Robin has had a passion for watches since age 14 and worked at the French Chamber of Watchmaking in Shanghai and at Christie’s in London. With his keen interest in Chinese horology, in March 2016, he was appointed to join the China Horologe Association as “Execution Expert”. The CHA is the Chinese national-level government organization that oversees and promotes the watch industry in China.
Wilfried is not only a graduate from China's top two universities - Peking University and Tsinghua University - but also a tireless entrepreneur at heart. With his experiences in numerous startups and perfect mastery of Mandarin, Wilfried has coordinated both our design and manufacturing from Beijing since the very beginning.
Finally, this project could have never taken off without the support of our two brilliant Chinese designers, Li Mingliang and Liu Yuguan, from the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology. They have been single-minded in iterating designs time after time and ever-ingenious in their approach to re-imaging traditional Chinese design relevant for the modern world.
First, it is what we know best and a domain in which we are confident we can produce truly unique items of high quality items.
Further, we wished to give fine Chinese watchmaking the credit that it is due. Indeed, the Chinese watchmaking industry is one of the most developed in the world and a key supplier to many so-called Swiss or Western brands. No branding hat tricks here. Our pieces make use of the best expertise and materials available, traditional and modern, all of which proudly originate from the Middle Kingdom.
The items we design go beyond just utilitarianism and appearances as each one is infused with rich culture and a story worth telling. The question of what constitutes modern Chinese design is an open-ended one and each of our pieces provides a different perspective on it.
Here are links to some of our favourite pieces:
• The New York Times - Made in China. And Proud of It
• Worn & Wound - Review: Atelier Wen Porcelain Odyssey "Ji"
• WatchBox Reviews (video) - Just IV Fun: Atelier Wen Porcelain Odyssey Hao / Atelier Wen Watch Review
• Gear Patrol - This Affordable Automatic Watch Has One of the Most Stunning Dials We’ve Seen
• Les Rhabilleurs (French) - Atelier Wen : Re-Penser le Made in China
In particular, a great thank you to Li Wei and Ron Good from the China Horologe Association for their mentoring and oftentimes, hands-on support on brand conceptualisation, design and manufacturing.
Thank you also to the very talented photographers amongst our backers who have allowed us to use their stunning pictures throughout this website and our social media. They are:
• The very talented and ardent Atelier Wen supporter, Daniel Wang from Canada, otherwise known as @wonger.bonger (Instagram)
• The master of photography with a knack for immortalising the Ji model, Joshua Gull, also known as @stuffandwatches (Instagram)
• Last but not least, the one and only @faceless_watches (Instagram), whose shots of the Hao model never cease to awe and amaze
Finally, a warmhearted thank you to all our customers for making Atelier Wen a reality - none of this would have been possible without you and we look forward to furthering this journey with you at our side.