub-dial rings, chronograph and sub-dial hands, the bottom chronograph pusher, and finally on the text reading “Brooklyn” on the dial. I think the decision was to keep the dial text minimal, with it reading Rolex Oyster Daytona under the Rolex crown at 12 o’clock. Those who are thrown into fits of rage or bouts of enfeebled snark by projects like this will have plenty to say, but in my opinion, the dial and case look cool, refreshing, and fun.

Les Artisans De Genève 'Cool Hand Brooklyn' Customized Rolex Daytona Watch Designed By Spike Lee Daytona Watch Releases

Les Artisans De Genève 'Cool Hand Brooklyn' Customized Rolex Daytona Watch Designed By Spike Lee Daytona Watch Releases

Turning the case over reveals the redone caseback with the blue gold rotor. If you’re wondering what blue gold is, then you’re not alone. I asked John Isaac, the spirited CEO of LAG, about blue gold and he explained that it is a 22k white gold that has undergone a strong treatment process to result in the deep “Blee SPZK” blue. Through the exhibition caseback, you can also see the unchanged Rolex caliber 4130 movement, which has a 72-hour power reserve and has been near-ubiquitous with the Daytona for years now. To note, I assume this movement is from the reference 116520 Daytona which didn’t have Rolex’s current Rolex Superlative Chronometer Certification.

Les Artisans De Genève 'Cool Hand Brooklyn' Customized Rolex Daytona Watch Designed By Spike Lee Daytona Watch Releases

Les Artisans De Genève 'Cool Hand Brooklyn' Customized Rolex Daytona Watch Designed By Spike Lee Daytona Watch Releases

The Cool Hand Brooklyn watch comes on a NATO strap done in alligator that looks pretty neat, but I am glad the original bracelet is also included. I’d like to see and feel the NATO strap before weighing in any more, but off the bat I can say that I like it more than the military cuff strap I saw on the LK 01. Doing a NATO strap in leather is definitely an unusual move, but the use of alligator still lets the watch achieve a sporty look while maintaining the artisan niche luxury style of LAG.

Les Artisans De Genève 'Cool Hand Brooklyn' Customized Rolex Daytona Watch Designed By Spike Lee Daytona Watch Releases

Les Artisans De Genève 'Cool Hand Brooklyn' Customized Rolex Daytona Watch Designed By Spike Lee Daytona Watch Releases

I’ve admired Spike Lee since I was young and his identity is absolutely indelibly tied to that of New York City and specifically Brooklyn. For over a decade I lived in Boerum Hill, just blocks from the headquarters of his production company, 40 Acres & A Mule. As a graduate student at NYU, I saw him around downtown as well. The guy is an institution and, to be honest, I was pretty skeptical that a watch collaboration could succeed in translating and communicating his distinctly creative identity but I’ve got to say I am pleasantly surprised. I can’t totally gauge the success until handling it in person, but if the execution and finish is on par with their LK 01 watch I reviewed, then Les Artisans de Genève have a truly unique product here.

Les Artisans De Genève 'Cool Hand Brooklyn' Customized Rolex Daytona Watch Designed By Spike Lee Daytona Watch Releases

The Les Artisans de Genève Cool Hand Brooklyn Rolex Daytona watch is going to be limited to 40 pieces that are being made on request with a 50% deposit, coming with a certificate of authenticity and a 5 year warranty. That deposit is not going to come cheap as the price of the watch is $39,500.

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  • TrevorXM

    Wow — Kravitz Design has a rival. Spike Lee, you delusional fool, you best not watch this comments section for future developments.

  • Middle

    Omega is doing Rolex editions of their moonwatch now?

  • Berndt Norten

    No sleep till we give this Brooklyn bomb a Cleveland Steamer.

    • TrevorXM

      I had to look that up — almost fell off my chair!

    • WINKS

      Didn’t know you were into Kaviar!

  • Marius

    I have never understood two aspects regarding this joke brand.

    Firstly, I don’t understand how on earth Les Artisans Du Garbage can charge almost €40,000 for this mediocrity. A standard Rolex Daytona costs around €12,000. What modifications does Les Artisans Du Garbage undertake? Well, they fit a new dial; new pusher caps; a sapphire caseback; and a blue gold rotor which clearly requires advanced Romulan technology to manufacture it. So, how can these minor modifications command an almost €30,000 premium? That’s simply absurd. To put things into perspective, a brand-new Lange 1 bought from the Lange boutique in Dresden (so no discount for you, govna!) costs about the same. In other words, for the price of this “timepiece”, one could purchase a new Rolex Daytona PLUS a new Lange 1.

