July 30 was a high point in Monaco events: the 62 annual Red Cross Gala held at the Monte-Carlo Sporting Club, the biggest event on the Grimaldi’s social calendar and the largest charity gala in the world. This was the first year in which Ateliers deMonaco kicked off a collaboration it hopes will spent many, many years to come. The special guest entertainment this year was Tom Jones. HSH Prince Albert II arrived with his two special ladies: Fiancee Charlene Wittstock and his sister HSH Princess Stephanie.
“It is with excitement and pride we hope to start a long lasting collaboration with the Red Cross organization in Monaco. The work done by this team and the projects supported do make a huge difference in the life of those people affected by disaster and misfortune. As a company, we believe wholeheartedly that luxury brands should be role-model when it comes to become a more responsible and sustainable partner in the communities we live and operate in, as other industries and the public at large look up to us. We hope that over time we can jointly grow our business as well as the support we can give back to the community that has welcomed us so warmly in Monaco”.
August will be a quite month as we close down for summer celebration, but expect us to come back with big news after the summer! Enjoy your holidays!!
The Team @ Ateliers deMonaco
After seven successful years in Geneva, La Nuit de l’Horlogerie took place in Monaco for the first time. This private event is organized by the Cercle d’Horlogerie association (www.delhorlogerie.com). It unites the leading brands in new and high-class watchmaking and all those who share a passion for beautiful watches. As a real Monegasque watch brand, Ateliers deMonaco was proud to participate. “It was just great to see so many watch enthusiasts together, admiring beautiful timepieces from several brands. With more and more activities, Monaco is becoming an important meeting place for the masters and muses of high end watchmaking. It felt great!” said Pim Koeslag, Master Horloger from Ateliers deMonaco.
During a highly exclusive invitation only Cocktail party over the weekend in the Hotel de Paris in Monte-Carlo, Ateliers deMonaco celebrated its first anniversary as the new young rising star in the field of Haute Horlogerie.
Among the guests toasting on the prosperous future of the brand were local prominent business and government leaders, as well as some icons out of sports, fashion and entertainment field.
In his opening speech, initiator and co-founder Robert van Pappelendam gave his perspective why this event was an important milestone on the journey to create a new and exclusive Haute Horlogerie brand, but this time from Monaco.
“When we started the journey to realize our dream a couple of years ago, we wanted to create something fresh, new and innovative, yet that could compete with the highest standards of quality and watch making. No compromises, no shortcuts. And along the way we always kept this commitment to the very best in front of us. We got inspired by a quote from Sir Henry Royce: “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best what exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.” It is this commitment we believe from the start that helped create what later became one of the most iconic luxury brands in the world.”
“So many have asked us, why Monaco, and the short version of the answer is: do you really believe Henry Royce would have created the brand as it is today if he would have been located with the rest of the industry in Detroit Michigan? So, we also chose to locate to an environment that could inspire, that has a long standing heritage of artistic achievements and lastly is in the heart of where our target consumer’s lives: Monaco. And the support we have gotten so far from the local authorities and The Palace have been tremendous.”
“The last question that is on most of your minds is: are you nuts to create a new high end bespoke watch brand in the midst of an economic crisis? We believe no economic crisis should come in the way of us realizing our dream and the brand proposition we all fell in love with. And how are we doing so far? We closed our first Baselworld with the following facts: 7 days of exhibition, 100+press interviews, 388 business cards, 2040 minutes of planned appointments, 100,000 + visitors, and as a result multiple distribution points across Western Europe, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Looking forward and around us today, this brand is of to an excellent start, something to be proud of and importantly to draw confidence from for the hard work ahead of us to create our NOUVELLE entry in the HAUTE HORLOGERIE, but this time from MONACO!”
