Take a look on eBay, visit a flea market, or shop at an antique store: Chances are you will find a large selection of orphaned mechanical watch movements. These movements probably are not in working condition, but with some spare parts and a bit of work from a competent watchmaker, they can be brought to life. A brand based in Bordeaux, France, is doing this in a particularly stylish way. Let’s take a look at Semper & Adhuc.
Colin de Tonnac, the founder of Semper & Adhuc, studied watchmaking at the famous Lycée Edgar Faure in Morteau, France. After graduation, he moved to Geneva, Switzerland, to work at Patek Philippe. And in 2016, he set off on his own to start Semper & Adhuc. (The name is Latin for “from always until now,” a reference to the old movements given new life.) In my conversations with de Tonnac, it is evident that he cares deeply about preserving watchmaking history and know-how. Part of this dedication means working as much as possible with local partners. Apart from the Swiss movement, the entirety of Semper & Adhuc watches are made in France.
Three models are offered by Semper & Adhuc, covering distinct case shapes that will appeal to a wide range of people. The Instantanée (instantaneous) has a classic round case and features either a white dial with blue printing or cream dial with red printing. The Inopinée (unexpected) is the smallest watch in Semper & Adhuc’s collection. The oval-shaped watch would work well on smaller wrists and features either a white dial with black printing or black dial with white printing. The Immédiate (immediate) has a large cushion case shape and features either a black dial with gold printing or cream dial with black printing.
The dials on all Semper & Adhuc watches have a clean and minimal style that complements that overall brand. The cases are satin-finished stainless steel, without sharp edges or flashy polishing. The crown features an engraving of the logo of Semper & Adhuc, which is inspired by the legend of the Three Fates. And all of the watches in Semper & Adhuc’s collection use the A. Schild caliber AS1012. This vintage “workhorse” movement lived in many brands and was produced with some variation from 1936 to 1960. All of the watches in Semper & Adhuc’s first collection are reasonably priced at €1,500.
Overall, I get a feeling of friendliness and approachability from the watches, the brand, and the proprietor. These are watches that have a story to tell, and deserve a place on your wrist.
For more information, visit Semper & Adhuc.