    Secondly, I simply cannot understand why this mediocre “modifier” gets so much positive coverage from watch blogs, especially from ABTW and Hidinkee. Even if you really like their designs — to me, this watch looks like an Omega Speedmaster replica at best, and a cheap mall watch at worst — I still don’t see why watch bloggers don’t write even one slightly critical line. I mean, I haven’t read even one review arguing: “Look, the design might be cool, but asking €30,000 for a few cheap parts is absolutely preposterous.”

    By comparison, other brands get a slightly different treatment. For instance, only recently, an ABTW article talking about JLC argued that the new Sector Master Control watches are “unisnpired and boring”, and that “The Master trio are not really masculine, aren’t that refined or capable, the empty hands don’t exactly scream “beautifully engineered” at me, the prestige is questionable, and pricing, we all know, could always be better.” Well, how about you treat Les Artisans Du Garbage in the same manner.

    • Ian john horwood

      Well said, i dont even need to comment to give any personal views, as you have have the job for me.

    • Yeah, an Omega Planet Ocean color scheme came to my mind. While I’m glad that this example seems to have far better production quality (dial printing) than the horrid KRAVITZ DESIGN, I totally agree that the price is simply nonsense. The high price of being hip (or a phool). But price aside, the colorway isn’t bad so it’s not the worst watch – just the worst price.

    • Tempvs Mortvvs

      ABTW must be getting no “love” from JLC, while it must be getting a lotta “love” from JCB and Les Artisans, not to speak of Undone.

    • Gokart Mozart

      A bit harsh.

      Granted the price is a bit of a joke, but it does have a new case. Also other than the rotor has the movement had any other work done? The Kravitz had quite a lot of finishing and work done on the movement.

      Besides Rolex only have them selves to blame for not giving their customers any choice or want they want.

      Look at your picture of the Rolex and look how heavy handed the design is and how mall watch it looks.

      Despite the dodgy orange and pushers this is in a different league looks wise.

      And for the record to consider a Rolex instead of ALS iz just wrong and madness.

    • Marius

      You make a v good point. I have noticed a few articles here being quite critical of certain watches (which is fair enough) but then garbage like this or whatever monstrosity Hublot has most recently excreted gets a free pass.

    • BJ314

      For the record, the JLC – Master Control Date Collection is very boring and very much overpriced. Except for the Geographic, which is interesting in its own way.


    Yes Spike Lee a true class act gimme a flippin break. No idea why anyone would bother to honor this guy in the form of a Folex. Yes they did remove the crown guards so that might have taken some effort but the price tag is Hilarious . What a joke

    • Ian john horwood

      The Franken folex daytona absurd chronograph, gotta get the whole name down here.

  • Ian john horwood

    Sounds like selling snow and ice to the eskimo’s at best, or repackaging tap water as mineral highland spring water. Trouble is there is always some stupid fool out there that will fall for it, then loose all his big dollar spend on resale.

    • I mentioned to my wife last night (after seeing yet another gluten free product on TV) that they are now offering gluten free water. She had to stop and think about that after at first saying, “how did they do that”.

      • Ian john horwood

        Hahaaa, there out there a dime a dozen some unsuspecting fooled souls.

    • BJ314

      People who buy $39,000 watches aren’t concerned about resale value.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    They removed text from the dial? How do I know now if it`s still an “officially certified superlative chronometer” or a “cosmograph”? Or even a Daytona? Now it`s a Brooklyn that looks like Bümpliz.

  • Terance Hill

    I got the bev deja vu :
    If it’s real and got to be serviced Rolex will charge an arm and leg to make it.
    Or is it just $100 Street Corner watch from the York
    Either way it’s all dressed up and nowhere to go

  • egznyc

    Fug-LEE Rolex In Brooklyn. We’ve all “read” this one before.

    Actually I find it kind of sporty – other than the over-the-top pushers. (God-damned the pusher[s].) The price is also pushing it. Push it. Push it real good.

  • IG

    Les Bouffons de Genève feat. Spike Lee

  • Travis Cannata

    I…… Actually like this…

    • Berndt Norten


      • Travis Cannata


    • Gokart Mozart

      … For a Rolex…

  • Nixa

    Mmm… Nope!!

