MAD About The Watch
Since the days of the pocket watch, a man’s connection to a handmade timepiece has never faltered, and the more luxurious, unique and collectible, the better. What was once a passed down family heirloom has become a modern obsession and whether you like a traditional Swiss made or a customised piece, luxury watches are one of the few items in the modern world that hold their value and are, in a word, timeless.
From James Bond’s Omega to Floyd Mayweather’s $18 million Jacob & Co, watches appear to be more of a status symbol than a fast car. We may not be an international spy or the highest paid athlete in the world but we do share their love of a unique timepiece which is why we introduced MAD Paris watches to Browns.
Creating watches like no other, MAD Paris take iconic Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe models and rework them entirely. Respecting each model’s unique construction, MAD Paris’ watchmakers carefully reconstruct each piece, hand painting every detail and coating them in diamond-like carbon.
You may already have an impressive collection of chronometers, are in search of a rare piece, or even on the hunt for your first luxury wrist companion. To give you a head start on picking out your new watch, Browns have selected the must-have MAD Paris timepieces.
One of the most sought after watch models, the Patek Philippe Nautilus has been an icon amongst collectors since its creation in 1976. Designed by Gérald Genta, the Nautilus model took inspiration from the port hole on ocean liners for its face and Jules Verne’s famous novel 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea for its name, reflecting the watch’s water resistance at up to 120 m. The Nautilus watch is released in small numbers annually, hence its rarity. Luckily for us, MAD Paris has tracked down the Nautilus 5980 and reworked it with a bespoke design. Featuring a black DLC coating over its steel frame, it maintains all the iconic features including the self-winding mechanical movement, blue gradient dial and chronograph feature.
Instantly recognisable from its octagonal bezel, Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak watch was created in 1972 as a fusion between a sport and dress watch. A revolutionary in watch design, Gérald Genta took inspiration from a traditional diver’s brass helmet when creating the Royal Oak timepiece. Similarly, to the Nautilus that he went on to design for Patek Philippe 4 years later, the Royal Oak took style cues from the nautical world. Its name was taken from a fleet of eight Royal Navy vessels to reflect the eight sides of the octagonal bezel. The MAD Paris bespoke Royal Oak features the signature steel frame engraved with an all-over intricate floral motif, black ‘Grand Tapisserie’ dial and the six classic hexagonal screws around the bezel.
Introduced in 1963, the Rolex Daytona was originally created for professional racing drivers, designed to withstand the fast-paced world of motor sport. The trademark tachymeter scale that runs on the outer rim of the watch allowed drivers to measure elapsed times and their average speeds. These days it is one of Rolex’s most recognisable and desirable models and the MAD Paris version features an engraved stainless steel case, leather strap and 36 cushion cut rainbow sapphires around the bezel alongside seven white diamonds in the dial.
Minimal but mighty, the Milgauss model was created with a scientific approach, testing the mechanics to the limits. Most watches will cease to work if exposed to a magnetic field of 50 to 100 gauss but the Milgauss is capable of withstanding up to 1,000 gauss (mille is French for one thousand). If you are a part time nuclear scientist or just prefer the more understated style, the MAD Paris Milgauss features a black DLC coating with 64 rainbow coloured baguette cut sapphires around the bezel.
For that added bit of insight, our buyers paid the MAD Paris studio a visit where they had the chance to ask a few questions about the creation of these luxury watches…
What was the inspiration behind the creation of the first MAD Paris watch?
The idea was to have a watch that is different from the rest. As watch collectors, we were starting to get bored to always buying the same watches. This is where the idea of customisation came from. Having a quality watch, from a recognised brand, but with our own touch on it that makes it unique.
How long does the process of creating a classic MAD Paris watch take?
We don’t have any rules at MAD. Each watch takes the time it needs to be completed, it can be a few days for a classic and small customisation but it can also take months of developing, researching, testing, trying, back and forth with the customer. If we were to make an average, we’d say around four to six weeks from the order to the delivery.
What made you decide to use diamond like carbon (DLC) as the MAD Paris signature material?
For now, DLC is the best process we know to have this cosmetic use and for the technicity to be used as we do.
Can you tell us a few names of your famous clientele?
Of course we can’t! But have a closer look on a few famous wrists on Instagram…
Which model would you say is the must have watch for any collector?
The Daytona is probably the hit watch from Rolex. But when we come to the customisation element, each model can be the grail, as it becomes your own watch that is designed by you, for you.
24th March 2020
The Lowdown News
Words by Alexandra Oliver