About three months ago we ran an article entitled “Would You Do This To Your Rolex Watch?” It featured the engraving work of Blaine Halvorson of MadeWorn. And much to our surprise, it got more buzz than any of our articles had to date. In fact, Everest’s Instagram posting of it got more “likes” than Mr. Halvorson’s postings had at the time.
I also mentioned another engraver in that article, Tom Inslay of Queensland, Australia. Inslay’s work looks even more “American Western” than Halvorson’s. And since I wrote that piece, I’ve come across more engravers who are doing this kind of engraving to all kinds of watches.
Now at this point, let me back up and tell a tale. When we posted a link to the January article on Instagram, the title appeared to our followers as a question, “Would you do this to your Rolex watch?” And some commentators simply answered the question.
Some folks were fascinated. Some thought the engraving was cool. Some were demure, “Cool but I’d never do it.” And some thought it was an outrage, “This looks [the R-word]” and “This looks weird,” like the watch had been desecrated or something.
Really? “This looks weird” I can understand, But using a socially derogatory word? C’mon folks… it’s just a watch.
Bamford Watch Department, a long time Rolex tuning house, has branched off into engraved cases too. Check this Japanese Samurai inspired Datejust II.
Really, any model with enough acreage to make engraving worthwhile is a worthy target. The Datejust II and Day-Date II, along with the new Milgauss, are prime among Rolex timepieces, but others fit the bill too.
Last week, Tom Inslay showed off a Panerai case and buckle he’d wrapped up a week or two before. And Mr. Inslay’s been busy lately. Check his Instagram feed for numerous photos of watches in progress or finished and ready for reassembly.
So there are guys working on big ticket watches. But Nick of Watches by Nick is a bit more ecumenical. Check his Instagram feed or his website and you’ll find Hamiltons and Seikos, plus his own Seiko-based Traveling Watch.
Even boutique maker Magrette is getting into the act.
So whether you like or… er… dislike engraved watches, I think you’ll be seeing more and more of them on Instagram.
Remember folks… they’re just watches.