There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Atelier de Chronométrie. I know I hadn’t until a friend of mine got the opportunity to visit the brand in Barcelona and started raving about what he had seen. But after researching them a little more and seeing what they have to offer, I totally get why my buddy was drooling over them.
The bread and butter of Atelier de Chronométrie is producing one-off timepieces for collectors that are completely customizable. Basically, you communicate directly with the brand’s watchmaker about what case size, material, dial design, and movement finish you want and they spend nine months or more perfecting it for you. That level of customization and clarity between the client and watchmaker is extremely difficult to find in the watch industry and with the size of their operation (just three men), you know that they’ll work with you to create your dream watch.
Atelier de Chronométrie used SalonQP in London a few weeks back to show off just their fourth timepiece, the AdC #4. What you immediately notice about the watch is the stunning cloisonné enamel dial. What you would never guess, however, is that it can do a complete rotation every five hours and 20 minutes. I haven’t had the opportunity to see it in person, but the videos I’ve seen are very impressive.
The cloisonné enamel dial is hand painted and decorated by the Atelier de Chronométrie team and features 35 different colors and hues to depict the Earth, moon, and space. The movement inside is a modified Omega Caliber 266 that features 42 new pieces that are totally handmade. Did I mention that they don’t use a single CNC machine in this process? You don’t see that anywhere.
The parts that aren’t new have been completely reworked and hand decorated. The four bridges are made of German Silver with a bicoloured finish that combines 18k rose gold plating on the superior frosting, flanks, and inferior “perlage” with the natural color of the German silver for the “anglage.” If you look at the movement, you can see the frosted texture that was again done by hand, not through sandblasting. And, like I mentioned earlier, it features a romantic complication that enables the 18k gold dial base to do a full turn every five hours and 20 minutes.
Each watch takes approximately nine months to build — I imagine there’s already quite a waiting list given the size of the team and their strong showing at SalonQP — and the brand offers free lifetime servicing.