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Introducing Wristcheck x Atelier Wen Perception 传承 Special Edition

By Neha S. Bajpai
21 Nov 2022
5 minutes read

Crafted out of Grade 5 titanium for the first time ever, this Perception 传承 Special Edition features a jade green guilloché dial — each requiring 8 hours to hand-craft with a rose engine by China’s sole master guilloché craftsman, Master Cheng

It was the serendipitous summer of 2014 that set Robin Tallendier on a path to turn his interest in horology into a passion project celebrating Chinese watchmaking. After a short vacation in Beijing, Tallendier started blogging about his experiences and eventually co-founded a watch company with Wilfred Buiron, his friend and classmate from Peking University. “While in Beijing, I bumped into this prominent Canadian watch collector, who invited me to a dinner with the members of the China Horologe Association. I visited several watchmaking studios over the following year and somehow it all eventually led us to launch Atelier Wen in 2017,” says Tallendier. 

 

Over the last five years, Tallendier and Buiron have been busy transforming perceptions about watches “made in China”. Deeply rooted in the Chinese design ethos, Atelier Wen is perhaps one of the only few brands offering perfectly executed watches with handmade guilloché dials at a fraction of the price charged by most Swiss watchmakers. “Back in 2018, we really had no idea how this would work. I mean, it's fair to say that there’s still a very negative bias around “made in China”. When we started out there was no such thing as a premium watch proudly made in China. But our first few watches were very well received, especially in the US. It was a huge surprise for us and also very encouraging,” says Tallendier.

For the first time in Atelier Wen’s Perception line, the 40mm 传承 comes cased in Grade 5 titanium, with a matching full integrated bracelet as well as an extra grey FKM rubber strap
For the first time in Atelier Wen’s Perception line, the 40mm 传承 comes cased in Grade 5 titanium, with a matching full integrated bracelet as well as an extra grey FKM rubber strap

It was this same love of horology and appreciation of Chinese craftsmanship that got Wristcheck’s founder, Austen Chu, to take note of Atelier Wen’s exceptional watches. The two founders first connected in November 2021 and then met in Geneva earlier this year to work together on their very first collaborative timepiece – the Wristcheck x Atelier Wen Perception 传承 Special Edition. Both of them recognized an undeniable synergy between their two fledgling Asian brands, and knew that they had to create a timepiece together. “We want to foster a next generation for Chinese horology.

Atelier Wen's Robin Tallendier and Wilfred Buiron Photo: Atelier Wen
Atelier Wen founders Wilfred Buiron (left) and Robin Tallendier (right) Photo: Atelier Wen

Wristcheck is working towards the same goal by offering an environment where the next generation could learn, grow and be empowered . This synergy between us led us to the creation of “传承” – a watch intended to bridge the past, the present and the future and to make sure that the passion keeps burning,” says Tallendier.

While the brand’s first collection was inspired by traditional porcelain art, the Perception 传承 special edition for Wristcheck borrows elements from Chinese architecture. Based on the Sunmao principle, the dial has a multilevel structure, which lends the watch an intriguing depth. “It essentially echoes the old Chinese architectural practice that involved stacking elements on top of one another without the use of nails or glue. So we have a dial base and on top of that base there’s the guilloché disk with indexes nesting in cutouts. Inside the indexes there are these little slots for the elevated chapter ring to lock in. This adds to the contrast between the dial’s depth and the watch’s overall thinness,” explains Tallendier.

It takes around 8 hours to handcraft the jade green guilloché dial for the Perception 传承 Special Edition
It takes around 8 hours to handcraft the jade green guilloché dial for the Perception 传承 Special Edition

Crafted out of Grade 5 titanium for the first time, this Perception 传承 Special Edition is bestowed with a handmade jade green guilloché dial — each requiring 8 hours to hand-craft with a rose engine by China’s sole master guilloché craftsman, Master Cheng. “Each dial is unique in its guilloché pattern – meaning that every watch in itself is essentially a unique piece. All of this comes at an incredibly accessible price point. It’s a great watch to start a collection – or, if you’re a seasoned collector, a great addition to one,” says Austen Chu, Founder and CEO, Wristcheck.
 

Fitted within a 40mm angular case, the jade green dial goes perfectly well with the fully integrated bracelet in titanium as well as an extra gray FKM rubber strap that comes as part of the set for the special edition. The exhibition caseback is equally attractive, says Tallendier. “It features an engraved 石狮子 ‘shishi’ or lion motif that’s seen on the temple entrances and other buildings in China. When the rotor aligns with the display window, the ‘shishi’ appears to laugh, which is quite surreal,” he says.

The semi-open caseback features an engraved 石狮子 ‘shishi’ or lion motif - revealing a tungsten rotor with circular côtes de Genève, and matching rhodium plating in green
The semi-open caseback features an engraved 石狮子 ‘shishi’ or lion motif - revealing a tungsten rotor with circular côtes de Genève, and matching rhodium plating in green

As exceptional on the inside as it is on its exterior, the watch is powered by the Maison’s customized extra-thin Dandong SL1588 automatic movement that beats at 28,800 BPH, offering 41 hours of power reserve and 10 ATM of water resistance.
 

An ode to traditional Chinese craftsmanship, the Wristcheck x Atelier Wen Perception 传承 Special Edition celebrates the perpetuation of century-old savoir-faire between generations, and the exuberance of new beginnings. 

Limited to just 100 pieces, the Wristcheck x Atelier Wen Perception 传承 Special Edition promises a power reserve of 41 hours and is water-resistant up to 10 ATM
Limited to just 100 pieces, the Wristcheck x Atelier Wen Perception 传承 Special Edition promises a power reserve of 41 hours and is water-resistant up to 10 ATM

Specifications

Wristcheck x Atelier Wen Perception 传承 Special Edition
 

Movement: Customized extra thin Dandong SL1588 automatic movement; Decorated with côtes de Genève, perlage and light beveling on the bridges; Tungsten rotor with circular côtes and rhodium plating
Case: 40mm Grade 5 titanium case with intricate attention to finish, alternating between brushed and polished surfaces; 9.4mm thick
Dial: Handmade jade green guilloché dial made using a rose engine by the sole guilloché master craftsman of the whole of China and Asia, Master Cheng.
Gray surrounding chapter ring. Unique “Sunmao” dial structure with 4 height levels.
Rhodium-plated hands with Super-LumiNova® X1 lume; Super-LumiNova® X1 printed huiwen pattern on the minute ring; Applied indexes, rhodium plated

Water-resistance: Up to 10 ATM 
Frequency: 28,800 BPH
Power Reserve: 41 hours
Bracelet: Grade 5 titanium bracelet with intricate attention to finish, alternating between brushed and polished surfaces. On-the-fly micro-adjustment buckle
Limited to 100 pieces
Price: HKD 26,700 / USD 3,400
 

Each watch is presented in a lacquered wooden box, the same color as the dial. It comes with a 316L metal plaque with Atelier Wen and Wristcheck’s logo engraved.

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