At the point when somebody like Colin de Tonnac from Bordeaux, France blips onto the horological radar screen we so cautiously screen, we as a whole sit up somewhat straighter and zoom in for a more intensive look. With his new company SEMPER & ADHUC, Monsieur de Tonnac will undoubtedly raise undeniably more clamor than a blip as he gives new life to vintage wristwatch movements by setting them behind beguiling new dials and into beautiful new cases.
The undertaking looks like how Colorado’s Vortic Watch Company is doing vintage American pocket-watch movements, yet SEMPER & ADHUC doesn’t climate the difficulties of making bigger movements work on the wrist. SEMPER & ADHUC’s watches are minuscule, indeed, mirroring the size patterns of the a very long time between the 1930s and 1960s from which SEMPER & ADHUC sources its movements. Eminently, and purposefully, this is by and large the pre-quartz wristwatch era.
Though movements for the originally run are Swiss, any remaining parts are French, and explicitly from the lower half of France. That’s a staggeringly little span to source the entirety of a watch’s parts from—or anything—these days, and de Tonnac plainly invests wholeheartedly in the inborn preservation that jumps up when working provincially. As one who grew up among the breaking down remaining parts of American industry, de Tonnac’s impulse to re-use materials and source new ones locally reverberates deeply.
de Tonnac, who is only 30-years of age, read watchmaking for a very long time, holds a Diploma of Crafts in watchmaking, and proceeded to work at Patek Phillipe in their quality control division and afterward as one of their watch research center experts. This isn’t the sort of family we commonly see from one-individual new companies, and his aptitude may represent the strength of the thoughts, plans, and craftsmanship that go into these watches.
Semper implies “forever” and adhuc implies “so far.” That’s verse not too far off, saccharine in practically some other setting (think Rom-Com), yet powerful and cool here. The SEMPER & ADHUC logo highlights three Fates from Greek folklore, one who turns a string, another who loosens up it, and the third who cuts it, representing our introduction to the world, the progression of time, and the sudden snip-snip of mortality. Despite seemingly insurmountable opposition, the logo’s beautiful gadget works without a trace of self importance.
Part of the explanation the entirety of this verse works is that the watches offset it with their hearty appeal. I’m no master in territorial French styles, however these dials have an old fashioned vibe wherein the hand of the producer is clear and compelling. These dials helps me to remember customarily printed materials from Provence—paisleys and chickens come to mind—and the cream dial with the red print is particularly “French” to my American eye. This tasteful has seen a restoration of late here in the USA, however I’ve seen nothing like it on a watch dial before.
For the previously run of watches, de Tonnac has decided to go with just hours and minutes, a decision which assists these watches with oozing excellent quiet. Easing back time is an expressed objective for de Tonnac who, as so many of us, looks to mechanical wristwatches as a panacea to what he calls the “always on communication” of computerized life. The case shapes are correspondingly smooth (and quieting) with basic, delicate associations delivered in delicately brushed pure steel.
And, in all honesty, SEMPER & ADHUC is offering these watches à la carte. For any watch, one can pick the crown direction, and in the long run one will actually want to counsel available tones, dial markings, etchings, and the sky is the limit from there. I can’t help yet envision that de Tonnac’s time at Patek Phillipe made such offers appear de rigueur to this aggressive youngster.
Everything about SEMPER & ADHUC appears to be devoted to backing off: moderate the speed of creation by working as a small time show; moderate the utilization of materials by rejuvenating prior movements; moderate the development of the hands by eliminating the running seconds. Taken together, the whole undertaking feels particularly sane.
Though de Tonnac has just put extensively in SEMPER & ADHUC, the last manifestations will be accessible through Kickstarter beginning in September. Watch this space for more data on this promising youthful French watchmaker. SEMPER & ADHUC