Modified watch dials and cases, or “blinging” out timepieces aren’t a new thing. Typically we gloss over these offerings, but as New Yorkers this Spike Lee collaboration caught our eye. He recently teamed up with “Les Artisans de Genève” and check out their limited edition Rolex creation.


Image courtesy of: Artisans de Genève

Spike Lee know mostly for his achievements as a celebrated and awarded film director, is also a confessed Paul Newman fan. So, when he met up the CEO of “Les Artisans de Genève” John Isaac, while attending a meeting at the Soho Apple Store and the conversation led to watches, Paul Newman was an instant reference. As most horology enthusiasts are aware Paul Newman in the Rolex heritage is synonymous with the “Daytona” model, so Spike Lee as a fan of the late actor was instantly keen on having his own version of the popular Rolex developed.


Image courtesy of: Artisans de Genève

The 40mm is made of stainless-steel with a transparent caseback that allows to view the inner workings of the mechanical movement, which features a solid 22k gold rotor colored blue. If it were any other brand that wouldn’t be a remarkable feature, but in the case of Rolex it is very rare to find an exhibition case back in their catalogue. But, again technically this isn’t an official Rolex. The case back rim features blue engravings with the limited edition number of each individual pieces and the inscriptions: “COOL HAND BROOKLYN”, “A SPIKE LEE JOINT” and “LES ARTISANS DE GENEVE”; all separated by red engraved star symbols.


Image courtesy of: Artisans de Genève

Mounted to the case is a steel bezel with a blue bakelite insert, with an orange “Units Per Hour” markings starting at 3 o’clock. Also comes equipped with two push-pieces to operate the chronograph functions with a screw-in crown in between them.


Image courtesy of: Artisans de Genève

The standard Daytona screw-down pushers have been replaced with simpler pump-pushers, with one colored blue and the other orange, to match the overall color-scheme of this special edition. Another difference between this model and the regular Daytona is the slimmer lugs that significantly alter this versions looks. Water-resistance on this timepiece can reach up to 100 meters (330 feet).


Image courtesy of: Artisans de Genève

Time is exhibited on a blue dial with steel applied hour index markers, followed by smaller white printed minute index markers with an orange dot near each hour marker. There are three sub-dials: a sub-seconds at the 3 o’clock position, a sub-seconds at the 6 o’clock position and a 12-hour counter at the 9 o’clock position.


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The numerals and hands in the sub-dials are orange, as well as an arched inscription reading “Brooklyn” over the sub-seconds dial. Central stainless-steel hands and hour index markers have all been fitted with a luminescent filling, for an enhanced legibility.


Image courtesy of: Artisans de Genève

The exuberant blue and orange color-scheme we find on this Rolex is a clear homage to New York, specifically the mythical New York Knicks basketball team, which tend to have Spike Lee in regular attendance at court-side.


Image courtesy of: Artisans de Genève

Rolex Spike Lee “Cool Hand Brooklyn” Edition

This “Rolex Spike Lee “Cool Hand Brooklyn” Edition” (Ref#: 116520 * but modified from original) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 4130 with 44 jewels and 28,800 vph. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 72 hours, when fully wound.


Image courtesy of: Artisans de Genève

Although this “Cool Hand” version has swapped and colored the aforementioned 22k gold rotor in blue, to match the theme of this special edition. Also mounted to the watch is a handmade “Cool Hand” alligator leather strap with a Nato style, secured to the wrist by a stainless-steel pin buckle.

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Image courtesy of: Artisans de Genève

This is a limited edition watch with only 40 manufactured pieces. For more up to date information visit the official “Artisan de Genève” website here.


Image courtesy of: Artisans de Genève

MSRP: $39,800.00 USD


Image courtesy of: Artisans de Genève

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Image courtesy of: Artisans de Genève

Rolex, Daytona, Les Artisans de Genève, Cool Hand Brooklyn, Spike Lee, Mods, Luxury Watches

Written by Mauro Az