At MONOCHROME, we are always delighted to discover and present new watchmaking projects. So, when we learnt about the crew getting involved in the creation of a fresh high-end independent brand, it naturally caught our attention. Artime is the brainchild of a team of watchmaking experts in design, management, engineering, manufacturing and sales, bringing together a rather impressive wealth of expertise and experience. Meet their first opus, Artime ART01, with its transparent case and architectural calibre regulated by a twin-hairspring tourbillon.
Artime was founded in 2021 in Les Brenets in the Swiss Jura mountains by six personalities not necessarily widely known by the public but bringing together a rather impressive wealth of expertise and experience. Didier Bretin, the ART01’s movement designer, exerted his talents at Breguet, Audemars Piguet and Greubel Forsey. Fabrice Deschanel managed complication specialist and high-end movement manufacturer Renaud & Papi (now integrated into Audemars Piguet) and Greubel Forsey. Claude Emmenegger is the designer of countless watches for different brands – for instance, the Royal Oak Concept for Audemars Piguet (he used to be the creative director of the brand). Stéphane Maturel worked in technical positions at Audemars Piguet and TAG Heuer. Emmanuel Jutier’s past experience includes brands such as F.P. Journe, Greubel Forsey, Manuel Thomas, Renaud & Papi and Minerva.
“contemporary watchmaking architecture in levitation”
United by the same passion for high-end watchmaking, their intention is to “touch the most demanding customers in the heart”. Their first creation is now in the making. The Artime ART01 showcases a skeletonised calibre in white gold with a double hairspring tourbillon literally floating inside a titanium/sapphire case. It floods the usually hidden movement with clarity and light, offering a unique 360° perspective on its sculptural architecture and intricacies.
In view of the watch’s original construction, it is actually difficult to dissociate the case and the movement. There is no main plate for the movement! Its parts are held in between three-dimensional bridges assembled together and affixed directly to the case middle, creating a heightened sense of transparency and depth. The thin, round bezel sits on top of the sapphire crystal.
Patent applications have been filed both for the movement architecture and for the “360° vision” case.
Floating inside this 42mm watch, the hand-wound calibre is regulated by a one-minute tourbillon creating a counterpoint to the openworked barrel at 12 o’clock. Chronometry being a major focus for Artime, the variable inertia balance wheel is fitted with twin hairsprings manufactured by Precision Engineering. These are arranged to ensure that their centres of gravity move outwards on opposing symmetrical paths during their oscillation to ensure that their cumulative centre of gravity remains at the centre of the arbour at all times.
Last, the movement incorporates a practical function selector. The crown’s co-axial push-piece drives a column wheel allowing you to switch between the neutral, time-setting or winding functions.
For now, we have seen just 3D renderings of the watch as the first prototypes are being assembled, but top-notch hand finishes are to be expected in view of the Artime team’s pedigree. The ART01 calibre decoration includes hand-chamfering, polished sinks, black polishing, drawn flanks… The wheels and bridges are fashioned out of grey gold. The rubies are mi-glace (which is, for instance, a criterion for the Hallmark of Geneva). Their rounded surface graces the movement, beautifully catching rays of light while improving the lubrication. Eight jewels out of 25 are set in red gold chatons.
The Artime ART01 will be presented on an integrated, hand-sewn calfskin leather strap with a titanium folding buckle. The watch will be released in a limited edition of 20 pieces in titanium, and we are looking forward to going hands-on with the watch soon. The price is set at CHF 195,000.
For more information, please visit contact Artime at [email protected].