In the world of car racing, Juan Pablo Montoya is a man whose accomplishments are not limited to a single championship. He won the prestigious CART title in his rookie year, as Formula One Driver he was victorious at, among others, the Grand Prix of Monaco and Silverstone, and on top of that, he also finished first three times in the 24 Hours of Daytona and as well as putting the Indianapolis 500 on his name. He now follows in the footsteps of Spike Lee and Lenny Kravitz, by joining Artisans de Genève to create an exclusive watch; ‘La Montoya’
This watch, of which 50 pieces will be made, not only showcases the style and flair of the man himself, but also the craftsmanship of Artisans de Geneve. They combine passion and expertise to create watches that not only stand apart by their looks but also by the way that they are made and finished. This is also immediately clear when looking at the ‘La Montoya.’ The watch is based on the Rolex Daytona ref.116520 which has been extensively reworked to realize the vision of the legendary race car driver it is named after.
The base movement of the watch is Rolex caliber 4130, which has not only been fitted with a grey gold rotor, a hallmark of Artisans de Geneve but is also skeletonized. To achieve this every single part of the movement is removed and not only cut but also angled and finished by hand. A very tedious job that requires a great deal of experience, but the only way to create an absolutely perfect result. For this Artisans de Geneve collaborates with Philippe Narbel, one of the most recognized masters in this field.
Traditionally the art of skeletonization is associated with more classical watches, but the ‘La Montoya’ is far from this. Artisans de Geneve created a tachymeter bezel which is machined from a solid block of forged carbon. This not only gives each watch a unique appearance but also enhances the sportive look and feel of the watch even further.
This is even more amplified by the use of color on the dial. In true Artisans de Geneve fashion this is all hand-applied, and with this model used as a reference to Colombia, Juan Pablo Montoya’s country of birth. Despite being skeletonized, all the counters are very easy to read, although you might be distracted by the perfect finish of the mechanics that you see underneath them.
That same attention to detail do we also find in the case and the bracelet of the watch. Artisans de Geneve utilized a mix of a sandblasted and brushed finish for the stainless steel case and the bracelet. This highlights the iconic shape in a contemporary way, while it is actually being achieved by utilizing traditional craftsmanship and expertise. This also sums up the ‘La Montoya'; a modern watch that celebrates the man, a chronograph icon, as well as the finest craftsmanship Switzerland has to offer.