As a chronograph, the Rolex Daytona has few equals. It is made to an extremely high standard with sturdy 904L Oystersteel, a Cerachrom bezel that is super wear-resistant and never fades, and of course that highly reliable caliber 4130 movement within. But you know what’s the problem with it? Its own success has made it all too familiar. It might have a long waiting list at the boutiques, but replica rolex watches you can always spot a couple in big cities and major airports. How can one satisfy his desire for the Daytona but still have something that is distinctive? It’s not your only such option, but I suggest taking a look at the new Les Artisans De Genève La Montoya Rolex Daytona, a highly customized Rolex Daytona made especially for racer extraordinaire Juan Pablo Montoya.
Montoya, who has enjoyed success in Formula 1, NASCAR, and IndyCar, is a big fan of the Rolex Daytona, as it turns out. You would be too if you had managed to win a couple through racing. Montoya won the Rolex 24 three times and was gifted a Rolex Daytona each time to celebrate and commemorate his win. In total, Montoya said he has about seven or eight Rolex Daytonas, but what he really wanted was a Daytona that was unlike any other. This is where Les Artisans De Genève come in. Les Artisans de Genève is no stranger to customizing Rolex Daytonas. The Tribute To Rolex Daytona 6263 and Kravitz Design KL01 are fine examples of the kind of work that they do, but the La Montoya is probably the most extreme yet. The La Montoya begins life as a bog standard stainless steel Rolex Daytona. The 40mm stainless steel case is mostly untouched, and the La Montoya retains the Daytona’s chunky screw-down pushers and Triplock crown. Les Artisans De Genève did not disclose whether the base watch is the older 116520 or the newer 116500, but the tachymeter has been replaced with a forged carbon one.
Look at the dial, however, and you will notice that everything has changed. The La Montoya features a heavily skeletonized dial and movement. The counters have been replaced with ones that wear the colors of Colombia – Montoya’s home country. The chronograph counter hands have also been swapped for pencil-shaped ones that are color-matched to the counter. Finally, the tip of the central chronograph seconds hand is given a red sandblasted finish. The only things that are untouched are the white gold hour and minute hands. The caliber 4130 within has been thoroughly skeletonized and it is visible through a sapphire display caseback, which is yet another modification to the watch. The entire movement was disassembled, skeletonized, and finished by hand so that the bridges now have hand-beveled edges. The basic construction remains, such as the column wheel, as well as certain traits unique to Rolex such as the red anodized wheels. The rotor has been swapped too for one that is made out of 22k grey gold. It’s a unique choice for a rotor material, though I must say that the design of the rotor reminds me of that of some Miyotas.
The Rolex Submariner Date reference 116610LV, aka “Hulk,” is the Rolex Submariner we all know and love (there are always dissenters, I imagine) but with a green Rolex Submariner Date ref. 116610LV 40mm wide ceramic bezel and green dial. It commands a price premium over the more traditional black ceramic bezel and matching black dial “classic” Rolex Submariner 116610LN reference model and further exists in the interesting pantheon of green Rolex watches that have often been released as special anniversary pieces for the brand.
As is the case with many timepieces that I eventually end up being very fond of, the green-dialed Rolex Submariner was not a timepiece I was immediately enamored with when it was first debuted in 2010. It was hardly that I didn’t like it – especially as I am pretty sure green is my favorite color – but rather that I was a bit ambivalent towards it. I believe my thinking at the time was that the black-dialed Submariner was so good, it was going to be tough to convince consumers to get green instead of black, or to ask them to pony up and buy both. I also want to note that while the green “Hulk” Rolex Submariner 116610LV isn’t a limited edition, it’s not the type of watch Rolex will make forever. Its popularity has kept it in production, but Rolex could quietly stop making it at any time without notice or reason.
Over the years, I’ve admired the green Submariner from afar seeing it on fellow watch lovers, celebrities, and even hearing some people criticize it. Someone whose taste I admire even called it “uncool.” Mind you, at the time, this person was wearing a Rolex (a vintage Daytona on a bund-style cuff strap) so they weren’t exactly hostile to the brand. I believe their reasoning was that in their opinion wearing the green-dialed Rolex Submariner 116610LV came across to him as though someone was “trying too hard.” Trying too hard to what? Well, perhaps stand out or be unique. That’s sort of funny if you think about it because the Rolex Submariner is among the most copied watches in the world. Nevertheless, I’ve never worn anything that feels the same as an authentic Rolex Submariner on the wrist, nor that has the same visual impact, especially the brushed finishing on the bracelet and the pristine detailing of the dial. At 40mm wide, it is the smallest sport watch I will wear.
For the longest time, and I’ll take the blame for this, I couldn’t see the Yacht-Master II as nothing more than The Large Rolex. The 44mm wide replica rolex Yacht-Master II was the go-to large Rolex, with a massive gap in size between it and the 40mm Sea-Dwellers, Submariners, and others. Debuted in 2007, so it both appeared and wore much, much larger than the YMII, placing it far off the map for most.
Worry not, I’ll spare you the long, teary-eyed story of all that’s exciting about yachting. That’s partly because I’ve never been on a racing yacht and partly because it’s irrelevant in this discussion – you either already are a skipper at heart, or if you’re not, my measly few words won’t get you started. Rolex has produced a number of longer videos on the topic, so if you can take 24 minutes of “uplifting-instrumental-music.mp3” and are desperate to learn more about yachting, then I suggest you watch the video above. But only then.
The Sky-Dweller made its debut in 2012, and while it also looks and wears large, until 2017 it was exclusively available in solid gold cases, rendering it about 40% more expensive than the two-tone YMII that had already been available by 2012. I did look these things up – wouldn’t want to pose as someone who remembers all this. No wonder then, that the Yacht-Master II became The Large Rolex worn by premiership ballerinas footballers, celebrities, and… basically everyone who wanted in on the large watch craze with a Rolex, but didn’t like or couldn’t afford the Sky-Dweller the Yacht-Master II next year by massive Deepsea that had the same width at 44mm but was considerably thicker,
So, looking at it strictly as a watch, without its implications, customer base, or inspiration, what do we have with the Rolex Yacht-Master II? From my time with it, I came away with a new-found admiration for its many impressive feats starting with its mechanical engineering and ending with its countless neatly executed details. The Rolex Yacht-Master II was specifically designed for regatta yacht races where the starting procedure of the race requires each yacht to be positioned as best as possible when a given time limit expires. From what I understand this time limit before the actual start varies between 5 and 10 minutes and so skippers need a regatta timer watch with a countdown timer (i.e. a reverse chronograph) that can be programmed to count down from a pre-set time between 5 and 10 minutes. When the officials give a signal, the countdown begins, the pre-set regatta chronographs are started, and the maneuvering begins.