Atelier Jalaper combines luxury watchmaking and classic cars in the latest accessory for the true connoisseur which uses the bonnet of an authenticated Aston Martin DB5 to craft stand-out timepieces.
We caught up with founders Louis and Simon to find out more.
How did it all start?
We founded Atelier Jalaper in 2019 after meeting at ESCP in Paris, where we were both doing our Masters Degrees. We were both black sheep on the course, inspired to think differently than our peers, so when we discovered a shared passion for automotive and watches, our entrepreneurial partnership seemed meant to be!
We were just 22 and 25 at the time, so we launched a Kickstarter campaign to help us raise funds – this raised €125,000 in 30 days, which is when we knew the idea was going to work. The investment allowed us to buy our first Aston Martin DB5 and from there it just took off!
Tell us about the Atelier Jalaper concept and what makes you different?
Atelier Jalaper is different because we have infused the spirit of an iconic 1960s car into a stylish 21st century automatic watch. This is a concept which allows us to combine the latest technology with design elements true to the classic Aston Martin DB5 design, right up to the guilloché.
Why did you choose the Aston Martin DB5?
The Aston Martin was only manufactured for three years, with less than 1,100 ever made, yet it is one of the most well-known and well-loved cars ever crafted, so we knew that when it came to iconic status, the Aston Martin DB5 certainly had it. We also loved how integral it is to British culture, as a symbol of British elegance for over 50 years, helped of course by it being driven by our favourite spy, James Bond himself.
Your price point is very accessible. How do you make your watches so affordable?
We wanted to ensure that our watches were affordable for those, like us, that are passionate about cars and fine watches, but don’t necessarily have the budget to spend thousands of pounds on a new timepiece. By leaving them as accessibly-priced as we could, we ensured that fans of the watch could wear it, knowing they now owned part of an iconic car; a legend on your wrist.
How long does it take to create each watch?
The core part of our collection is our hand-crafted dial made from a DB5 bonnet. The process to transform a bonnet from the 60s into a watch dial where the scale is calculated in microns is long and meticulous. First, we have to manually remove the 9 layers of paint from the bonnet, then we start to manually flatten it using a hammer and then a more specific machine. The next step is to stamp dials directly from the bonnet. The last and probably most complicated step is the lasering, which takes 58 minutes for each dial in order not to damage the material.
What was your first ever watch?
Simon: Mine was a Bulgari Carbongold (Limited Edition).
Louis : Jaerger Lecoultre Grande Taille.
What are your top 3 tips in helping someone choose a watch?
First look into the brand and its values. If you connect with them and share the same ones, then their watches might be for you. I would only then look at the design, to see it’s appealing and something you think will be long-lasting. Lastly, I’d look at the movement, and what it offers from a technical stand point.
What are your favourite Bond films and why?
It has to be Goldeneye, probably because we were born in the 90s and it clearly marked us. We were also lucky enough to attend the Paris premiere of No Time To Die and it’s amazing!
What is next for Atelier Jalaper?
We have begun to explore potential future designs, incorporating other iconic 1960s & 1970s cars – the next legend will certainly be as impactful as the DB5, although maybe with an Italian twist…
To discover more, visit: atelierjalaper.com
Imagery courtesy of Atelier Jalaper.
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