“Looks only a mother – or world champion boxer – could love,” dmarge.com writes re: the modded Rolex above. Sorry, wrote. The Australian blog sent the post down the memory hole, leaving only the image, the intro and the headline (Floyd Mayweather Would Love It’: New York Jeweller [sic] Creates World’s Ugliest Rolex.) One has to assume . . .
dmarge.com got a sternly worded email from the jeweler’s legal representation. The Truth About Watches – an income-free LLC that was born belligerent – isn’t afraid of editorial intimidation. In this case, no worries, mate. I don’t think the iced-out Rolex vilified by dmarge – if only for a few hours – is ugly.
It’s tacky, sure. But I’m a fan of kitsch: “Art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.” Hell, I like this watch. Who doesn’t groove on the the reversed Eye of Horus design, the ancient Egyptian symbol of well-being, healing, and protection?
Rejecting Langridge’s deep sixed thesis, let’s widen the net and trawl for some truly ugly Rollies. Here’s the Time Teller’s take:
For those of you with a pathological aversion to YouTube watch rants, The Time Teller wimps out.
He finger gags on two out-of-print Rolex Cellinis, ye olde Gerald Genta designed Rolex King Midas (which Elvis and I love), the celebrity-coveted, multi-jeweled Rolex Daytona Rainbow and the white gold meteorite dial “Pepsi” Rolex GMT Master II ($65k on chrono24.com).
“This watch is on the ugly list because I want the meteorite watch fad to just die out,” The Time Teller tells us, adding that he finds it “too busy.” Huh? You want busy, take a peek at the blue, gold and white Rolex Yacht-Master II, a contrasting-colored timepiece with five different hands and a horseshoe at its center (for the luck you need to figure out the complication).
In comparison, the outer space-themed Daytona is as busy as a yarmulke salesman at a Baptist revival. I’m adding The Time Teller to the list of “journalists” who lack the testicular fortitude to diss the industry that grants review watches and first-class junkets to horological sycophants.
If we’re looking at currently available (i.e., unavailable) Rolex, I reckon the new WTF palm frond Rolex Day Date 36 is about as ugly as Geneva’s favorite son’s current line-up gets. It’s certainly weird, but I wouldn’t kick it out of bed for eating crackers.
We pretty much have to return to modded Rolex to find a truly hideous example. We’ve covered this ground before (Modified Rolex: Abomination or Wikkid Pissa?). And we’re covering it again.
Regular readers will recognize this putrid Rolex retread above as the brainchild of the husband and wife team at laCalifornienne. IMHO, it is the world’s ugliest Rolex. Fortunately, it’s the rarest or rare birds. As we reported back in February 2020, Rolex took the West Coast modder to court to stop the pain – and won.
If The Time Teller can turn back time to highlight ugly Rolex, so can we. Let me Cher another one from the not-too-distant past.
This is the The Juan Pablo Montoya Project by Artisans de Genève. While the watch itself is OK, I guess, a skeleton watch movement without gorgeous, hand-finished decoration is like an unpainted paint-by-numbers sunset. (You might say it’s time for the skeleton watch fad to die out, but I couldn’t possibly comment.)
As for the kind of iced-out Rolex that gave dmarge the vapors, well, they’re just not that bad. Again, tacky. But not ugly. If this were a non-watch blog I’d link to the astoundingly distasteful Murphy Pitard Signature Collection Diamond Rolex Style Fashion Ring. But it isn’t. So instead I return to OEM-spec Rolex timepieces to present my nomination for the world’s second ugliest Rolex. . .
Released in 2005, the Rolex Leopard Daytona is an awesome watch in its own special way. It was bought and yes worn by no less than Nicholas Cage – an actor whose career descended from dizzying artistic heights into straight-to-video hell (thanks to his real estate addiction). How fitting is that?
Back in the day, the Leopard Daytona sold for $70k. As of this writing, chrono24.com offers them in the 80’s and 90’s (the watch kept pace with inflation and nothing more). For me, the white diamonds littering the top and bottom of the case lift the Leopard Daytona from gloriously tacky to egregiously emetic.
Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well, that’s how dmarge.com pulled its punches in the disappeared “world’s ugliest Rolex” article. My take: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with creating an ugly Rolex. In fact, I admire the Devil-make-care insouciance required. Just as long as I don’t have to wear the result.