Spike Lee and Artisans de Genève Revisit Cool Hand Brooklyn Rolex Project

Artisans de Genève has revealed the evolution of its Rolex Daytona-based collaboration with filmmaker Spike Lee.

Cool Hand Brooklyn, named after Lee’s favorite Paul Newman film, began life in 2017 when Lee customised a Rolex Daytona 116520 with the Swiss workshop.

The resulting watch, which Lee explains here, took in his favorite colors of blue and orange and exposed the movement and its customized winding rotor through a sapphire crystal caseback.

But Lee wasn’t finished with the watch and recently returned it to the workshop to have the dial, movement and rotor skeletonized, something that involved around 30 watchmakers and took months to complete.

A matte blue dial, which includes just a chapter ring and sub dials, with orange indices reveals the completely transformed Rolex 4130 automatic movement, which has been open-worked, beveled, and sandblasted.

A custom blue ceramic bezel ring and open-worked rotor with a “BKLYN” monogram completes the project.


“My career has been my life’s work and I’m constantly seeking to improve,” says Spike Lee. “Laziness is not an option — success takes heart and tireless effort. This is what I try to teach my students: you need to work, work, and then work some more. Like the master watchmakers who have labored for hundreds of hours to achieve a level of excellence and continue to surpass themselves. When I look at their work on my wrist, I’ve got so much love and respect for their talent.”

Elsewhere in watches, Collective Horology and IWC create members-only Pilot’s chronograph.
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