In March last year, guitar maker Gibson brought some eye-catching sparkle to its twin-horned classic by adding more than 400 carat of diamonds and pounds of 18 K gold to an SG for the creation of the two million dollar Eden of Coronet. Master Builders from Fender's Custom Shop recently raided the jewelry box to give the workhorse Telecaster a luxury makeover inspired by an 18th century pocket watch.
Soon after being introduced as the Broadcaster in 1950, Fender's iconic two-pickup, solid-body marvel was forced to undergo a quick moniker change after a clash with a similarly-named line of drums from Gretsch. Despite its troubled start, it went on to become the go-to working guitar for players of all styles, including Roy Buchanan, Waylon Jennings, Danny Gatton, Bill Kirchen, Albert Collins and Keith Richards.
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The Master Repeater Tele is one of a number of Fender guitars treated to a handcrafted reworking by Custom Shop Master Builders for the 2016 Prestige Collection. The work of Yuriy Shishkov, it boasts more than a thousand diamonds, as well as other precious gems, 20 ft (6 m) of 18-karat rose gold wire inlay, 12 sq in (77 sq cm) 18-karat rose gold sheet inlay and an 8-karat solid gold Fender logo.
The hand-stained maple wood for the chambered body is home to a round sound hole sporting a rosette identical to the "Balance Clock" movement of the 18th century pocket watch that inspired the guitar's design. The acoustic/electric Telecaster has a custom magnetic pickup installed into the Birds Eye maple neck and a piezo pickup in the Swiss-made replica of the watch's musical movement that's built into the instrument. The musical repeater actually plays Ave Maria.
The instrument has a custom lute-style enameled bridge, with blend control for the pickups and master volume positioned in front, below the sound hole. The original 200-year-old 18 K gold and diamond bell repeater watch will come with the guitar.
Other Prestige designs of note include Dale Wilson's Stained Glass Telecaster (pictured above) which, as the name suggests, features stained glass shapes separated by leading and backed by plexiglass edged with LED lighting, and a modernized and slightly smoother Fender Katana in shocking burnt orange by Todd Krause.
Source: Fender Custom ShopView gallery - 8 images