Atelier Millésime was established in 2018 by longtime Singaporean watch collector Benjamin Chee, also the founder of Benjamin Chee Haute Horlogerie. Atelier Millésime translates as “vintage workshop,” and the brand is a workshop in both a literal and figurative sense – taking design influences from disparate eras and reimagining them in an altogether superior vision. The choice of a Swiss-French name honors the origins of the watches, all of which are handcrafted in a family-owned workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and their ancestral design tradition.
The company’s concept of “fantasy vintage” draws design influences from the great classic wristwatches of the Art Deco period as well as the mid-20th century, joining these element together for a sum that is greater than the parts — combining, for example, teardrop lugs and sector dials — and at the same time raising the bar higher by improving the build quality and reliability of the movements used as compared with their vintage counterparts.
Atelier Millésime takes charming elements of esteemed vintage watches from the 1930s (i.e., sector dials), and the 1950s and ’60s (curvaceous teardrop lugs, multiple types of textures and finishing on the dial), combines them with more contemporary design cues (vivid yet warm dial colors), and significantly improves the final design over the original vintage sources of inspiration (raised rather than printed markers on the dials, intricate case finishing, extremely slender yet functional crowns, outstanding movements).
As a collector-driven brand, the story of Atelier Millésime is much more than just a simple rehash of vintage designs, but rather a reimagining and refinement of the originals into an altogether more sophisticated design. For example, the movement and case finishing of the Monarque are far more sophisticated than those of the divers of the 1960s. The hands and hour indices are much more intricate, faceted for better visibility, and applied by hand, as compared to the vintage versions which had simple stick hands and printed dials. Much more thought and consideration has gone into the design of every element, particularly the case, crown, dial and hands, with the desire to create a polished and sophisticated overall design.
The Merveilleux and the haute-horlogerie Majestique launched in 2018 and quickly sold out their first run. After a year of continuous refinement and improvement, and to celebrate their first anniversary and the resounding success of both models, Atelier Millésime this year launches three new models – the Monarque, a high-end diver; the Merveilleux Enamel, an elegant dress watch with choice of flinqué or champlèvé guilloché enamel dial; and the Merveilleux II, an improved and more refined version of the classic Merveilleux with a superior movement.
The brand concierge will contact buyers upon order to confirm their desired dial color and size preference.
Furthermore, buyers needn’t worry that the use of a high-end movement will make servicing their watch costly or lengthy: servicing fees are reasonable and done at cost by Atelier Millésime, which has numerous service centers worldwide offering a quick 2-to-4-week turnaround.
The Merveilleux II (above) uses the same stylishly slender case, and is now equipped with the Soprod M100 movement in its highest R4 grade, with a daily accuracy of 99.99%, or a tolerance of a mere four seconds per day. The thinness of this exceptional movement allows the Merveilleux’s case to be slimmer and more elegant than that of the Merveilleux I.
The Merveilleux Enamel is available in Ivory, Burgundy and Racing Green, priced at 2,780 Singapore dollars (approx $1,990). For more details, click here.
The Merveilleux II is available in Silver, Burgundy and Racing Green, priced at 2,080 Singapore dollars (approx $1,490). For more details, click here.
All Atelier Millésime watch owners are also accorded special travel benefits, such as complimentary upgrades and amenities, and VIP treatment at hundreds of luxury hotels worldwide, as well as complimentary champagne and priority reservations at many Michelin-starred restaurants around the world.
Finally, with the brand’s mission of handcrafting Watches of Excellence and being a Force for Good, a portion of proceeds will go directly towards providing for the shelter, feeding and care of homeless and abandoned dogs in Singapore, through Atelier Millésime’s adopted dog shelter Gentle Paws.
You can learn more about Atelier Millésime at ateliermillesime.ch.