Milléchron is a niche brand created in 2018 by a Singaporean watch enthusiast and long-time collector, Benjamin Chee, with the idea to create Haute Horlogerie watches, reimagining classic designs with his own flair and fantasy. Milléchron is a portmanteau of the two French words “Millésime” and “Chronometrie”. All of the brand’s watches are created, assembled and serviced in the atelier of Philippe Cattin, co-founder of Voutilainen & Cattin, in Saignelégier in the Swiss Jura. With the Monarque M Stealth, Milléchron’s idea was to create a sports watch with a high-end micro-rotor movement, allowing for a thin case together with the practicality of automatic winding. As its name suggests, the ‘stealth’ version opts for a black-on-black dial, case and strap combo.
Made in black ADLC-coated 904L stainless steel (the high-grade alloy used by Rolex), the stealth Monarque M case is 42mm in diameter and stands out with its thin 10.4mm profile, including the double-domed sapphire crystal that slightly protrudes from the case. It is fitted with a thin sapphire unidirectional rotating bezel (120 clicks) that operates sharply. The screw-down caseback and crown ensure a 200m water-resistance. The crown of the sample watch we had for review was a tad stiff to unscrew but Milléchron mentioned that this will be improved for production watches, in particular with a slightly larger crown diameter. The case is nicely hand finished with alternating polished and brushed surfaces. For instance, on the lugs, the three different directions of satin brushing separated by polished lines show the attention to detail.
Underneath the sapphire crystal, the dial comes in a black fumé sunburst finish. The faceted applied hour markers are paired with openworked hands. The small seconds sub-dial is snailed. Red accents bring a sporty touch while the use of X1 Superluminova (including for the small second hand) allows for optimal legibility in all condition.
Turning the Milléchron Monarque M Stealth over, the exhibition caseback offers an unimpeded view of the automatic Vaucher Calibre 5401/33, an original version of the Fleurier’s manufacturer ultra-thin, micro-rotor movement with contemporary openworked darkened bridges standing out with their geometric skeletonisation. Milléchron is the first brand to use that particular version of the movement.
A sister company of Parmigiani Fleurier, Vaucher is a fine-pedigree movement manufacturer based in the Val-de-Travers in the Neuchatel Canton. Thanks to the use of an off-centre tungsten micro-rotor, this 30mm calibre is kept at just 2.6mm in thickness. The balance wheel features gold inertia blocks and runs at 3Hz. The hacking function allows for precise setting. The barrel can store 48 hours of power reserve when fully wound. Altogether, the calibre 5401 comprises 176 parts.
The watch is worn on a textured rubber strap with an insert for a snug integration to the case. With its slim profile and curved lugs, it sits nicely on the wrist. It is secured to the wrist with a diver’s folding clasp featuring a ratchet extension to ensure a perfect fit and a foldout wetsuit extension. Milléchron also plans to deliver spare rubber links to extend the strap so it can be fit to size.
The Milléchron Monarque M Stealth comes with a 5-year warranty. Price is set at SGD 14,800 or CHF 9,900. The brand offers tax-free shipping for the first five buyers. For more information, please visit millechron.ch.