Some watch collabs are a mere co-branding exercise or tweaked colors, but the new Semper & Adhuc Immédiate Transatlantique is a rarer breed: It'a a deeper collaboration combining the design DNA and expertise of a French watchmaker, the input of an American watch enthusiast website and a vintage movement that was itself also a collaborative effort. The result is a strikingly original watch with a ton of backstory.
Founded in 2016 by watch industry veteran Colin de Tonnac, Semper & Adhuc creates new watches using restored vintage movements. It's among a few brands with this approach, but very much offers its own vision, story and look. The new collaboration watch lives in the brand's Immédiate collection, which is defined by its dial design and a dressy, cushion-like case shape.
Semper & Adhuc began the Immédiate Transatlantique project with "a small selection of Bulova movements in a drawer," including the company's Series 5. These are small, manually wound and beautifully decorated movements produced between 1936 and 1975. Though "designed and drafted" in Switzerland, the movements were "completed and assembled" in the United States. The brand then worked with founder of the website Beyond the Dial — and Gear Patrol's own freelancer extraordinaire Allen Farmello — to develop the concept as well as to get Bulova's blessing to use the movements. You can see where the Transatlantique name comes from — a red, white and blue theme for the dial equally represents French and American national colors.
Like other watches in the Immédiate collection, the Transatlantique has a 37mm steel case that's water resistant to 30m, and, notably, customers can specify a right- or lefthand orientation for the crown. The Bulova Series 5 movements have a 35-hour power reserve and are partially visible through a case back "eyecup." Aside from the movements, every part of the brand's watches is sourced from suppliers in France.
Watches like this feel special for a number of reasons, but even more so because they're naturally limited — not only by the work required of making them to order but also by the number of movements available: specifically, 20. That means that if you want one of the 20 examples you'll have to act quickly when they become available for pre-order today, September 14, 2021, at 2pm EST for around $2,465. If you don't get a chance to grab one of these but like Semper & Adhuc's approach, it's well worth checking out their other watches or waiting for the next collab watch.