The height of the celebration was planned to be the acceptance by H.S.H Prince Albert II of his first Ateliers deMonaco watch, a public statement of his support of entrepreneurship in Monaco and for the Ateliers deMonaco brand specifically. Despite His full calendar, H.S.H. Prince Albert II invited the brand for a private meeting in the Palace just a couple of days after the cocktail event. In a very relaxed and intimate setting, the Ateliers deMonaco team could bring The Prince up to speed on its latest innovations and plans for the future. Looking at the watch on his wrist, the event was closed by saying:
“This is an extremely exciting project and it is great to see a young and passionate group of people being committed to making such high-end craftsmanship out of Monaco. I for one will be a proud wearer of your watches. We wish you the very best and hope we can stay in close contact to ensure the whole of Monaco can enjoy being part of your journey!”
Now we have recovered from an extremely intensive Baselworld 2010, time for the recap and the facts!
# of exhibition days: 7
# of business cards collected: 388
# of minutes with planned appointments: 2040 minutes
# number of visitors: 100,700
We have given more the 150 interviews, and are very happy with the attention we have gotten. For a new and independent start-up, creating brand awareness is hurdle number one in a market that is cornered by only a few major players. We understand that it is interesting to hang out with the big players and the big money, but as in any industry, innovation rarely comes from the big established players.
We have sold and orders in the books well ahead of expectations, and importantly some great leads for long term distribution agreements. The next couple of months will proof if some of these will materialize.
Top Marques Monaco (www.topmarquesmonaco.com) – against the beautiful scenery of the Mediterranean Sea, the Alps and Monaco, some of the top luxury brands of around the world present their latest novelties for the season to come. From natural pearls to racing cars, and everything in between. See you April 15 – 18 in the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco!
As we have had the prototype of the Minute Repeater since the GTE in January, we had the opportunity to ask fellow watchmakers to review our product and take all small imperfections out, and ask feedback from end consumers that have worn the proto-type watch for extended period of times. And yes, even if you think your product is the best in the world, this proces revealed some great feedback. See the latest adjustments to our launch model for Basel that we finalized a couple of hours ago, just in time for tomorrow’s grand opening:
– Changed the shape of the crown for easier handling.
– Changed the material (Ti) and the construction of the case back for better and louder sound.
– Sapphire crystals are driven in without the use of a joint or gasket to further improve the sound, while keeping water resistance.
– We increased the size of the gold centrifugal regulating weights to slow down the speed of the striking mechanism, making it easier to count the chimes.
– The Titanium activation slide at the 9 o’clock side of the case is hand-engraved with grip lines to make activation of the minute repeater easier.
Hope you get a change to see it for yourself in Basel…we might have a surprirse for you sur place…..
Since the introduction of our Ronde d’Or, we have noticed that the “attachment” of the strap triggered polarizing reactions. Although taste is subjective, we did not want to follow our initial thinking out of the window and started designing and experimenting with other prototypes. See the outcome in below picture. Personally, I believe the new one is better and makes the total overall look more balanced, but judge for yourself!
Movement: Patented XP 1 minute Tourbillon
Automatic bi-directional winding
Curved chamfered and hand guilloche decoration on bridges
Hand engraved bi-colored solid gold 18K rotor
Silicium escape wheel and lever
Alternations 28800 beats/hour (4 Hz)
Custom-made hand engraving on Tourbillon cage
Sapphire Tourbillon bridge
Functions: Hour, minutes, small seconds (6 o’clock)
Case: Diameter 43 MM
Height 13.1 MM
31 parts overall
Ultra light Titanium core
Curved shaped 18K gold side panels
Brushed, polished and assembled by hand
See through case back
Front and back sapphire crystal
Multi-layered anti-reflection coating on sapphire crystal
Hand engraved case back, secured with 4 gold screws
Water resistant up to 3 ATM
Dial: Titanium tinted dial
Deep Sunray pattern engraving base
deMonaco formed index markers on hour ring
Applied hour index ring6 O’clock tourbillon opening
Hands: 18K gold hands
Strap: Ateliers deMonaco personalized hand stitched alligator strap
18K gold folding buckle, adjustable folding clasp lock finished with curved chamfered edges engraved Ateliers deMonaco
Edition: Limited to 18 pieces
The launch @ the midst of an economic crisis
Developing the total proposition – from the inventions of the technology to launching a brand – is a multi year and multi million journey, and the target was to be ready by summer 2009. Coming out of the booming beginning of the new century, it was judged that the biggest problem would be how to ramp up production without compromising the quality and individual bespoke attention for each and every customer. While the global crisis was heating up during the latter part of 2008 and the first part of 2009, the dilemma arose: Is this the right time to launch a brand selling time pieces that starts at €90K, or should we put everything on hold and wait for better times to come? And against what everybody advised, the brand launch was not postponed, but pulled forward. If we want to understand the true value of our idea, we need to be able to succeed even during the peak of a crisis. The brand never looked back, and is only more convinced that doing the counter intuitive, rarely is the easy way but often maximizes changes of success.
