Atelier Wen was present in Geneva at the Beau-Rivage Hotel during Watches and Wonders 2024. However, the brand wasn’t content with a small booth and a handful of watches on display. Master Cheng, the only master guillocher in Asia, made the trip and was accompanied by one of his rose engines. The young brand also announced a bold upcoming watch made entirely of tantalum.

It’s no surprise that the folks from Atelier Wen were in Geneva earlier this month. Indeed, several independent brands exhibit their wares within the Beau-Rivage Hotel at an event running parallel to Watches and Wonders. The fact that Atelier Wen brought a 450kg rose engine by plane from China, though, was a shocker. The intent was for Master Cheng to craft dials on-site, and he was able to do so. Then, the brand brought news of an upcoming watch and bracelet made from tantalum. The greater surprise is that this will not be a limited edition.

Atelier Wen Master Cheng in Geneva

Crafted in China Geneva

The rose engine arrived in Geneva with heavy damage to many of the rosettes. Plus, the constant traffic through the exhibition meant a high scrap rate. Still, Master Cheng completed three dials during the event. These were assembled locally into Perception cases, which include a specially made case back as a nice wink.

The first of the three pieces will head to an upcoming Phillips auction. The proceeds will benefit an arts-related charity in China. As we can see from the photos, the dials are silver and contain a swirling guilloché pattern. Whoever is fortunate enough to own one of these will own something special!

Tantalum is on the way!

I met one of Atelier Wen’s co-founders, Robin Tallendier, in London this past December. It was lovely to see the current lineup, but I was even more excited about an upcoming watch that I could not reveal. In Geneva, Atelier Wen announced that it will bring a full-tantalum watch to the market very soon. However, not only is the case tantalum but also the bracelet! Finally, there are plans to make 500 of these watches per year on an ongoing basis.

Atelier Wen tantalum Perception

Image: Ken Kuan

Tantalum is incredibly rare and difficult to work with. Perhaps this is why we’ve seen very few watches made from the metal. When we see them, they tend to be limited editions or unique pieces. But now we have a small upstart brand bringing one to market, and it includes both polished and matte surfaces. Oh, and let’s not forget the guilloché dial! Atelier Wen has not announced the price yet, but indications point to the low five-figure range. This sounds like a hit, and I cannot wait to see one in the metal!

Atelier Wen tantalum Perception

Image: Ken Kuan

Exciting times!

It’s fun seeing this level of experimentation and agility from a small brand like Atelier Wen. This is also why I enjoy covering this segment more than ever. Hand-crafted dials and unorthodox materials are music to my ears! When the new tantalum pieces arrive, I hope to go hands-on and bring you the latest insights.

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