“When in Rome do as the Romans do”
last Januari I visited Rome with my family, not for watches but for a short citytrip full of History and Art. But as real watch heads my father, brother and I always slowdown walking past Jewellers and watch boutiques, and believe me Rome has really nice watch boutiques. So yes, we travelled through Rome in zombie-mode with our eyes wide open.
When we were on our way to have a Italian aperitif we past by the watchmakers atelier of Mr. Lebran. Oh yes, a watchmaker’s atelier in the center of Rome full of clocks and watches – a definite stop for us. After catching a glimpse of the items through the window my eye focused on a watchmaker behind his working bench, dressed in a long white coat as it should be. I went into the shop and greeted the watchmaker and complimented him about his great studio that really embodied time in every aspect of the word. After a short talk about his workplace and some vintage watches he had for sale, I saw a picture on the wall of a skeleton Oyster. At that moment Mr. Lebran noticed my attention and proudly said that he customized that watch. My heart skipped a beat, let’s be honest how many times do you come across a skeleton rolex? Since the gentleman seemed such a nice man, I was expecting him to tell me more about the watch, even better, he told me that if I could come back the next day he would bring the watch with him to the shop. Great news of course, but I had to catch my flight back home that very next day.. Mr. Lebran told me he would open his doors at 10 o’clock in the morning, so i decided to get up early and be there 15 minutes early. I didn’t want to miss out this opportunity. It is hard to explain, but we as watch enthousiasts recognize a true passionate craftsman when we see it. Mr. Lebran was someone like that. I had a 15 minute window to visit the workplace and catch a cab towards the airport, a bit risky but it was all worth it.
That night, i couldn’t sleep at all, there were skeletonized Rolex watches everywhere – okay that’s a bit exaggerated, but I was excited as a little kid in a candyshop when i got up that morning. When i arrived at the studio, I was least to say very happy with the way Mr. Lebran talked about his skeletonized Oyster. Of course, there will be people who like the look and there will be people who don’t, but I was sure about the fact that this watch was a piece of art and it showed the craftsmanship. Due to my trip to the cutural places of Rome I compared it with the frescos of Michelangelo and the sculptures of Bernini. A beatiful skelitonized Rolex Oyster Perpetual Ref. 1503 Caliber 1570 done by master watchmaker Mr. Lebran in 1970. Some of the tools he used are more than hundred years old and were used by earlier generations of watchmakers. Now, let’s skip the chitchat and take a look at this piece of passion and individuality and the beautiful studio “Atelier D’Horlogerie” of Mr. Lebran.
I want to thank Mr. Lebran for sharing his passion and having us in his atelier. It’s always fun to go on a citytrip and especially when you get the chance of seeing something unique like this Rolex Oyster. Definitely a watch i won’t forget.