Sunday, June 22, 2014

Royal Custom Authorized Reproduction …. Smells Like...

Okay, I like to think that I am a reasonable guy.  But being a reasonable guy from time to time I struggle to understand what is really motivating an idea.  So when I stumbled across the Royal Custom Authorized Reproduction of ROLEX watches with a KickStarter project, I was left scratching my head.

Essentially, what they are saying is that it is an "authorized" reproduction…
what they are not really saying is exactly what that means.

According to their main business website, they do modifications on existing ROLEX watches:

Royal Custom Watches are dramatically enhanced Rolex watches for the purpose of improved durability, functionality, and aesthetic design.   Many original Rolex components are removed and replaced with superior Royal Custom components.  The original Rolex components are then hermetically sealed into the display box for perfect preservation and ensured future value.  The hermetically sealed components can be used at any point in the future to convert the Royal Custom back into a completely 100% original, undamaged, unworn Rolex timepiece.  The original Rolex movement is the power source for the Royal Custom enhanced timepiece.  The Rolex movement may be upgraded to include some precious metal components such as rotor and various plates/bridges.  The balance bridge, balance wheel, and hairspring may also be hermetically sealed in the display box on certain models so they don't get worn and are replaced with Royal Custom balance bridges, balance wheels, and hairsprings.
Replaced components include the Rolex case, bezel, bezel insert, caseback, crown, winding stem, hands, face, bracelet, buckle, and rotor.  The original Rolex components are replaced with upgraded metals such as .950 platinum; 18k gold; .900 palladium; titanium; diamondized aluminum; .925 silver; high-tech ceramics; and anti-allergenic surgical grade stainless steel.  Plasma Vapor Deposit (PVD); Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coatings; and Rhodium plating further enhance the components in many of the Royal Custom Watches.

BUT - their Kickstarter project is essentially to create( as near as I can tell), a reproduction of a ROLEX.  Honestly - this is not exactly cutting edge.  Moreover, it is not exactly (unless I missed something important) anything that has been explicitly authorized by ROLEX.  

Folks, in the watch industry - "Homage" means replica.  It is a pretty word that covers a multitude of sins.

To read the phrase "Authorized Reproduction" it is again a bit easy to misconstrue this as something that is a ROLEX Authorized Reproduction.  When you get down to the fine print you will then read that there is no connection to ROLEX inferred or otherwise.  So it bears asking - just who exactly is "authorizing" this reproduction and what exactly is it an "authorized reproduction" of?

As per usual, feel free to draw  your own conclusions.

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