Project X Designs, the London-based Rolex customizer whose fans include “James Bond” star Daniel Craig, has come out with three new military-inspired “stealth” designs based on the classic Rolex Submariner and Rolex Explorer. The cool new models pay homage to Agent 007, the legendary British Special Boat Service (SBS) and military issue Submariners of 1950s – 1970s, original models of which fetch a small fortune at auction.
Founded in 1940, the SBS were actually the precursor to the UK‘s better-known SAS (Special Air Service), another elite commando unit created for covert operations. Limited to just 28 numbered examples per design, each case back of the Stealth series features a variation on the SBS’ legendary Frog, Paddle and Parachute insignia and its motto “By Strength & Guile.”
The two Rolex Submariner models in the series are the Mk III and Mk IV, one designed for daylight operations and the other more suited to night maneuvers. The Mk III pays homage to the Submariner worn by Sean Connery as 007 in the 1950s Bond movies; the Bond character was originally a former SBS commando. It features an anti-reflective satin case finish, blacked-out bezel and Stealth inscribed dial. Presented on an olive green G10 NATO strap, it’s available exclusively via the Project X website for about $14,000. The Stealth Mk IV (pictured above) has a darker, tougher look with a matte black carbon-coated case and blacked-out ceramic bezel. It too comes on a Nato strap and is priced at about $16,000.
The third model in the series is the Rolex Explorer-based Stealth Mk V. Created as a subtle and sophisticated contrast to the Submariner models, the case is satin finished before being treated with a hard-wearing black DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coating. Issued on a back G10 NATO strap with black hardware, it also comes with a blacked-out steel bracelet and is priced at about $13,000. The Limited Edition customizations of original Rolex watches created by Project X Designs afford watch collectors “a certain individuality combined with a knowing appreciation of the original manufacturer’s heritage.”
In addition to Daniel Craig, the brand’s aficionados include Sir Roger Moore, Mark Wahlberg, members of royalty, sportsmen and musicians. The company, which has offices in Mayfair, London, was founded by Daniel Bourn, a former investment banker who developed an “obsessive compulsion” for collecting rare, modern and vintage luxury watches and decided to change careers. His first designs were a custom Submariner and Daytona in 2009 which quickly sold out.