Today, we won’t talk about the latest release from Atelier Wen. We will briefly discuss a new venture from the Chinese marque called Inside the Atelier. This is a behind-the-scenes look at the various suppliers supporting the brand’s watches. It focuses on the people, their inspiration, and where they work. The first episode is out, and it’s a highly satisfying way to spend 25 minutes.

Atelier Wen has proven highly popular over the past few years. The Hong Kong-based microbrand has captured fans with its focus on handmade guilloché-patterned dials and overall attention to detail. All of this comes together at an incredibly attractive price. I mentioned in my recent article on the Atelier Wen Perception 2.0 that I met one of the co-founders, Robin Tallendier, at an event in London. After speaking with him at length, I walked away even more excited about what will come next. Today, the answer arrives in the form of a video series titled Inside the Atelier.

Atelier Wen Perception 2.0

Inside the Atelier

Let’s be very clear. The idea of a Chinese-made watch doesn’t exactly inspire confidence and excitement. A reputation for cheap knockoffs, throwaway movements, and questionable working conditions are just some of the typical thoughts that arise. The folks at Atelier Wen know, despite early success, that they have a challenge on their hands to convince the wary that their watches are worth more than just a look. In addition to offering a lengthy five-year warranty, Atelier Wen uses a network of local service points to take care of any potential issues and covers all shipping costs. Still, skeptics remain. With the new Inside the Atelier video series, Atelier Wen will meet with the various suppliers in China that all contribute to the final product. It’s a candid look at the people, where they work, and, to some degree, how they live.

Watching the first episode

The first episode of Inside the Atelier is live on YouTube and is titled “Cheng Yucai, the Guillocheur of Xinmi.” At 25 minutes long, it’s deep enough to get technical, yet it’s anything but boring. Now, it is here where I must make a confession. As a lover of watches, I devour a lot of watch-related content, but I have yet to be sucked into video. Maybe I’m a dinosaur, but I think it’s because I’m trying to avoid spending all day watching another screen. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this first episode related to Master Cheng and his dial-making techniques. Watching a rose engine with its diamond-tipped tools was fascinating, and it provided insights into the skill required to create an acceptable dial.

Discussing China is a tricky subject these days, and I’m not keen to bait our passionate commenters. Still, many have a picture in their heads of what China is like and what it isn’t like as far as working conditions. I think some who have never traveled to China will be surprised by this video and how serene the working environment is at Master Cheng’s studio. Is it Switzerland? No, but it shouldn’t be. What you’ll see is a passionate group of artisans who have built their machinery via trial and error. They’re making beautiful products and are intent to keep improving. Best of all, there’s no arrogance here.

More to come

If you’re at all interested in Atelier Wen and its watches, I’d highly recommend watching the first episode of Inside the Atelier. It’s a relaxing and informative way to spend 25 minutes. In the future, we can expect further episodes that will focus on the other component makers and the men and women who are working at these small companies. I’ll certainly be tuning in!

For more information on Atelier Wen, visit the brand’s official website.