Back in December, Rolex filed a lawsuit against laCalifornienne. The Swiss watchmaker charged the California modder with “engaging in a course of conduct likely to cause confusion, deception or mistake, or injure Rolex’s business reputation, diluting the distinctive quality of Rolex’s registered trademarks.” It doesn’t look like the ban hammer has worked, at least not yet . . .
While there’s only one picture of a modified Rolex on laCalifornienne’s website (as above), their Instagram still features gussied-up watches produced by Geneva’s famous son. France’s Wildman and Germany’s Blaken also appear undaunted by Rolex’s litigiousness. Only Rolex modder Mad Paris appears down for the count.
The extremely faint disclaimer underneath laCalifornienne’s Our Story page indicates that their lawyer has his clients doing the CYA thing. As does the fact that they no longer sell a modded Rolex anywhere near as hideous as the one at the top of this post – if such a thing is even possible. Here’s the new boilerplate:
laCalifornienne is an independent watch dealer and is not authorized, endorsed, sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, S.A. or Cartier International AG.
laCalifornienne only sells pre-owned reconditioned and refurbished Rolex and Cartier watches that were subject to one or more of the following: (1) Repair and replacement of damaged watch movement parts with used Rolex or Cartier parts; (2) replacement of original watch crystals with aftermarket mineral and acrylic crystals; (3) refashioning of bezel (if any) with original metals and parts; (4) stripping the paint and finish from the original watch face dials, and repainting and refinishing them in various vibrant colors (reinstalling all Rolex and Cartier marks and original indicia), and (5) replacement of damaged original leather straps with new, handmade and hand-painted leather straps.
laCalifornienne provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Neither Rolex nor Cartier is under any obligation to warranty-service watches sold by laCalifornienne. Rolex®, Datejust® and Oyster Perpetual® are registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation (Rolex USA, Rolex S.A.). Cartier® and Tank® are registered trademarks of Cartier International AG.
To buy a new Rolex watch, please visit rolex.com for a list of authorized Rolex dealers near you. To buy a new Cartier watch, please visit cartier.com for a list of authorized Cartier dealers near you.
Yeah, that ought to assuage Rolex’s lawyers. We’re sending you customers!
laCalifornienne has expanded their business to include the legendary Cartier watch brand. The modded models are way more subdued than the Rolex alterations. Cartiers get a new strap and, occasionally, new dial colors.
The results are nowhere near as horrific as the indignities inflicted on Rolexes at laCalifornienne’s hands. Even so, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Richemont Group will feel just as aggrieved as Rolex. Watch this space.
NOTE: We’ve reached out to laCalifornienne for an update on their court case and product line. They have not responded to our email, the phone goes to voicemail and no one has returned our calls.
UPDATE: Rolex won its lawsuit against laCalifornienne. Click here for update.