Mission & belief
We are an authentic independent Monegasque watch company dedicated to create the next generation of the world’s most desirable time pieces. Monaco’s contemporary Culture, Beauty and Imagination are what we are built on and inspired by, culminating into our commitment to create a legacy. What unites us is the belief that life is not only about luxury, but luxury sure is life!
The clear intention is to make this into a long term success, and developing a brand is not a sprint but a carefully orchestrated marathon. We want our experiences to seduce people into a moment of indulgence for themselves, a statement to others and a degree of distraction from reality – a skill that unfortunately we often lose while growing up. The brand’s ambition is to be bespoke, which is why only a limited series is made of every edition before moving on to the next endeavour in the collection. No lofty sales targets are being chased, but instead there are strict quality and customer satisfaction targets: Every person owning an Ateliers deMonaco time piece needs to be convinced they bought something substantial for generations to come. And as one of founding principles of the company, expect continued innovation in the quest to leave a legacy.
As so often in life, the desire to leave a legacy is a great motivation to achieve the unthinkable. And often during the late night and weekend sessions in the ateliers, discussion would focus on what leaving a legacy in the watch industry would mean these days. Was not almost everything already invented and designed? Yes and no was the conclusion. Great inventions had been made, but arguably their functionality was not always as good and consumer friendly as the original intend. For instance, despite the Tourbillon movement was invented to increase accuracy, yet most of these beautiful pieces of mechanical engineering and design, will actually not deliver on its original intend. The principle and functionality of a Perpetual Calendar is already designed, but if for whatever reason you need to adjust the calendar, it will easily cost you a lot of time and frustration to adjust, if at all you will be able to do so without causing damage to the complication. The fact that everything is designed yet does not only hold true for technology, but also goes for branding. When was the last time you’ve seen a brand that is proud to live in the here and now, and not fall into the temptation of abusing heritage as a seal of craftsmanship? And herein lies the nugget of the shared dream – creating a new high-end watch brand, designed for the generation that lives now— using a hybrid between the best of modern technology and traditional craftsmanship. As the nouvelle cuisine was trying to set a new standard and fresh impulse in cooking trends, so should this brand try to give a fresh impulse to Haute Horlogerie: let’s call it the ‘Nouvelle Horlogerie’.
Location & founding
As the intent of the new brand was not to copy the category conventions of the past decades, there were no limitations in the initial search. It needed to be a place that could provide enough inspiration for the people working for the brand, while also carry sufficient aspiration for those that the brand was designing for: Monaco and its surroundings. This place is not only one of the more appealing places on earth at the moment, but it has a long standing heritage of attracting some of the biggest innovators in several fields of expertise: painters like Picasso, Chagall, Matisse (or more recently like the Dutch sculptor Verkade); architects like Le Corbusier; poets and writers like Chekhov and Cocteau; and philosophers like Nietzsche. And importantly, these people did not only reside in this area, but delivered some of their best work while in the region. Of course, the breathtaking scenery of the Mediterranean against the startling rock formation of the Alps, and the warm blanket of the climate makes the combination picture perfect! After the location was determined, over a year went by to incorporate the company in Monaco and find the appropriate location for the Ateliers in the Princedom. It is important to be a genuine Monegasque company that is woven in to the local fabric of life. And all of this culminates in the brand proudly stating its origin on the final time pieces: Made in Monaco!