Massena LAB, headed up by William Massena, longtime collector and watch industry insider, is a collaborative studio that develops timepieces with a number of partners, each of which is very different from the next. Almost all these collaborations are based on an existing watch or concept. And so is the brand-new Chronograph Monopoussoir Sylvain Pinaud x Massena LAB, a handcrafted timepiece soon available in a limited edition of just 10 pieces.
In 2019, Massena met Sylvain Pinaud, who won the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève’s Revelation Prize for his impressive Origine watch in 2022. The company head instantly became enamored with the French-born watchmaker’s titanium monopusher chronograph, whose restrained yet superbly crafted movement was (and remains) of his own creation with the exception of the gear train. He made the watch to compete in the famous competition Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF), which honors the best French craftspeople, which he won in 2018. Massena wanted to order the watch for himself, but with a revised case design, which in turn inspired his friends to order similar timepieces, forming the origin of this project. The easygoing watchmaker works out of his Ste. Croix, Switzerland workshop, where he settled in 2018 after leaving the employ of Carl F. Bucherer as a prototype maker.
The practically fully handmade, hand-wound movement boasts an integrated column wheel chronograph with a horizontal clutch; the elegant chronograph is entirely controlled using just one button for start, stop, and reset. The hand-finished chronograph components are delightfully exposed on the bottom third of the dial, making the timing processes visible. The small, off-center dial at 12 o’clock—time is definitely secondary on this timepiece—was crafted by Comblémine, famous independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen’s high-end dial manufacture.
The watch’s 42 x 11 mm titanium case is svelte and modern with sapphire crystal windows forming parts of the sides—in contrast to the movement and dial, which look more rooted in tradition. The transparency of the case and dial aesthetics allow views into the spectacularly artistic yet technical movement from just about any angle.
Production will be limited to just three timepieces per year due to the high degree of work that must be carefully accomplished by hand, however, interested parties should register interest immediately for a chance at acquiring one. The price is set at CHF 130,000 (Approximately $147,000 at current exchange rates).