Rolex Ref. 1002 circa 1960

This Rolex 1002 represents some of the most subtle and simplistic work we create at Cloister. We began with an eighteen karat yellow gold Rolex Ref. 1002 circa 1960. After completing a full mechanical overhaul of the watch, we removed the original champagne dial, which bore the sun-worn patina of decades of use.

This piece was designed and executed as a gift from husband to wife, and the dial scheme was intended to both honor the original watch and to add a soft femininity to a piece that was original sold as a men’s wristwatch. The dial was executed in Bavaria in a soft crème color, and lettering was painted in a chocolate brown with hints of red intended to set off the gold case. All lettering was done by hand, and the finished dial reveals the marks of handwork, including intentionally uneven paint application and tiny brushstrokes. The upper portion of the dial text was repainted as original, and the lower dial text was replaced with the oversized, block initials of the new owner.

Additionally, we sourced a period but highly unusual Rolex bezel, which added an element of complexity to the otherwise simple design. The case was lightly polished to restore the finish of the watch, and the restored piece was reassembled.

Prior to delivering the finished product, we designed a series of complementary bespoke straps—all executed in Paris. Each strap was fitted with interchangeable spring-bars designed to make switching straps seamless in the absence of any tools.

This piece was delivered with five bespoke watch straps: white suede, dark brown suede, light brown matte crocodile, dark brown matte crocodile, and matte black calf. Each strap featured contrast stitching matched to the brown lettering of the dial, and each strap was delivered with its own period correct, eighteen karat gold Rolex tang buckle. The result was a level of versatility that makes this watch both a formal and an everyday piece.