Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Chronograph Monopoussoir Sylvain Pinaud X Massena LAB

When a personal commissioned piece turns into a small series of very beautiful and highly original watches.

| By Robin Nooy | 4 min read |

Amazing things can happen when visionary people decide to join forces and create something unique. Literally in this case, as the collaboration between watch expert and collector William Massena of Massena LAB, and watchmaker Sylvain Pinaud started with a commissioned piece unique. For those who have been following the independent watchmaking scene closely, the name of Sylvain Pinaud might be known already. This AHCI member and multiple award winner is one of the rising stars in artisanal watchmaking. His break-out watch, the Chronograph Monopoussoir was a stunning avant-garde expression of his watchmaking vision, followed by the sublime Origine, which landed him the Revelation Watch Prize in 2022’s GPHG. Now though, four years after the two men met for the first time, we can show you the Chronograph Monopoussoir Sylvain Pinaud x Massena LAB.

Collaboration can be a beautiful thing if done right and to us, this one feels like a winner. William Massena, through his Massena LAB watchmaking label, has regularly shown his keen sense of style and vision when it comes to watches. Special editions such as the Habring² Chrono Felix Perpetual, the Magraph with Raúl Pagès or the Angelus Chronographe Médical are outstanding examples of this. Teaming up with Sylvain Pinaud is the next step in building Massena LAB into a formidable household name on the indie scene.

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The original Chronograph Monopoussoir as presented in 2019.

Originally, the Chronograph Monopoussoir came in an avant-garde titanium case and upon seeing it first-hand, William Massena envisioned it with a revised case. That vision now comes to life with the unique collaboration. The case is still crafted from titanium, but much more traditional in shape. However, it’s not to be mistaken for something mundane, as a sapphire crystal ring between the polished bezel and centre case reveals a ton of details of the openworked dial and movement construction. At 42mm in diameter and 11mm in height, it will certainly have a great deal of wrist presence. The pusher for the chronograph is integrated into the crown. To provide a touch of contrast against the rest of the case, the lugs are grained.

Normally we would go over details such as the colour of the dial and the shape of the hands before moving to the movement. In this instance, however, let’s start with the mechanics first as most of it is exposed on the front of the watch anyway. If you were to push the button in the crown, the system for the chronograph that’s placed in the bottom section of the watch would come alive. The column-wheel would be rotated one step and along with the horizontal coupling would release the chronograph.

Being a monopusher, starting, stopping and resetting the chronograph is all done with the same pusher. On the left, you can see the running gear for the small seconds, and opposite to that the chronograph 45-minute counter.  The back of the watch, which can be seen in the video above, reveals the balance wheel held in place by a single bridge, the crown wheel, the ratchet wheel and the click spring. Everything is mounted onto a three-quarter plate with bevelled sinks for the jewels and a frosted finish. The movement is wound by hand and can store up to 45 hours of autonomy, running at a rate of 18,000vph. Every single component is finished to the highest degree, and most of it is machined in-house by Sylvain and his team.

Bringing together the best in independent watchmaking, the dial for the hours and minutes is made by Comblemine, the dial manufacturing company of Kari Voutilainen. This is positioned on top of a broad bridge-like component and pushed into the upper half of the case. The dial has a recessed frosted centre section, with a circular brushed sector-like track on the outer edge separated by a bevelled edge. Time is indicated with polished stainless steel hands, and blued steel hands for the chronograph indications. The central chronograph seconds hand runs along a circular brushed track on the outer periphery, with a seconds scale in blue. Everything blends together beautifully, and even from these renders you already get a real sense of the depth of the entire construction.

This amazing collaboration between Sylvain Pinaud and Massena LAB is limited to just 10 pieces, with only 3 pieces being produced each year. The watch comes with an alligator leather strap made by Jean Rousseau Paris for Massena LAB. Not surprisingly, it comes with quite a hefty price tag of CHF 130,000. Nevertheless, it looks to be a genuine work of art. Although the images seen here are computer-generated renderings, there’s a chance to view the prototype during the Geneva Watch Days by setting up a personal appointment.

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2 responses

  1. It’s a lateral coupling as you can clearly see from the gears. The technical specifications said LATERAL CLUTCH.

  2. you are correct Roberto, and we have updated the article accordingly.

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