“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

Ateliers deMonaco

It has been pretty common to see highly positioned watchmaking companies creating new brands in order to grab their chunk from the fastest growing entry and middle segments of the mechanical timepiece market. The story of Ateliers deMonaco is the other way around – Frederique Constant, a well-established firm selling over 125.000 pieces a year in 2009 decided to play the ball also in the top segment. Following a “pilot project” led by Pim Koeslag master horloger to create a highly sophisticated, hand-finished and extremely precise (hence the name) in-house movement the XP1, the brand of Ateliers deMonaco was established.

The workshops of deMonaco have been rather busy ever since by creating different case themes around the XP1 and developing three new movements within the short period of 5 years.

At Baselworld we were offered to taste the flavour of the brand under the authentic guidance of Pim Koeslag.

Tourbillon Oculus Petite Minute

The novelty of 2014 is the Tourbillon Oculus Petite Minute, a simple, yet elegant timepiece that looks like an icon: the rays made by the Côtes de Geneve technique shine from the small hours and minutes sub-dial towards the tourbillon as some kind of divine phenomenon. An interesting feature of the dial is that it is actually part of the movement. By using silicium in the XP1 tourbillon and precise manufacturing methodologies, the time deviation of the movement was reduced to 0-2 seconds a day. The rotor, made in the shape of Ateliers deMonaco’s shield, appears through the sapphire case back.


Quantieme Perpetual Turini

A new, black coated titanium version of the Quantieme Perpetual Turini has also arrived to the show, complementing the titanium, 18K rose- and whitegold cases. Sharing the same functionalities, the watch is the open dial version of the Ateliers deMonaco Quantieme Perpetual – QP-EZ. These pieces have an easily readable and even more easily adjustable perpetual calendar – by turning the crown you mark a parameter, which is then set by pushing the button at the tip of the crown. The atelier developed the entire complication with a safety system, eliminating the risk of damaging the calendar mechanism at setting.


Grand Tourbillon Minute Repeater

The same shape but entirely skeletonized dial “hides” the TB-RM1 movement in the Grand Tourbillon Minute Repeater timepiece. In fact, it may be ordered in the Carré (square) or in the Rondo (round) cases, both in red gold and titanium. The movement is also equipped with the XP1 tourbillon but with an asymmetric sapphire bridge that easily disappears from sight. The minute repeater sources the energy from a separate barrel, which is wound up by the motion of pushing down the minute repeater button. The chime of hours quarters and minutes may sound opon request.


Ronde de Monte-Carlo

deMonaco has timepieces dedicated to ladies too. Two versions of the Ronde de Monte-Carlo model: one gray and one black sunray dial piece, both adorned with diamonds. However the black received the gem pave all around the case and the lugs, too. In order to preserve the true shape of the watch the manufacture did a nice trick here by keeping the contours of the Ronde de Monte-Carlo in the same metal as the case.


Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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