The idea of a relatively expensive Chinese-made watch is still quite foreign to most collectors. The landscape is changing, though, with more mature products coming from the massive country. One such rising star is Atelier Wen, a brand I had the chance to meet in late 2023. Even though its watches are essentially all-new, the brand has already revised its most popular model based on customer feedback. Today, we look at the new Perception 2.0.

I’m as guilty as most when it comes to thinking about the idea of a Chinese-made watch. If one truly decides to research most Swiss-made watches, though, it might come as a surprise that components are often produced far from any Swiss canton. Bracelets, dials, hands, and movement components have long come from China. Despite that, the idea of a Chinese watch scares us. Atelier Wen is a small, burgeoning marque based in Hong Kong that has managed to convince buyers that its watches are worth trying. The new Perception 2.0 is an evolution of a popular model, and it brings more to the table in terms of finishing. Let’s have a closer look.

Wristcheck × Seconde/Seconde/ × Atelier Wen Perception Special Edition

The Wristcheck × seconde/seconde/ × Atelier Wen Perception Special Edition

Atelier Wen

Just before Christmas, I had the opportunity to attend an event that was hosted by The Limited Edition, a retailer here in the UK. Among the handful of brands there, I was most excited about seeing Atelier Wen. After all, I had just written an article about its latest model, the Wristcheck × seconde/seconde/ × Atelier Wen Perception Special Edition. The watch was there in person along with the series-production Perception models. I also had the opportunity to meet one of the co-founders, Robin Tallendier. Needless to say, I left the event impressed with the watches and, even more, with what was to come. Part of what Robin mentioned was upcoming improvements to Perception 2.0. We’ll review those today, and rest assured that the result is taking what was already an excellent effort and making it even better.

Atelier Wen Perception 2.0 Xia salmon on wrist

The basics of the new Perception 2.0

The Perception 2.0 picks up from the original Perception, and to be frank, it will take a keen eye to note the differences from a distance. As we’ll see, though, the changes are the stuff of dreams for watch obsessives. Let’s start with the basics of this integrated-bracelet watch. Atelier Wen offers this stainless steel model with a guilloché dial in three different colors. Light blue, salmon, and gray are the options, with all of them made by China’s leading guilloché artisan — Master Cheng — and his apprentices. Each dial takes roughly eight hours to craft on specially designed rose engines.

As far as specifications, the Perception 2.0 continues with the same dimensions as its predecessor. A 40mm diameter blends with a 47mm lug-to-lug and a rather svelte 9.4mm thickness. As someone with a smallish 16.5cm (6.5″) wrist, I found that the watch fit beautifully and was enhanced by the bracelet drape and articulation. Water resistance to 100 meters makes this a good all-around piece, while optional rubber straps add an even sportier vibe. Inside the case, Atelier Wen uses the Dandong SL1588 automatic caliber, which runs at a 28,800vph frequency and offers a 41-hour power reserve. For those who have concerns about reliability, Atelier Wen has just extended its warranty coverage from two to five years.

Atelier Wen Perception 2.0 Xia salmon dial close-up

A host of changes

Atelier Wen sent a comprehensive document that outlined all of the changes found in the Perception 2.0. The company had surveyed its customers and took the responses quite seriously. It’s nice to see this dedication to continuous improvement even after a sold-out initial run of watches. Let’s start with the dial. Atelier Wen has simply stated that the overall quality continues to improve as output progresses. The apprentices are putting in more hours, and additional rose engines have been delivered.

Atelier Wen Perception 2.0 lume

As far as the lume, the Super-LumiNova formulation is brighter, and the hands have a higher concentration of the material. Finally, the seconds hand has been redesigned ever so slightly to improve its center of gravity.

New bracelet and straps

Perhaps the most noticeable changes relate to the bracelet. I found the previous Perception bracelet quite comfortable, but the brand wasn’t satisfied. On the Perception 2.0, there are now hand-finished chamfers between all links, which give it a more luxurious look. On the comfort side, the best news is that the bracelet thickness will now start at 3mm and slim down to 2.6mm at the buckle. This prompted a slight remodeling of the lugs to fit the new bracelet. Also, the width of the bracelet tapers from 22mm at the case down to 18mm at the clasp. Regarding the clasp, the folding blade underneath has been shortened by a third to help it fit smaller wrists. It now also has a sliding element.

Atelier Wen Perception 2.0 clasp

The clasp itself is also smaller and thinner, yet it retains its toolless micro-adjustment capability. Finally, the logo on the clasp is now formed using CNC, which provides greater contrast. On the whole, these are significant updates that should please prospective customers.

Atelier Wen Perception 2.0 strap and buckle

The rubber straps have also received an update. Here again, the idea is to increase both quality and comfort. The new FKM straps are shorter. The clasp also receives the same sliding element on its underside to aid in putting the watch on the wrist.

Updates to the movement and case back

The Perception 2.0 maintains its ornately decorated case back with a small display window. Similar to the clasp, the lion is now CNC machined instead of made with an etching process. This gives it a clearer, more three-dimensional shape. Inside, there’s still a primarily machine-made caliber, but it now has better anglage on its edges. The Dandong SL1588 also now has circular Côtes de Genève finishing. Interestingly, Atelier Wen is now working with the Horological Research Institute of Light Industry (HRILI). This is China’s horological testing standards body and works with the country’s space program.

Atelier Wen Perception 2.0 Xia salmon

Thoughts on the Perception 2.0

As I mentioned, I already found the original Perception quite impressive. In listening to Robin’s enthusiasm about the changes that now make up the Perception 2.0, I felt as though he aims to continue to make Atelier Wen even better in the future. There’s nothing negative about the changes above, and yet, I am not even sure the company had to make them so soon. The updates are thoughtful and seem to address the minor complaints we watch lovers raise. They will go into effect for all future orders. The best news about these changes is that there is no change to the price of the Perception from one generation to the next. This translates to HK$25,800 (or approximately €3,050). What are your thoughts on the Perception 2.0?

For additional information on the Atelier Wen Perception, visit the brand’s official site.

Watch specifications

Perception 2.0
Blue (piao), salmon (xia), or gray (ying) with guilloché
Case Material
904L stainless steel
Case Dimensions
40mm (diameter) × 47mm (lug-to-lug) × 9.4mm (thickness)
Double-domed sapphire crystal with 10 layers of antireflective coating
Case Back
Stainless steel with partial display window
Dandong SL1588 — automatic winding, 28,800vph frequency, 41-hour power reserve, 32 jewels, adjusted in five positions to ±10 seconds per day, côtes circulaires finishing with polished screw sinks, blued screws, and tungsten rotor with côtes circulaires and black rhodium plating
Water Resistance
10 ATM (100m)
904L stainless steel integrated bracelet with quick-release spring bars and toolless micro-adjustable clasp, plus an additional rubber strap and buckle
Time only (hours, minutes, central seconds)
HK$25,800 (approximately €3,050 / US$3,300 / £2,650)
Five years