Hands-On: The Chronograph Monopoussoir Sylvain Pinaud x Massena LAB

Massena LAB takes another big step this week with the introduction of a new collaboration with independent watchmaker, Sylvain Pinaud. The watch, a monopusher chronograph, is immensely impressive, shifting expectations around the collaborative space as a whole. We had the chance to meet Sylvain Pinaud in Geneva during Watches & Wonders 2022 at a space dedicated to the AHCI (The Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants), where his Origine watch made one of the strongest impressions of the entire week. The watch would go on to nab a GPHG award for Horological Revelation later that year. If you weren’t familiar with that watch, this latest effort should place him firmly on your radar.

This project, done in collaboration with Massena LAB, uses Pinaud’s existing Monopoussoir Chronograph movement, and places it into a new platform with a slightly more classically designed 42mm titanium case. That case is how the collaboration began, with the new design coming at the request of William Massena himself. The process resulted in enough interest to create a limited run of 10 pieces.


The watch itself makes an immediate impression, with an open dial revealing the beautifully finished chronograph works below. The movement, crafted by Pinaud, is hand wound, and features an integrated column wheel and horizontal clutch, which can be started, stopped, and rest all via the single button nestled discreetly within the crown at 3 o’clock. Turning the watch on its side reveals an exhibition window along the case wall, providing another unique view within the movement. 

The dial plate is placed at the top portion of the dial, and is produced by Comblémine SA, the dial manufacturer owned by Kari Voutilainen. An hour and minute hand track time within this sub dial of sorts, while a large timing seconds hand is mounted at the dial’s center. The running seconds and an oversized 45 minute totalizer are placed below the centerline, rounding out the complication. 

A large bridge underpinning the dial plays a strategic role here in shaping the focal point, creating a clean backdrop against which to find and read the time, while clearing enough space below to reveal the workings of the complication. It creates a clear division within the dial that sacrifices some added drama for the benefit of the practical nature of the watch as a whole. Truth be told, there’s still plenty of drama in the small details to enjoy, however, when compared to something like the Czapek Rattrapante chronograph, this collab exercises a welcome level of restraint.

Taking a step back, this collaboration is another point of diversity within the Massena LAB portfolio. They’ve brought us sub $1,000 watches with the likes of Unimatic, original-but-not-really-original designs celebrating sport watches of the past, and a string of independent watchmakers operating at a variety of price points, such as Habring2; Luca Soprana; and Raúl Pagès. This latest effort with Sylvain Pinaud takes things a step further, with just 10 examples planned for production, each priced at CHF130,000. 

The steep price is an additional point of diversity within the Massena LAB portfolio of collaborations, making it more of a showcase of ideas and knowhow than anything else. Much like his other collaborations, this watch should also place a spotlight on the work of its creator, Sylvain Pinaud, and that’s a very good thing. Massena LAB.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.