I just lately spent a full week in Switzerland visiting almost 20 unbiased watchmakers and boutique manufacturers. And I used to be blown away by how extremely dynamic the unbiased watchmaking world has developed. One new unbiased watchmaker that hasn’t even launched his model but (scheduled for April 2022) already has orders to 2027!
It was per week of assembly outdated buddies and new, and seeing a plethora of unbelievable watches, however one of many highlights for me was assembly Vladimir Négault, founding father of Ataelier Haute Complication, a comparatively new unbiased watchmaker primarily based in Geneva who’s making a number of the most fascinating and ingenious watches I’ve ever seen.
Vladimir Negault: Background
Négault was working as an architect in Paris and has had a ardour for watchmaking since he was 12 years outdated and used to work on outdated alarm clocks, pocket watches and wristwatches. However he didn’t know a lot about extra complicated watchmaking till he found high-end sophisticated watches by a buddy, François-Paul Journe, who he had identified since 1994. From his architectural work, Négault was acquainted with 3D CAD packages and making digital movies, and in 2004 Journe requested him to make digital watch movies for F.P. Journe.
Over the following 4 years, Négault produced movies of all of the watches within the F.P. Journe assortment and when carried out advised Journe that he’d completed. Journe replied, as you now know my watches inside and outside in addition to anybody, why not come to Geneva and work for me as a constructor? Negault accepted and in 2008 he moved to Geneva and began work designing actions for F.P. Journe.
After eight years of growing sophisticated actions at F.P. Journe, Négault started dreaming of creating his personal watches, and he sensibly began with arising with a powerful visible id. One of many first issues I inform any budding unbiased watchmaker is that if somebody can’t acknowledge your watch on a wrist from three meters away, don’t hassle: the world has sufficient traditional-looking watches – you will need to stand out from the group.
Négault actually knew that as a result of his watches have one of many strongest visible identities I’ve ever seen. Persons are more likely to both love or hate the look, it’s that polarizing, however as Max Büsser advised me when he first launched MB&F, “I anticipate that greater than 90% of collectors will hate my watches, however I solely want a small share to like them to succeed.”
In 2018 he left F.P. Journe to begin working full-time growing watches for his personal model, Ataelier Haute Complication.
From the pictures I’d seen of Négault’s watches earlier than dealing with them, I didn’t like them a lot that I almost canceled my go to! I assumed I’d be higher spending my time on watches I favored. I’m glad I didn’t as a result of I ended up liking Negault’s watches very a lot!
Ataelier Haute Complication: Assortment (Twin Time, Tourbillon à Sonnerie, and Perpetual Calendar with Perpetual Week Calendar)
Négault developed 5 problems in his spare time whereas working at F.P. Journe, all sharing the identical distinctive visible aesthetics. All of Negault’s watches function a big indication displaying the complication/s and a smaller subdial displaying the time with palms.
Négault launch his model, Atelier Haute Complication, together with his first mannequin, the Twin Time, and each the subscription version of 19 items and the manufacturing version of 99 items in metal have already bought out! These would be the solely steel-cased watches Négault makes. All future watches by Atelier Haute Complication shall be solely in platinum.
All of Négault’s problems function progressive and helpful problems that haven’t beforehand existed. All actions are 100% developed by Negault in-house.
And whereas he can’t have a lot of it as of late, Négault composes jazz in his spare time.
Ataelier Haute Complication: Twin Time/GMT
Negault’s tackle the normal twin time complication includes a 12-hour indication for the second time zone as a substitute of the same old 24-hour show. His twist is that there’s additionally a day/night time indicator arc working beneath the 12-hour house time zone show on the prime of the dial.
A pointer for the house time tracks throughout the 12-hour daylight arc with a solar image from 6 am to six pm, which is then changed by a nighttime dial with a moon and the pointer then tracks throughout the 12 hours of night time – so that you instantly know at a look on the identical indication if the displayed time is through the day or night time.
Négault launched the Twin Time with a 19-piece subscription version in metal (bought out) and is now making the 99-piece restricted version manufacturing collection in metal (additionally bought out). There shall be no extra steel-cased fashions.
However if you’re – and fast) – on the time of publishing there are nonetheless a number of items of a 29-piece restricted version in platinum left (value CHF 29,000).
Then the Twin Time mannequin shall be retired, that’s all people, so he can concentrate on his subsequent problems.
For extra data, please go to https://ataelier.ch/en/fashions/dual-time
Technical particulars: Ataelier Haute Complication Twin Time
Indications: twin time zones with day/night time indicator
Case dimensions: 41 mm diameter x 9 mm excessive, 20 mm between lugs
Case supplies: metal (subscription version)
Motion: Caliber Structure Mécanique N°1, handbook winding, in-house in German silver, 42-hour energy reserve, 3 Hz stability frequency, hand completed hammering, round graining and anglage
Value: 99-piece restricted version in metal CHF 8,000 (bought out), 29-piece restricted version in platinum CHF 29,000 (a number of nonetheless obtainable at time of publication)
Atelier Haute Complication: Tourbillon à Sonnerie (placing tourbillon)
Négault’s second mannequin, the Tourbillon à Sonnerie, is extra sophisticated: it includes a 60-second tourbillon and chimes each half hour (with a mute swap). As Einstein plainly acknowledged in his Particular Idea of Relativity, time is relative to the observer, as anybody who experiences time flying by both too shortly whereas having enjoyable (or busy) or crawling by slowly when doing one thing much less gratifying is nicely conscious.
A easy (although not easy to execute) chime each half-hour helps the wearer to maintain observe of time regardless of how briskly or gradual it appears to be passing by. And naturally, it does a bit greater than that: Negault’s Tourbillon à Sonnerie strikes as soon as on the half hour and twice (with two distinctive notes) on the hour. An inertial (silent) governor seen dial facet ensures that the chimes are properly spaced out.
The 9-piece items subscription version of the Tourbillon à Sonnerie in platinum has already bought out, however Negault remains to be taking orders for the 69-piece restricted version manufacturing mannequin in platinum (CHF 80,000).
Négault expects to current his first Tourbillon à Sonnerie in the direction of the tip of 2023 with supply scheduled for 2024.
For (a little bit) extra data, please go to https://ataelier.ch/en/fashions/tourbillon-a-sonnerie
Ataelier Haute Complication: Perpetual Calendar with Perpetual Week Calendar
Négault’s third mannequin, scheduled to launch in the direction of the tip of 2024 or early 2025 shall be a full perpetual calendar indicating day, date, month, and intercalary year, plus a perpetual 52/53 enterprise week calendar.
All 7-day enterprise week calendars begin on Monday. A 12 months has 53 weeks if the first of January is on a Thursday on a non-leap 12 months, or on a Wednesday or a Thursday on a intercalary year, with the primary week of the following 12 months ending within the final week of December (not essentially the 31st) in a 52-week 12 months, and if the earlier 12 months had 53 weeks, the primary week of the brand new 12 months (not essentially the 1st of January).
Confused? You aren’t the one one as till now, there was no perpetual 52/53 week calendar watch robotically correcting each seemingly random 5 or 6 years for a 53-week 12 months.
The extraordinarily few weekly calendars which have existed so far have had a corrector to bypass the 53rd week in 52-week years (nearly all of circumstances), simply as with an annual calendar watch, it’s important to manually appropriate to bypass the 29th of February in non-leap years. Négault’s QP is the primary perpetual calendar watch to supply a totally perpetual week calendar.
For extra data, please go to https://ataelier.ch/en/