I sure hope you haven’t had enough of Seconde/Seconde/‘s collaborations, because here’s another one. After a successful collaboration last year with online retailer Wristcheck, Atelier Wen‘s Perception is back, building off the initial collaboration by including Seconde/Seconde/ in the process. What makes these a bit more special than that first run of 100 jade-colored watches is that the dials used are in fact the ones that didn’t pass muster for the original LE, and are repurposed for the Wristcheck X Seconde/Seconde/ X Atelier Wen Perception Special Edition.

During the QC process for the original Wristcheck collab, a total of 36 dials had to be remade for one reason or another. Despite each guilloché dial taking eight hours of handcrafting by Chinese artisan Master Cheng, some did not pass the artist’s own inspection, and some were rejected upon inspection by Atelier Wen. While the 100 dials were delivered for assembly, the 36 rejected dials were each marked by Master Cheng with a cut, like casinos mark used decks of cards. Recognizing a potential opportunity (and perhaps not wanting to be too wasteful of the 288 man-hours Master Cheng had devoted), Atelier Wen enlisted the talents of Romaric André, better known as Seconde/Seconde/. Instead of disposing of the dials, André breathed new life into them. While we’re used to zany and irreverent dials from André, the Atelier Wen Perception double collab here is perhaps his most restrained effort.

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As rejects, the dials are necessarily imperfect. The jade green color remains, as does the “Soleil Inca” guilloché pattern, which differs from the Perception’s typical fish scale guilloché. Varying in length and location depending on which of the dials are examined, the cut made by Master Cheng has been mended by Seconde/Seconde/ with three 24k gold stitches, with matching 18k gold hands replacing the rhodium-plated brass hands of the original. The raised chapter ring, with its styled motif, remains set in the applied rhodium-plated indices. One final flourish from Seconde/Seconde/: the Atelier Wen name and logo at 12 o’clock have been removed, giving the watch a bit of anonymity, perhaps causing bother to those who like to show off.

The case and bracelet have not undergone any changes. Made from 904L stainless steel (the same steel used by Rolex and Ball), the Atelier Wen Perception case features a trendy integrated bracelet design, with a 40mm diameter and a 47mm lug-to-lug. At just 9.4mm thick, it’s sure to wear well on the wrist, though the effect of angled lugs can go either way; on some people, they result in a boxy presence, while on others they allow for a perfect drape. The case features a sapphire crystal surrounded by a polished convex bezel and 100m water resistance. The bracelet features quick-release pins and hexagonal center links, with a polished chamfer on the edges that is continued from the case. The clasp on the bracelet includes an on-the-fly micro-adjustment mechanism actuated by pushing the logo (A. Lange & Söhne has a similar mechanism on the Odysseus, and Halios used one on the Fairwind and Universa bracelets).  The watch also comes with a fitted grey rubber strap.

The caseback, however, does have more from Seconde/Seconde/ and this time, it’s a bit snarkier, as he has engraved the life cycle of the dials, from rejection to the (anticipated) praise of their repurposing. Each watch is numbered and features the high-relief lion design found on all Perception models, with a partial aperture showing of the movement. The movement is not one commonly seen in any watches, the automatic Chinese Peacock/Dandong SL1588, which measures just 3.3mm. While the glimpse may be small, the movement features what appears to be nice finishing, with a colored rhodium plating and triple branding on the rotor. The movement runs at 28,800 vph with a power reserve of 41 hours. For those in doubt, Atelier Wen has previously shared that the movements leave the factory at -/+10 seconds per day, and are further adjusted in five positions upon receipt. If that weren’t enough, the brand’s debut model, the Atelier Wen Porcelain Hao, which used another Peacock/Dandong caliber, had a return rate of less than 3% for mechanical issues. Plus, the brand does all of its servicing in-house.

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This is a great collab, not just for Atelier Wen or Wristcheck or Seconde/Seconde/, but for the industry. Atelier Wen has managed to creatively use dials that otherwise would’ve gone in the waste bin and further contributed to the industry’s problematic environmental record. The subtle design modifications are a demonstration from Seconde/Seconde/ that it’s not all wild industry critique, but can be truly thoughtful. The Wristcheck X Seconde/Seconde/ X Atelier Wen Perception Special Edition is priced at $5,000 USD and is limited to 36 pieces, available exclusively from Wristcheck starting on November 29, 2023 at 10:00 AM HKT/2:00 AM GMT. For more information, please visit the Wristcheck website

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