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New Incoming: Rolex Caseback Engraving

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Ok so not an incoming in the true sense of the word but a new enhancement to my collection nonetheless. Now I know there are mixed views on this kind of stuff with the majority of people not in favour of any kind of watch modification and thatís totally fine by me but this is something I've had in my mind to do for some time and since this particular watch is simply never leaving my collection (well I hope not anyways!) it doesn't really matter. Secondly this kind of mod is pretty easy to reverse and a new caseback can be replaced without breaking the bank.

By way of background, how did we get to this position in the first place? I got married 2 summers ago and my wife knowing how into watches I was getting very kindly cemented our special day by buying me a watch (Rolex Datejust II) that I wore for the first time as I was standing at the aisle. A special occasion and a special gift; I wanted to commemorate that moment in a way that served as a constant reminder so what easier way than a caseback engraving. That was the easy part - the hard part of this process however was a). working out what to put on it and b). finding someone trustworthy enough to do it.

Part a). proved to be the trickiest part of the process and the one that took the longest to complete, quite simply because I had no idea what to put on it. The caseback of the Datejust II has 3 distinct parts, a brushed outer ring, a polished centre ring and a brushed centre circle. The outer ring was an easy one to fill, our names and the date of wedding (no reason to forget anniversaries ever again!). I decided to keep the centre circle polished which left the inner circleÖ..and to cut a long story short this is what I ended up deciding to put on it. Iíd like to say there was some deep inner meaning and connection to this picture but there isnít and simply put I just liked it.

Part b). by comparison wasnít too difficult in the end. Having spent some time unsuccessfully talking to ADís and various local engravers I just happened to stumble across this ladies work whilst browsing another forum but having seen what she could achieve it was a no brainer. Now before we go any further I should just point out that I have no affiliation to Joanne.

The process itself was about as pain free as I could have hoped; we talked about the commission over a couple of months (my work was really busy at the time and proved to be a bit of a distraction) and once agreed I put down a deposit, had the caseback removed and this was on its way to Joanne. She sent across a rendered picture of what the final engraving would look like (below) and once agreed she set to work.

Joanne was as professional in the service she provided as the work in her pictures suggests. Extremely engaging throughout the process, offered up plenty of opinion and suggestion and most importantly did a fantastic job - I would have no doubt recommending her work to anyone.

Well thatís enough waffle from me, letís get some pics on the goÖ.so this is what we started with, itís a stock Rolex Datejust II (model reference 116334) with rhodium dial and arabic numbers.

Next itís time to remove the caseback.

Whilst that's off we may as well have a look inside. Admittedly not the most aesthetically pleasing of movements, but there are worse sights out there than the calibre 3136.

The caseback off and sent to Joanne, fast forward a week and this is what popped back through the letterbox. The level of details she has achieved exceeds all my expectations.

And some more pics.

And my favourite, showing how meticulous the level of work put into this. The bit most endearing to me is that when you look at the work this close up you really get a feel for the personal effort gone into it and is exactly what I wanted to achieve. To put the size into perspective, the diameter of the face is approximately 9mm.

All that now done, time to get the caseback back on the watch.

Well it's taken a long time but I finally got there and the results are better than I expected. Iíve taken something that was already special to me and added some personalisation that now serves as a constant reminder to that special day and hopefully means I have something special to hand down to my children one day.

Thanks for taking the time to read and I hope you enjoyed my journey.
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