The new Ateliers de Monaco Grand Tourbillon XP Ronde d’Or limited edition model seems to be based on their last year’s Black Casino “only watch.” This time issued as a more -ahem- affordable version with a total production run limited to a dozen and a half examples, the watch still looks absolutely mesmerizing: if not from the point of view of exterior, which is pretty average, then at least from the technical perspective: the self-winding mechanism that animates this gorgeous wristwatch is absolutely fabulous!
Powered by the same patented XP series (although the “XP” abbreviation here stands for “Xtreme Precision” I still hope that their lawyers cleared all legal matters with Microsoft) 1-minute tourbillon movement with escape wheel and lever that are fashioned from antimagnetic silicium alloy (not a small fit for a watchmaker that prefers to make their pieces in-house,) the watch demonstrates pretty much impressive tolerance of just 0-2 seconds in 24 hours! Yes, it still translates to up to a minute per month, but it is still really impressive given that some quartz movements that are often marketed as go-to solution for those in need of accuracy, sometimes deviated to up to 20 seconds per month. Yes, they are cheaper, yet, boy, they will never be as spectacular!
Besides the silicium escapement, this terrific accuracy is also achieved with a number of hi-tech production methods that, among others, include the deep reactive-ion etching technology that was originally developed for microelectromechanical systems and DRAM memory circuits.
The new Ateliers de Monaco Grand Tourbillon XP Ronde d’Or sports almost identical dial layout, however its delicate movement is nevertheless enclosed in a more mainstream round case measuring 43 mm in diameter and healthy 13 mm in height.
Made of 31 parts, the case features a titanium core and is covered with brushed and polished white gold side panels. Its display case back covered with a sapphire glass provides good view at hand-decorated movement with de Monaco’s unique 18-carat solid gold rotor.
The body of the watch is almost perfectly matched with the partly skeletonized dial that features something that looks a mother-of-pearl inlay, a pair skeletonized hours and minutes hands, as well as a nicely executed tourbillon escapement.
Of course, the guilloched part of the movement, which visible through the cutout in the dial, is somewhat dissonant with the rest of the setup, but that’s probably a matter of personal tastes.
The Monaco-based watch manufacture is going to limit the Ronde d’Or production at mere 18 copies.
Price is yet to be announced, although it is clear that the limited edition watch will be quite expensive.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Ateliers de Monaco
Ateliers de Monaco Grand Tourbillon XP Ronde d’Or watch specification
Price range: TBD, expensive
Movement: Caliber XP 1-minute Tourbillon, in-house, hand-engraved, sapphire tourbillon bridge, silicium escape wheel and lever, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Complications: 1-minute tourbillon
Power reserve: N/A
Case material: White gold, 18-carat
Bezel material: White gold
Case shape: Round
Transparent case back: Yes, sapphire glass
Case size: 43.00 mm
Case height: 15.30 mm
Dial: Dark gray with white gold elements, partially skeletonized
Hands: White gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Hand-stitched black alligator leather strap with folding buckle in 18-carat white gold
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective