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"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." - Confucius

Announced in March, the first creation of a micro-venture of giant minds was presented at the Geneva Watch Days 2023. We saw the Art01, a dynamic timepiece of watchmaking veterans united under the name Artime. 

Just like the silently operating components of a movement hidden in a metallic watch case, these less celebrated gentlemen have been key contributors to highly successful timepieces in the last few decades. All six Artime partners come from the Greubel Forsey – Renault & Papi – Audemars Piguet triangle. 

Didier Bretin, who constructed the Art01 movement gained his expertise at Greubel Forsey, Philippe Dufour, Audermars Piguet and Breguet. Fabrice Deschanel general manager used to lead Greubel Forsey and Renaud & Papi. Claude Emmenegger had been responsible for designs such as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Watch N°1 back in 2002 as well as the Code 11.59 collection. Emmanuel Jutier did commercial management of Greubel Forsey, F.P.Journe and Swatch Group companies. Stéphane Maturel, who oversees the manufacturing process of Art01 practiced it at TAG Heuer and Renaud & Papi. Co-founder Manuel Thomas focused on manufacturing and finishing at Renaud&Papi and Minerva.

Building on their skills, vast experience, the shared value of freedom and their unifying relationships, the six high caliber individuals embarked on creating a new timepiece that celebrates the joy of working together. After years of development and prototyping, Art01 was announced this spring. Yet, the grand debut was held during the Geneva Watch Days at the turn of August and September, when the six partners proudly shared the final object with collectors and journalists at the Albertine’s bar of Beau-Rivage Genève. The bar got busy and the excitement shone in the eyes of both creators and admirers.


Watchmaker Didier Bretin and Claude Emmenegger designed the timepiece on the concept of transparent three-dimensionality. A titanium middle-case the white gold movement is fastened to, is between two sapphire blocks that protect the mechanism from the front and the back. There is no main plate, but the curved bridges are fixed to the titanium middle-case, just like the thin steel bezel.

The alternation of translucent and metallic body components emphasises the design, while keep the 42mm wide and 11.4 mm tick capsule bright. Interestingly, for the very same reason, the content never sparkles but it remains in an optimal contrast.

Artime ART01 on wrist
ArttimeArtime ART01 on wrist

The 3Hz balance wheel works in a Tourbillon cage and is equipped with a double hairspring supplied by Precision Engineering (MELB Holding). The mainspring in the large barrel provides energy for 80 hours and is wound by the crown at 3 o’clock. A function selector pusher situated on the crown controls the effect of rotating the crown. The active function is displayed by a satellite indicator: R as ‘remontage’ for winding the main spring, H as ‘heure’ for setting the time and N is the neutral position.

Artime ART01
Artime ART01

Material and surface alternation continues within the case. Various techniques were used for the finishing, including straight and circular graining, sandblasting, and mirror polishing. The timepiece sits really nicely on the wrist and is very light. The low weight was more the result of the design than a fundamental criteria creators targeted right from the beginning. Because of its edgy lines, and the balanced content with the well thought-out treatment mix, it is hard to take the eyes off from the piece.

The titanium model comes in a 20 piece limited edition. 

Photo credits: Loupiosity.com
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