Puts some instant sunshine on your wrist: A Cartier Tank revamped by LaCalifornienne

You’ve been lusting for a vintage Rolex or Cartier watch for ages? But couldn’t decide which one to get because you’ve always found that they look a little too classic, maybe even a bit boring? LaCalifornienne has just made your decision MUCH easier. The new Los Angeles-based brand gives your favorite classic watches a colorful California twist that makes us want them all!

Puts some instant sunshine on your wrist: A Cartier Tank revamped by LaCalifornienne

Founded by husband-and-wife team Courtney Ormond, a former wardrobe stylist, and Leszek Garwacki, a longtime watch collector and former financial advisor, are remaking classic Cartier Tank and Rolex Oyster timepieces in hues inspired by sunsets you only get in Southern California. Think aqua blue displays and vegetable tanned leather straps in ice cream color stripes like strawberry pink, cream white and a touch of shiny gold.

The idea sprung from a less-than-enthusiastically-received birthday gift from husband to wife, a phenomenon to which anyone in a long-term relationship can relate. „Leszek gifted me a Cartier Tank with a white face, black Roman numerals and black strap, which was really nice,“ Ormond stresses, „But I wanted something more interesting.”

So she put on her fashion cap, and he put on his collector’s cap (Garwacki had been buying, selling and obsessing about watches since he was 5, his first crush being a Tag Heuer) and voilà — LaCalifornienne was born.

Ice cream colors make LaCalifornienne’s signature palette

„I had been playing with mix-and-match leather bands on vintage sport Rolexes and Omegas,” he says. „And I’m really into stripes,” Ormond explains. „On a Goyard or Louis Vuitton handbag, particularly. In my mind, it was a natural to combine the leather and stripes.”

They source the Tank solo and Oyster models at estate sales and vintage shops (and they are guaranteed with a one-year warranty), straps are handmade from naturally tanned leather, and the stripes hand-painted, all in downtown L.A. And no, sorry, they won’t customize a watch you already own.

Classy: A LaCalifornienne Rolex Oyster with a pink display and burgundy red strap

„Women buy watches like a piece of jewelry, that’s the direction we wanted to take it,” says Garwacki. „The name LaCalifornienne is short for La Monde Californienne. It’s about the California girl, California colors on iconic Swiss designs, and the colors of the magic hour when the sun is going down. You can’t stop staring, why not have it on your wrist for more than one hour?”

Available from about 2700 Euro, via lacalifornienne.com