To afford a high-end collector's car is not within the reach of all wallets. But the term "beautiful mechanics" applies to both automobiles and watches, opting to buy a watch presents an attractive and much more accessible alternative. Many models help enthusiasts feel like drivers by integrating a chronograph function and carrying an evocative name: Speedmaster, Rallye, Monaco, Monza, Carrera, etc. There is also the solution proposed by Atelier Jalaper: wearing a timepiece on the wrist incorporating an element taken from a racing car of yesteryear.
Atelier Jalaper AJ-P400 watch. Polished/satin-finished steel case. Diameter 39.5mm. Thickness 10.3mm. Aluminum dial from an authentic Lamborghini Miura P400 S part. Black color obtained by anodization. Hand-wound mechanical movement, Sellita SW270-1 M caliber with approximately 45-hour power reserve. Transparent background. Water resistance 50m. Leather strap reminiscent of the seats of the Miura. © DR
For Louis Jalaber and Simon Szleper, the two young founders of Atelier Jalaper, it all started about four years ago. Attending together the benches of ESCP, a great Parisian business school, led them to share their double passion for watches and vintage cars. Once graduated, they then decide to create their own company with a very specific concept in mind. The idea? Recover a bonnet from an Aston Martin DB5 and transform it into watch dials. A figure allows you to measure the extent of the challenge: only 1021 copies of this mechanical icon were built between 1963 and 1965. It is difficult to find period spare parts... It is in a London garage that they end up unearthing a veiled bonnet of DB5 that its owner wishes to replace. Aston Martin grants a certificate of authenticity to the aluminum piece and the two friends have it transformed into hundreds of dials. Thus will be launched two years ago the first watch signed Atelier Jalaper, cultivating the DB5 mythology. The time has come today to discover their new watchmaking adventure because Louis Jalaber and Simon Szleper have turned their eyes to Italy, home of another automotive legend.
The Atelier Jalaper AJ-P400 watch is available in four versions distinguished by the color of the flange: black, green, blue or orange. Edition limited to 400 copies per reference. 1800 €. © DR
"The Lamborghini Miura is without question the very first supercar and, undeniably, one of the most beautiful cars still to this day", believe Louis Jalaber and Simon Szleper, who speak of a perfect alloy between advanced mechanics and style. as fluid as it is elegant. The design and development of the new AJ-P400 watch took them a year and a half, along with designer Xavier Perrenoud. "The design of the case is directly inspired by the simple and sensual curves of the Miura," explains Atelier Jalaper. Its proportions have been worked in the same spirit as those of the car. With its taut and very low profile, the visual effect is identical to that which one feels facing the Lamborghini”. Among the notable details, we note the absence of lugs at the top and bottom of the case, as well as the oval shape of the bezel weaving a link with the headlights of the Miura. Retro style? Undoubtedly since the car was produced from 1966 to 1973 (in only 764 copies powered by a V12 engine of nearly 400 hp with a captivating sound).
Many aesthetic details of the AJ-P400 watch refer to the interior or exterior design of the Lamborghini Miura. © DR
The search for an aesthetic link with the Miura naturally also concerned the dial. This one is inspired by the characteristic speedometers of the Italian sculptural. The layout of the indexes over 270 degrees leaves a free space at 6 o'clock in which a power reserve indicator is inserted, also drawn in the spirit of an on-board counter. "To complete this drawing, we had to observe the Miura for hours in its smallest details, from all angles, under all seams and lights", confides Simon Szleper, who continues the explanations as to the genesis of the AJ- P400: "To maintain all the elegance that such a watch requires, it was imperative not to take the details as they were or the messages that this car sent to us, but to reinterpret them in our own way". Upon arrival, each element of the car, rims, glass surfaces, curves of the windshield, rear fenders, guided the hand of the designer. On the technical side, the watch is powered by a mechanical movement with manual winding from Switzerland. Finally, it is impossible to close this presentation without mentioning the choice of colors, typical of the Miura, proposed by Atelier Jalaper: Verde Scandal, Azzurro Mexico, Arancio Miura and Nero Cangiante. So many colors to pronounce with the Italian accent in order to stay in tune with the spirit of the project...