Introducing: The Wristcheck × Seconde/Seconde/ × Atelier Wen Perception Special Edition
Atelier Wen is a Chinese brand that we’re excited to cover here on Fratello. The team behind it is making beautiful watches that are proving quite popular with fans. Today’s Wristcheck × seconde/seconde/ × Atelier Wen Perception Special Edition is a different take on the young company’s most successful model. The concept is fun and brings in one of the hottest watch artists in the game.
Last year, my colleague Dave went hands-on with a serial-production Atelier Wen Perception and came away impressed. The watch offers a handmade guilloché dial, a regulated movement, and an attractive case with a fabulous integrated bracelet. All of this is available for roughly €3,000. Since then, the brand went on to create a jade-green Perception in titanium with the high-end Hong Kong watch dealer Wristcheck. You may recall that name from a recent article I wrote about a rare Roger Smith prototype that the store has on offer.
The Wristcheck × seconde/seconde/ × Atelier Wen Perception Special Edition
Earlier this year, Wristchheck worked with Atelier Wen on a limited edition of 100 watches with the beautiful guilloché dials we see here. Atelier Wen currently works exclusively with Master Cheng Yucai, Asia’s leading guilloché artisan. He creates all of the brand’s dials by hand (taking roughly eight hours per dial) using a rose engine. While he is a master, mistakes inevitably occur, and some dials didn’t meet the strict quality control standard that Atelier Wen holds — 36 dials, to be exact. Normally, those dials are scrapped, and Master Cheng cuts a radial incision in the dials at different places to signify they are wasted. It’s partly symbolic, too, as Master Cheng was saddened by the wasted efforts. It was here that the idea for today’s special edition came to fruition.
First, Robin Tallendier, Atelier Wen’s cofounder, reached out to Romaric André, also known as seconde/seconde/. They discussed the 36 rejected dials, and the “healing” process began. Romaric proposed using three 24-karat gold stitches to “mend” the dials, which are reminiscent of a process used to mend Chinese celadon porcelain. Finally, he required that Atelier Wen leave the dials in an unsigned state. After all, the brand rejected them in the first place! It’s also a nice symbolic gesture to prove that Master Cheng’s work was still worthy of praise and celebration.
A uniquely attractive offering
The result of the three-party collaboration is a decidedly different take on the Atelier Wen Perception, and I like it! In many collaborations, seconde/seconde/ alters the hands of a watch with some sort of graphic. I’m not sure if it makes sense, but the work feels more substantial on this piece, and it blends well with the overall aesthetic of the watch. The gold stitches look natural against the jade green and match the solid gold hands with Super-LumiNova. I’m even a fan of the unsigned dial, as it adds some level of mystique.
As far as other modifications, the partial display back includes an engraved recounting of the metamorphosis. Atelier Wen initially rejected the dials, thereby rejecting Master Cheng’s work. In the end, though, the dials went through a transformation. The ultimate result is praise for both the dials and their master. The display shows off the 32-jewel Dandong SL1588 automatic movement, which has been adjusted in five positions. The tungsten rotor bears a green rhodium plating and features the three collaborators involved in the project.
Atelier Wen chose to use 904L steel for the case and bracelet on this latest special-edition Perception. It should suit most wrists with its 40mm diameter, 47mm lug-to-lug, and 9.4mm thickness. The clasp is a push-button style with micro-adjustment, and the watches will also ship with a light gray rubber strap. Happily, the watch is ready for everyday use with its 100m water resistance rating and a signed screw-down crown.
Wristcheck × seconde/seconde/ × Atelier Wen Perception Special Edition — Availability and final thoughts
Sadly, there will only be 36 pieces of the Wristcheck × seconde/seconde/ × Atelier Wen Perception Special Edition. The watches will go on sale at 10:00 AM Hong Kong Time on November 29th via the Wristcheck website. Pricing is set at HK$39,000 or US$5,000. This is a relatively heady premium over the serial-production Perception and even the original “non-rejected” jade-green limited edition. I suppose working with an artist and fabricating the dials has brought along additional costs. Regardless of the price difference, I still think this is a really cool release, and it ranks as one of my recent favorites. With so few pieces being made and Atelier Wen’s popularity, I expect them to move quickly.
Let us know what you think of this release in the comments, and to learn more about Atelier Wen, visit the brand’s website.