Patcharavipa Customizes Vintage Rolex Watches With Traditional Thai Jewelry-Making Methods
Reworking the Oyster Perpetual Date from 1980 and Oyster Perpetual “Zephyr” from 1959.
Thai-born Central Saint Martins graduate Patcharavipa has been making jewelry since she was 13, and throughout her career, she has worked with traditional Thai methods and crafts to bring the history of the country’s jewelry-making into her work. Now, Patcharavipa has given two vintage Rolex watches her distinctive twist, taking the Oyster Perpetual Date from 1980 and Oyster Perpetual “Zephyr” from 1959 and elevating them to new, artisanal heights.
Kicking off with the Date, we find the vintage timepiece reworked with a whole new look. Now, the piece combines 18K Siam yellow gold with 0.69Ct diamonds on the dial, and also sports an 18K white gold bezel, a stainless steel case (which is original), 18K white gold plated on .925 silver for the bracelet, and the original winder. Together, it gives a hand-beaten, hand-made, hand-finished aesthetic that’s true to the designer’s roots, but the origins of the watch — including its automatic movement and crystal dial cover — remain.
As for the “Zephyr,” we find a slightly more subdued rework. The watch was originally released in 1959 and is nicknamed the “Zephyr” because of its distinctive 34mm bezel and dial, which sees a crosshair motif splitting up the dial into four quarters. This is now decorated using 18K Siam yellow gold with 0.69Ct diamonds, while the original 14K yellow gold case still remains. The bezel features 18k yellow gold, while the bracelet has the same makeup as the former watch.
Naturally, these watches don’t come cheap. The Oyster Perpetual Date retails for £22,400 GBP (approx. $31,000 USD), and the “Zephyr” costs £17,200 GBP (approx. $24,000 USD). Both can be bought from Dover Street Market London now.
In case you missed it, check out HYPEBEAST’s beginner’s guide to some of Rolex’s most interesting Submariners.