Ateliers DeMonaco Tourbillon Carre And Ronde Watches Hands-On – aBlogToWatch

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One of the more interesting and beautiful small production high-end watch brands from the last few years is Atelier DeMonaco. The exclusive luxury watch maker is based in Monaco, but is actually owned by Frederique Constant, and headed by their Dutch technical director and watchmaker Pim Koeslag. So in reality, DeMonaco is assembled in Monaco, logistically managed from Switzerland, and operated by the Dutch.

A few hallmarks of the brand are particularly interesting and they include use of modern materials such as sapphire bridges and silicon parts, beautiful hand-engraved elements such as the automatic rotors, and attractive yet contemporary designs. DeMonaco watches feel like a satisfying combination of both traditional watch making values but modern luxury sensibility. These watches aren’t for everyone with their high-end positioning and exclusive production, but they should be on your horological radar.

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In this article you get to see a few pieces in the DeMonaco Tourbillon collection which includes both the Tourbillon Carre (square) and Tourbillon Ronde (round). Each of the case styles comes with a few dial options that includes both Arabic and Roman numerals or baton hour markers, as well as case materials in both 18k rose and white gold. The cases are further produced from two materials, which includes 18k gold on the outside, with a titanium inner case. This is done as a means to make the watch stronger and lighter, as the generous proportions would make for a hefty load on the wrist if the cases were entirely in gold.

The DeMonaco Tourbillon Ronde case is 43mm wide while the Carre case is 44.3mm wide. These are most certainly bold timepieces with a loud demeanor that is enhanced by many of the decorative elements on the dial and case. Most of the dial versions have either engraved elements or Tahitian mother-of-pearl centers. We like the applied hour markers which come in various forms, each crisply cut and polished. Legibility is actually quite good. though I feel that DeMonaco did not need to give these watches skeletonized hands (new hand options will likely be added in the future).

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Luxury being a core element behind the Tourbillon collection, DeMonaco is happy to offer select pieces with extra levels of indulgence, such as this one-of-a-kind 18k white gold Tourbillon Ronde lined with black diamonds. It is actually a rather cool piece if you are into this sort of thing – and allows for a watch to be both diamond covered and still masculine. Even the versions with mother-of-pearl dials have a masculine appeal to them. Perhaps not a rugged sport style of masculinity, but enough that these don’t appear to be feminine – which can sometimes be the case with decorative timepieces in this vein.

The cases follow suit. The sloped edges of the case mix brushed and polished finishes together, as well as angles and curves in a watch that feels very architectural as opposed to looking like traditional watch cases. Little elements nevertheless make it clear that the DeMonaco watches were designed by a watchmaker, such as the crown that screws into the case for protection.

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Of course the most spectacular part of the DeMonaco Tourbillon watch collection are the in-house made Caliber XP1 automatic mechanical movements. We find that most all DeMonaco watches are inherently practical when it comes to utility and convenience. We applaud the application of automatic winding to the movement, even though a large part of the dial is see-through. Mounted under a bridge made from a piece of sapphire crystal, the tourbillon sits against an exposed section of the watch where you can see straight through it. As you move your wrist you can see the movement of the automatic rotor through the window.

Much of the movement, both on the front and rear side, are hand engraved. This is especially the case on the vividly decorated rotor that bears the Seal of Monaco complete with crown and shield. The rotor has two shades of gold, which meld well with the many blued steel screws found in various parts of the movement. The view of the movement from the front is especially colorful, as so many materials mix together pleasantly. Many of them, such as silicon, tend to change colors in the light.



Technically the caliber XP1 is a modern movement operating at 4HZ with the time, tourbillon (which acts as the small seconds indicator) and automatic winding. Silicon is used for the escape wheel and lever, which acts to increase stability and accuracy. As we’ve said before, the DeMonaco Tourbillon is a unique combination of both modern elements such as precision sapphire crystal and silicon components, but also a rich level of traditional crafts such as hand-engraved elements.

Each of the versions of the Atelier DeMonaco Tourbillon Ronde and Carre watches are limited to just 18 pieces. These are beautiful and extremely rare watches that are nevertheless horologically astute Prices range from 96,000 – 109,000 Swiss Francsdepending on material and style (without diamonds).

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