18 October 2023
Buoyed by the success of its inaugural release of the Frømand in 2022, independent watch brand Atelier Holgur now unveils two additional ultra-refined divers’ references. Inspired by the fauna and flora inhabiting the world’s oceans, much loved by scuba divers around the globe, these latest models are offered in a choice of two dial hues, ‘Fire Coral’ and ‘Ocean Emerald’. Moreover, consistent with the brand’s ethos, these new releases surpass mere functionality, proffering sumptuous materials and peerless refinement atypical of a traditional divers’ watch.
A different perspective
When Atelier Holgur’s founders, Matthew de Bakker and Asbjørn Simonen-Andersen, set out to create the company’s first divers’ watch, they didn’t want to follow the same well-trodden path as others. While the timepiece needed to fulfil the requirements of a professional diver, they did not feel it should forgo the luxurious details typically the preserve of fine watchmaking. Furthermore, they recognised that an increasing number of horophiles are drawn to the practicality of a divers’ watch despite seldom exploiting its subaquatic capabilities. Sometimes referred to as ‘desk divers’, this market segment is characterised by wearers seeking something more than a mere utilitarian object.
Recognising the public’s growing appetite for divers’ watches with a notable quotient of style and buoyed by the success of its inaugural model, Atelier Holgur now presents the Frømand Edition Fumée, a new addition to the brand’s product portfolio.
Inspired by fauna and flora
Matthew and Asbjørn both share a love of scuba diving, discovering the fauna and flora inhabiting the world’s oceans and seas. Indeed, both gentlemen are passionate about conservation and, in particular, marine life. It was whilst they were diving that the founders reflected on the behaviour of dial colours beneath the water.
The dynamic behaviour of colours
The electromagnetic spectrum comprises colours of different wavelengths ranging from red, orange and yellow to green, blue and violet. Different wavelength emit varying levels of energy, meaning colour disappears as depth increases.
This natural phenomenon led Matthew and Asbjørn to select two dial colours that behave very differently beneath the waves. Fire Coral red, a hue that brims with energy on terra firma, has a long wavelength, such that it transitions from red to black as the wearer dives ever deeper. On the other hand, Ocean Emerald green has a shorter wavelength, causing it to remain visible underwater when red hues have already transitioned to black.
Atelier Holgur has chosen to endow both of these new references with a fumée dial. This means the dominant hue, Fire Coral or Ocean Emerald, assumes a darker tone near the periphery of the dial, ultimately becoming a brooding shade of deep black. As these watches venture into ever deeper water, both dials eventually transition to black.
More lounge suit than chinos
Rest assured, the hands, indexes and count-up scale, with their liberal application of Super-LumiNova®, remain visible deep underwater. The main dial epidermis swaps the snailing found on the brand’s inaugural model for a sunburst finish, presented on a smooth surface, save for the small seconds display which continues to feature a series of fine concentric circles. The resultant watch looks slightly more formal. Indeed, you could say it is more lounge suit than chinos.
Some details are refreshingly familiar
The Edition Fumée proffers the same practicality as the inaugural model. The 300m maximum water resistance, unidirectional dive bezel and matchless readability remain unchanged and yet the new dials exhibit a slightly different, more genteel character.
Moreover, the new Edition Fumée models retains the highly acclaimed skeletonised movement employed on the inaugural watch, the Schwarz-Etienne ASE 200 for Atelier Holgur. Equipped with a micro-rotor and enriched with refined finishing, the calibre is far removed from the mundane movements fitted to divers’ watches of yesteryear. It seems appropriate, therefore, that Atelier Holgur has chosen to equip these new variants with an exhibition caseback, showcasing the beautifully appointed movement for the delectation of purists.
Likewise, the Grade 5 Titanium case, measuring 40mm in diameter, makes a return appearance. Its exterior is endued with polished and microblasted finishing, despite the huge technical challenges this presents.
Like the inaugural Frømand of 2022, the Edition Fumée is equipped with an integrated strap bar, steadfastly securing the watch to the wrist, a useful attribute whether on dry land or underwater. Atelier Holgur’s strap system allows the wearer to easily swap straps without the need for tools. The Edition Fumée also comes supplied with two straps, both made from recycled ocean plastic, produced by tide ocean material®. The first strap is fitted with a Hook & Loop fastener and pin system, allowing the wearer to view the movement to the rear. The seconds strap is a single loop design with a splash of colour to match the dial.
Practicality and style are not mutually exclusive
When Atelier Holgur released its inaugural watch, it described it as highly functional, perfectly suited to an active lifestyle but still eminently stylish. Indeed, at the time, it proclaimed ‘practicality and style are not mutually exclusive’. Well, according to Matthew and Asbjørn, nothing has changed.
The new models, executed in two becoming dial shades, is inspired by the beauty of the world’s oceans seen through the founders’ eyes. Moreover, it tastefully unites both form and function as well bestowing an extraordinary level of sophistication.
Text and images can be downloaded here:
About Atelier Holgur
Atelier Holgur was born out of a desire to build watches that could stand up to the rigours of life and adventure, incorporating high-end watchmaking materials and techniques to deliver a uniquely rugged yet luxurious experience.
Co-founded by Asbjørn Simonen-Andersen and Matthew de Bakker, Atelier Holgur is determined to carve out a niche in the independent watch market, while supporting ocean conservation efforts around the world. Harnessing Matt’s passion for design and horology, as well as Asbjørn’s watchmaking heritage, Atelier Holgur pays homage to Asbjørn’s grandfather whilst at the same time delivering distinctive watches suited to the present day and beyond.
Atelier Holgur Frømand Edition Fumée
Limited to 8 pieces for Fire Coral
Limited to 8 pieces for Ocean Emerald
Retail price: 11,500 CHF excluding local taxes
Material: Grade 5 Titanium, polished and microblasted finish
Integrated strap bars
Unidirectional dive bezel in black DLC, 120 clicks
Lug width: 22mm
Water resistance: 300m / 30atm
Glass: sapphire crystal front/back with anti-reflective coating
Dial: Sunburst fumée dial with 3D applied Super-LumiNova®, sub-seconds
Hands: Atelier Holgur sword style with 3D applied Super-LumiNova®
Schwarz-Etienne ASE 200 for Atelier Holgur
Skeletonised, microblasted with hand polished bevelled edges
Self-winding mechanical movement
Power reserve: 86 hours
Winding rotor: micro-rotor with bi-directional winding
Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 Alt/h)
Movement parts: 198
Movement jewels: 33
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds (hacking)
Supplied with two straps made with tide ocean material® (recycled ocean plastic), and Grade 5 Titanium buckles
- Daily wear strap with Hook & Loop fastener and pin system
- Diving single loop strap with Hook & Loop fastener adjustment