When Steven Spielberg debuted Catch Me If You Can in 2002, it was the first time a movie of his had stakes this small since the ‘80s. Preceded by war films, sci-fi epics, and dinosaur sagas, the man-on-the-run tale about notorious real-life con artist, Frank Abagnale (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), captivated audiences as the director whittled the story down to its characters and imbued it with a refreshing sense of levity that the more serious pictures couldn’t afford to handle. Throughout the ‘60s, Abagnale posed as doctors, lawyers, and airline pilots, and racked up millions of dollars in forged checks and bank fraud.
Now, of course, Frank has cleaned up his act and runs an anti-fraud advice firm. He’s also an avid fan of wristwatches. He recently hit up famed third-party Rolex customizer Artisans de Geneve to refurbish and revive his old Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 116710 that he’s had for around a decade. However, being his go-to timepiece meant that it did face some dilapidation, such as a broken bezel insert, rusty dial, rusty movement, broken glass, and stripped date disc. Although the model was launched in 2007, Frank wanted the restoration to echo his glory days in the ‘60s and the heyday of American aviation.
For the new custom, Artisans de Geneve did a full renovation, swapping in a two-tone lumed bakelite bezel with flat teeth and giving the dial an aged look with two shades of creme color that underwent a natural aging process. Likewise, the indices were handpainted to match, while the date disc was completely redone with a custom ‘60s-inspired font and alternating colored digits of dark blue and burgundy. As for the movement, the watch uses the same caliber 3186, but with some changes that include a gold rotor and beveled bridges — all visible through the caseback.
Adorned by the customization firm’s first-ever riveted steel bracelet, Frank Abagnale’s Rolex GMT-Master II, dubbed The Uncatchable, can be viewed on Artisans de Geneve’s website.