If like me, you like classic cars and wearing a classic watch, then a new Atelier Jalaper timepiece might be just the thing.
Last month luxury watch brand Atelier Jalaper launched in the UK with four limited edition watches, of which only 600 are available. What I particularly like about these new watches is that each watch has been designed and crafted using the bonnet of an authenticated Aston Martin DB5, with the AJ001 displaying the date, and the AJ002 displaying the day and date. Both are available in either silver or black.
Atelier Jalaper was founded by young and passionate entrepreneurs, Simon Szleper and Louis Jalaber who set out to subtly evoke the emotions inspired by the world-renowned Aston Martin DB5, one of the most iconic cars ever designed and built, despite the fact that only 1,059 cars were ever made in the car’s three years of production between 1963 and 1965. That is until production restarted last year with 25 new cars having already been built. The car was of course first made famous in the James Bond film Goldfinger in 1964 and has subsequently been featured in a number of Bond films since, including Thunderball (1965) Goldeneye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Casino Royal (2006), Skyfall (2012) and the soon to be released ‘No Time To Die’ this October.
The DB5 inspired Simon and Louis to take this legendary car and, over the span of two years, craft watches worthy of the same prestige. Their aim was to bring together the innovation and sophistication of their two favourite things, namely classic cars and luxury timepieces. Each watch is entirely overseen and assembled in Switzerland and is crafted using metal from the bonnet of an authenticated Aston Martin DB5, which is a unique and visible part of the eye-catching design.
Simon and Louis first met at Parisian business school ESCP, where they discovered their shared passion for luxury and bold, new ideas. Following two years of research, design and finding the right partners to bring their dream timepiece to life, along with a 30 day Kickstarter campaign for the project which raised €125,000, Atelier Jalaper was launched in France and Belgium in 2019. Since then, the brand has proved popular amongst watch lovers in the US, Australia, Japan and of course now, the UK.
It was important for Simon and Louis to only partner with the best in their field, which is why the watches are all fully overseen and assembled in Switzerland. The design was perfected with Stephan Muller, owner of a watch-making factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds and was instrumental in the task of turning a car bonnet from the 1960s into 600 watch faces.
The delicate task of extracting the metal discs required vast expertise and preparation to ensure the metal’s integrity and longevity were not impacted. Measurements for the design was done in microns for total accuracy, with Simon and Louis collaborating with Constantin Sohier, a talented industrial designer, with experience in the luxury world that included working with Land Rover and Jaguar. He incorporated references to the DB5, including guilloche at 6 and 12 o’clock in the shade of the car’s iconic front grill, and indexes inspired by the DB5’s speedometer.
For more information on this sophisticated and classic watch collection, please visit the Atelier Jalaper website: https://atelierjalaper.com where you can also purchase one of these unique and stylish timepieces for yourself. The AJ001 retails for €800 in silver and €880 in black, whilst the AJ002 retails for €1,080 in silver and €1,150 in black.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of Atelier Jalaper