Atelier Wen invites you behind the scenes at Chinese watch artisan

Atelier Wen is determined to showcase the quality of engineering, design and craftsmanship going into watch components being made in its native China.

It is rolling out a series of Inside the Atelier videos on its YouTube channel that feature co-founders Robin Tallendier and Wilfried Buiron visiting partners and sharing stories of their work and lives. 

“We wanted the tone to be somewhat akin to Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, taking the audience through a cultural exploration of watch geographies that don’t usually get a lot of spotlight,” says Mr Tallendier.

“The reason why we decided to create this content series is because we realised that despite our efforts telling the stories of these craft individuals we work with, a lot of people still had trouble relating and fully comprehending what they do and how they got there,” he adds.

Atelier wen perception

Atelier Wen is on a mission to put fine Chinese watchmaking on the map by mastering some of Switzerland’s historic horological skills and using them to make watches of comparable quality, but at significantly lower prices. 

Its Perception collection uses a movement manufactured in the Dandong Watch Factory, also known as the Liaoning Watch Factory, which was established in 1958 and produced China’s first automatic chronograph at the turn of this century.

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They have striking dials with a bold guilloché pattern created in the workshop of Cheng Yu Cai, China’s only master guilloché craftsman, in the pattern of fish scales.

Each dial is hand-turned on a rose engine of Master Cheng’s own design and takes 8 hours to produce.

This process features in the first Inside the Atelier film, and shows the incredible craftsmanship that goes into every dial while shining a light on Master Cheng’s work and his life as the sole remaining guilloché master craftsman in China.

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