Atelier de Chronométrie makes its first appearance at the Only Watch auction with the donation of an absolutely stunning handmade watch to raise money for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The AdC21 is not part of a collection and was specially designed for the Only Watch charity auction. Like other timepieces created by the independent brand, it evokes a vintage 1930s and 1940s design ethos with its elegant two-tone sector dial and pink gold case. A time-only watch running on a heavily reworked vintage Omega calibre 283, this exquisite unique piece will be highly contested during the auction.
With its French name, you could mistake it as a Swiss or even a French watch brand. However, Atelier de Chronométrie is a Spanish company. Founded in 2014 in Barcelona, Atelier de Chronométrie creates unique watches by hand using artisanal methods and restored vintage chronometer movements. Just two years after its inauguration, the independent brand produced the AdC1, an Observatoire Chronométre certified by l’Observatoire de Besançon in France. This chronometer would be the first timepiece to obtain such a certificate in Spanish watchmaking history. In 2020, the AdC8, the brand’s first split-seconds chronograph with a beautifully restored vintage Venus 185, was nominated for the GPHG. The meteoric rise of Atelier de Chronométrie is the work of a small team led by creative director Santiago Martínez, a dealer in vintage timepieces. Eduard Mercadé and Moebius Rassmman are watchmakers with decades of experience in restoring watches, while Victor and Helio González are dedicated case makers.
Pink gold case and sector dial
Marking Atelier de Chronométrie’s first time at Only Watch, the brand wanted to do something symbolic to represent the human warmth and noble cause behind the auction. The best metal to evoke warmth, the team decided, is pink gold. The handmade 18k pink gold case measures a restrained 37mm and has elegant, vintage-style stepped lugs and a concave bezel and caseback. The large pink gold crown is also made by hand, as is the buckle. Contrasting brushed and polished surfaces animate the silhouette of the watch.
Combining the warmth of pink gold with a two-tone pink dial produces a pink-on-pink palette, another nod to vintage watches. The sector-style dial with no numerals and precision concentric geometry imparts a refined minimalism. The pink gold leaf-shaped hour and minute hands are handmade, and the minute hand curves gracefully to indicate the darker minutes track. The central seconds hand is blued steel and also curves at the tip to indicate the outermost seconds track.
Revamped vintage calibre
The AdC21 Only Watch is fitted with calibre 21, a reworked vintage Omega 283 ébauche adjusted to include a central seconds hand (aka indirect centre seconds). Matching the warm pink gold case, the bridges are plated with rose gold and frosted by hand with polished bevels. Silver accents provided by the rhodium-plated wheels and the polished teeth of the crown and ratchet wheel contrast with the pink gold bridges in what is an undeniably simple yet beautiful-looking movement. Other refined hand finishings include anglage, perlage, colimaçonage, polished countersinks and black polish. Four 18k pink gold weights regulate the steel free-sprung balance wheel. Beating at a frequency of 18,000vph/2.5Hz, the manual-winding movement can deliver a power reserve of 43 hours.
Created in 2005, Only Watch is a biennial fundraiser for research on muscular dystrophy – Association Monégasque Contre les Myopathies (AMM). Organized under the patronage of HSH Albert II de Monaco, the watches of the 9th edition will be auctioned by Christie’s on Saturday 6 November 2021. More details at www.onlywatch.com.