This October, the Singapore-based company registered in 2021 with financial backing from its three founders and a group of investors presented a Swiss-made Frømand watch that is supposed to “redefine the divers’ watch genre“. The limited 100-piece “Frogman” will retail for CHF 8,850, excluding taxes. Those willing to purchase one are asked to make a 50% deposit, with delivery in the second quarter of 2023. The watch is already in production, and plenty of information about this independent project is available. It’s high time we spend a few moments contemplating the significance and the qualities of this “disruptive” non-diver’s dive watch.
There is no mistake, this is what the Atelier Holgur had created, and the information disseminated by the brand highlights its philosophy with a premise that “practicality and style are not mutually exclusive and that a divers’ watch can be luxurious“. Let us not discuss what is considered a luxury watch or what qualities a luxurious diver’s piece must possess. Instead, welcome the Frømand/Frogman without prejudice.
The Atelier Holgur Frømand comes in a 40mm grade 5 titanium case, 13.5mm thick and with 300m water-resistance, so the diver’s main performance spec is on the level. The case looks geometrically complex, with a contemporary feel; a feeling that is strengthened by the shaped crown guards and what the brand calls “strap bars”, the latter being fixed lugs designed to integrate the straps. The case finishing combines micro-blasted and polished surfaces, bringing out the best shades of titanium components.
The unidirectional black DLC dive bezel has a white Super-LumiNova diving counter scale that offers an unusual graduation design for the first 20 minutes. The faceted edges of the bezel are almost invisible, very refined, if not feminine, and contribute to the Atelier Holgur’s idea of Frømand being a watch “complementing a lounge suit or jeans“. The sapphire crystal tops the black dial with its snailed texture, and the sub-dial for the small seconds at 6 o’clock shares the same pattern. The white hour markers are treated with lume, as are the hour and minute sword-style hands, small seconds ring and hand. The dial, with all its elements, including the Atelier Holgur logo, is well balanced and fits the case design nicely. The overall feeling the Atelier Holgur Frømand evokes is of a fresh approach. In line with historical design codes for the diver’s watches, it also manages to come across as a gentleman’s watch. But young, good looking and gentleman like may not be enough to pay the asking price. Well, not until you turn the watch over.
The sapphire crystal screw-down caseback reveals a Schwarz-Etienne ASE 200 calibre, customised to fit the Frømand project. This skeletonised automatic movement with bidirectional winding comes with a micro-rotor. This movement features several innovations, and nearly all components are manufactured in-house by Schwarz-Etienne. ASE 200 was featured in the Schwarz Etienne Roma Synergy by Kari Voutilainen limited-edition watches. The ASE 200 Frømand is built of 198 components and can provide power to operate at 21,600vph for 86 hours. The finishing of this calibre is worthy of any watch in the luxury category, with micro-blasted parts, hand-polished bevelled edges and polished screws.
The Atelier Holgur Frømand is very much a dive watch as it has the features needed to be considered one. It may not be up to the ISO 6425 standard, but the water-resistance of 300m, the diving time indicator and the design are seaworthy. The Frømand is a lovely specimen, which has an appeal many well-executed indie brands’ watches share. A hundred customers worldwide the Frømand limited edition will find, and hopefully, they will ask, “what’s next, Holgur?”
Last but not least, communication produced by Atelier Holgur pays special attention to the straps; one strap is provided for daily wear, and a second diving single loop strap, both with a “Hook & Loop system” and manufactured from recycled ocean plastic, come with the watch. To better understand the Hook & Loop or to place an order, we invite you to visit the brand’s website at www.atelier-holgur.com.
Sponsored post: This article is sponsored by Atelier Holgur. However, it reflects the writer’s opinion and has been written according to MONOCHROME’s editorial policy.