“If I had to talk to young Frank, I would tell him that it’s not so much what you do right or wrong, it’s what you do with your life. I wanted my watch to look like me, and take me back to the 1960s. A time, I was not afraid about my fear or doubts, always moving forward and reinventing myself. I am today like my timepiece, full of stories, but still in perpetual evolution”.Frank Abagnale Jr
The 1960s in the United States. Frank Abagnale Jr is still a teenager. He was only 16 when he ran away to New York City to escape a dull daily life. To survive alone in the city, he reinvented himself. He finds a loophole in the banking system and starts forging cheques to survive. He quickly discovers that it will be much easier for him to do so dressed as an airline pilot. “Flying away will be my best memory”. The doors of the airplanes open, followed by years of adventures where he took on different roles and personalities: pilot, lawyer, professor… Until this life, and the authorities, caught up with him. 40 years later, he has drawn from his youth creating a unique know-how: Frank Abagnale has become one of the most recognized security experts in the world, working with banking institutions and the FBI. “Catch me if you can”, his story, has made him world famous since its adaptation into a movie by Steven Spielberg in 2002.Frank wanted his personalization project, The Uncatchable, to embody his life journey.
We often have to restore our clients’ timepieces before we customize them. They are imbued with their lives and we treat them with the utmost respect. Craftsmanship offers endless possibilities to write one’s own story. Frank’s watch is a perfect example of an important restoration that has revived a timepiece. Frank has been wearing his cherished GMT model for the past decade. His timepiece is full of memories and has been dear to him. Being in a state of severe wear and tear, the timepiece was damaged, marked by time: a broken bezel insert, a rusty dial, broken glass a stripped date disc, a rusty movement… Yet his watch held the most memories and was the best candidate for his personalization project.
“My whole life has been about time, whether it’s about being in the right place at the right time, or in the wrong place at the wrong time…. And that’s why my watch is important today. I wanted to find a workshop somewhere in the world that would be creative enough to help me realize my dream, to take my story, my ideas, and embody them in my watch”.Frank Abagnale Jr
Frank wanted his watch to represent the essence of the America of the 1960s and the life he led there. He drew inspiration from the GMT Master II, a timepiece that epitomizes the elegance and style of that the GMT master II model, that only some pilots would have had the chance to wear. Rivet bracelet, aged dial, two-tone luminescent bakelite bezel… Frank wanted to bring a series of very personal details by reworking each piece of his personalization so that the spirit of the 60’s could express itself on his wrist
The bezel insert is made of bakelite, the timer is covered with a luminescent material, and the bezel features flat teeth for a more refined look.
The 1960s aesthetic inspired every modification of the caliber 3186. We paid particular attention to the curves and finishes of each piece. The case middle was machined to give it a vintage look. The horns are satin-finished, and their polished facets blend with the gold rotor and beveled bridges, the perfect combination of technique and savoir-faire. We developed a balance bridge with a more refined shape, mirror polish, and inner angles at Frank’s request. For the first time, we developed a riveted steel bracelet to perfect the harmony between craftsmanship and technique, thus refining the look of Frank’s timepiece.
Take inspiration from The Uncatchable challenge to create your project