In the year since Atelier Wen and Wristcheck collaborated on their first limited edition Perception, Atelier Wen’s stature in the burgeoning affordable independent scene has only grown. This has largely been on the strength of a series of smartly timed and well executed limited editions, all of which provide a gorgeous showcase for some excellent guilloche work, and serve as a reminder that well made, integrated bracelet sports watches need not drift into five figure retail prices, and that they can come from places other than Switzerland. Now, in a turn of events that is anything but surprising given the attention this team received a year ago, Wristcheck and Atelier Wen have partnered once again, but this time they’ve added a third collaborator: Paris-based artist Seconde/Seconde, who I feel like has been part of virtually every LE launch over the last several months (only a slight exaggeration). The new piece, officially dubbed the Wristcheck x Seconde/Seconde/ x Atelier Wen Perception “锔瓷” Special Edition, calls attention to the high level of craft in this watch in a unique way: by highlighting the inevitable mistakes that are made in its production.
The concept here originates with the production of the first Atelier Wen x Wristcheck collaboration last year. During the making of that LE, 36 dials in total were rejected for various imperfections in the guilloche. Not wanting to put them to waste, those dials have now been “healed” (with Seconde/Seconde/’s help) by applying 24K gold cross stitches to the spots where an error was originally spotted. In keeping with the operating principles behind Atelier Wen, highlighting historic Chinese craft whenever possible, this design flourish meant to evoke the traditional means of mending Celadon porcelain.
For this edition, the hands in a gold tone that matches the stitching pattern, and a decision was made to keep all Atelier Wen branding off the dial (the reasoning here is that the dials were rejected once, so there’d be a level of hypocrisy in now claiming ownership. Each caseback is engraved with the words “Rejected —> X —> Praised,” providing a simple summation of how these watches came to be, and cheekily anticipating how they’ll ultimately be received.
Specs for this Perception match others that have been released recently. The case is crafted from 904L steel and measures 40mm in diameter and just 9.4mm thick. The movement is the Chinese made Dandong SL1588 automatic caliber, which has been customized with a tungsten rotor bearing circular côtes de Genève finishing and green rhodium plating. The only branding on the watch can be found on the rotor, a discreet laser engraving of the logos of all three collaborative parties.
The retail price for this very limited run of 36 pieces (all of which are effectively unique, since the dial errors are not uniform) is $5,000. They will be available exclusively on the Wristcheck website beginning at 10:00 AM HKT, November 29, which is 9:00 PM tonight on the east coast of the United States. Atelier Wen