  • Yan Fin

    Now. Everyone who bashed Kravitz Design version – repent now or burn in hell for eternity!
    Coming next : Camden, NJ edition.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Should i know who this Spike Lee fellow is ? Also what has he done that links him to watch design.

    • Gokart Mozart

      You missed out on some good films then.

      There are no more Global Videos are there? For you to rent a video or 2.

    • joe Shmoe

      links to watch design? none that i know of. should you know who he is? do you like to watch movies?

      • Raymond Wilkie

        We call them Films over here. I have since googled him and have never seen one of his films. From what i can gather it seems he has a chip on his shoulder.

        • Mr. Lee might be a racist, but for sure is a segregationist and is against mixed marriages. So not a cool guy in my book.

          • BJ314

            He made a movie about a black guy and white woman having an affair. It was kind of a big movie. lol

          • And in it (Jungle Fever) Cyrus (Spike Lee) criticizes Flipper for having an affair with a white woman.

  • Gokart Mozart

    As usual these watches are getting a lot of abuse. Firstly I agree the price is ridiculous, but I am sure Spike Lee is not putting his name on the watch just for fun. Apart from his fee some of the work will be quite pricy. For a start it has a new case.

    However they have made an ugly watch look a heck of a lot better apart from the slightly OTT Orange and pusher colours. Just look at Marius’s picture of the daytona and look how heavy handed the detailing is and the general borderline tacky looks of the watch. It looks more like a Tag, Breitling class of watch.

    Look how much better the watch looks with no ugly crown guards or the chunky screw down pushers. Look how much more subtle the bezel looks, and the less text. Also the improvement with the simpler indices rather than the is it a square or is it a circle, or a melted blob shape of the current Daytona, and the simple single colour sub dials.

    It is a much more stylish (orange bits excepted) watch.

    • Richard carroll

      I must agree. Rolex desecration, political and price concerns aside this is a successful design experiment. I think it’s a BIG improvement on the current, stock Daytona which I wouldn’t wear on a bet.

  • Playboy Johnny

    What a shame, that a classic like the Daytona is tainted by being connected to a piece of racist garbage like Lee.

    • BJ314

      lol When racists call other people racists, to hide their own racism, its usually obvious that they are racists.

      • Playboy Johnny

        Wow, is that what you did your thesis on??
        Get back to the shallow end.

        • Chris

          Who, exactly, do you think Spike Lee is racist against?

  • Raymond Wilkie

    That was my summation

  • Mikita

    Better than KRAVITZ DESIGN, but still a damn joke at freaking $40,000. Thank you, but I’ll better support Marius on the Lange 1.

    • Yan Fin

      Don’t you use Kravitz’s name in vain! ?

  • SuperStrapper

    So tedious and boring.

  • MrJKLFoams

    Jordans are now sitting on the shelf so spike is moving on with watches. This is ugly ugly ugly! This is blasphemous madness!

  • #The Deplorable Boogur T. Wang

    @ $39,500 its’ obviously for the 1 %
    “I gots my mind on my money and my money on my mind”

  • eRZé

    On the LADG website there is a Tribute to Daytona 6263 model which this piece looks to be based on. So I guess all Mr. Lee did was playing around with colors. But as others have noted, this effort still looks better than the current Daytona.

  • Ulysses31

    I quite like this. A non-boring Rolex, who’dda thunk it? The colour scheme is somewhat reminiscent of some Omegas though.

  • Ranchracer


  • This, and all other “artisan” Rolexes need to die in a fire.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Not everybody can be a Drago Floyd.

  • Mr. Snrub

    Malcolm X and Inside Man (very underrated heist film) are quite good. But mainly due to Denzel.

  • Playboy Johnny

    Thanks, but it’s Johnny.

  • TheChuphta

    A consistently overrated brand exalted by marketing and a few legitimate innovations decades ago that is now cautiously (if ever) criticized, despite how persistently its one-note, endlessly repetitive products are nearing the point of autofellating parody? Perfect match.

  • mefflet vincent

    When a tasteful tuning is done on a Porsche we call a preparation. When tuning is done on a Rolex…how should we call it? In this example, it seems than this Rolex was conceived from an illegitimate relationship with an Omega Aqua Terra. Anyway we should salute the effort in order to try making a Rolex fun.

  • WolverBilly

    Le Poop du Horologie.

  • Rob Crenshaw

    Do The Wrong Thing – a Spike Lee joint

  • Jon Heinz

    I’ll wait for the Chinese version.

  • Jon Heinz

    And, exactly what is “Blee SPZK”?