It’s probably safe to say that when it comes to European watchmaking, the first country you think of is Switzerland, closely followed by Germany and the UK. Spain on the other hand isn’t likely to make the top 10. However, one independent brand rapidly proving that the Spanish watch scene is worth a closer look is Atelier De Chronométrie.
Atelier de Chronométrie is the archetypal passion project, founded by watch lovers, for watch lovers – of a very particular calibre. The concept is pretty simple: every watch is a unique piece, designed in collaboration with a single client, a showcase of Spanish craftsmanship and haute horology that’s never to be repeated. At least, in that exact format.
Despite being a young name, founded in 2014 and producing their first timepiece in 2016, they have already achieved a meteoric rise. That rise culminated in a nomination for the Grand Prix d’Horologerie de Genève (GPHG) in 2020, announcing their presence on the international watchmaking world in dramatic fashion.
That GPHG winner was the AdC8, a Chronographe à Rattrapante, which was the brand’s first splitseconds chronograph. It’s a cool tricompax chrono with a black galvanic ‘gilt’ dial and gorgeous Breguet numerals. The case is both classy and ergonomic at 39.8mm diameters, made from grey gold with tear drop lugs. As with all watches from Atelier De Chronométrie it’s inspired by the vintage style icons of the 1930s and 1940s.
The movement is based on a vintage Venus 185, a grail level rattrapante calibre that was improved with 50 new parts handmade by Atelier De Chronométrie. And the bracelet – the bracelet is a thing of beauty. If any bracelet could be called sexy, it would be that of the AdC8.
Following their impressive showing in 2020, the next watch to garner international attention came in 2021 when the brand was invited to donate a watch for the Only Watch auction. In case you’re not familiar, Only Watch is the most exciting watch auction of the year, where dozens of the best brands in the world create unique, one of one watches for charity. Considering that Atelier De Chronométrie specialise exclusively in unique piece watches, it’s a natural environment for them.
The watch that was donated was called the AdC21, an 18k pink gold piece with time only function and a retro inspired sector dial. With a top end estimate of CHF 55,000 it went on to reach CHF 95,000 (approx. £78,000) far exceeding what was expected of the brand’s debut at the event. An excellent achievement in the aid of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research, for sure, but also one that has since cemented Atelier de Chronométrie as an artisan watchmaker par excellence.
While it’ll take a few more brands like Atelier de Chronométrie to really put Spain on the horological map, they’ve made a phenomenal start. It remains to be seen where their watchmaking limits lie, but if you’re looking for a unique piece rare even by haute horology standards, they may be the watchmaker for you. Contact them to arrange a meeting for your own bespoke concept and see what they can do for you.
More details at Atelier de Chronométrie.