This French Watchmaker Puts Vintage Movements in New Cases

Old-school timepieces, resurrected

September 11, 2018 9:00 am

Normally, we’d tell you to let go of the past.

But one independent watchmaker is rightfully ignoring our plea.

Introducing Semper & Adhuc, a French horologist that takes lessons from the glory days of watchmaking — along with actual parts — to build their striking new timepieces.

Loosely translated as “from always until now” in Latin, Semper & Adhuc liberates orphaned and forgotten Swiss watch movements from the early- and mid-20th century, then recasts them with new cases and straps, ready to impress a second time around. They’re handsome, high-quality and, perhaps best of all, sustainable.

Made entirely in France, these minimalist tickers feature hand-wound movements visible through an eyecup on the back of the stainless steel 316L case. The watches are available in classic round, oval or “cushion” shapes, and all are considered unisex designs.

“There are many inspirations, sometimes from ancient and contemporary cartography, sometimes from ancient 18th-century dials with a lot of ‘breathing,’” says S&A founder Colin de Tonnac, a veteran of Patek Philippe. “And I believe they have that little ‘French-style’ touch that I would have a hard time explaining to you.”

Semper & Adhuc (6 images)

The S&A timepieces are funding on Kickstarter until early October for 25% off the future retail price, starting at around $1,300. They ship in April of next year — though do note they’re only making 150 of these per year.

Outside of scarcity, good looks and a great backstory, de Tonnac thinks his old-new timepieces could provide wearers with a bit of lost tactile pleasure.  “Wearing a Semper & Adhuc watch means wearing a little bit of watchmaking heritage on your wrist,” he tells us. “ And if you have one, you will forge a very special relationship with your watch, thanks to the daily manual winding that you will carry out to give it life.”

Which admittedly sounds better than “Where can I plug this in?”

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