Atelier Jalaper is finally able to unveil their full project including the AJ001 and AJ002 models. Both watches have dials directly made out of an Aston Martin DB5 bonnet. Before being able to reveal the whole project Louis Jalaber and Simon Szleper, the founders of Atelier Jalaper, worked hard for about two years and this is their story:
Their journey began on the benches of ESCP Europe during their Master’s Degree in Marketing and Digital Media. From the start, they shared a bond as to their passions in classic cars and watches. As they grew closer and worked on projects together with the idea of starting a company was born.
They decided that they wanted to create watches made out of classic car parts. They did not need much time to decide on which car to use, it had to be the Aston Martin DB5, one of the most iconic cars created thanks to its design and mechanics, but also thanks to its different appearances in James Bond.
The Main Challenge: The Perfect Design
The main challenge this project came across was the design. Louis and Simon wanted to have reminders of the 1960s and 70s classic car and watchmaking industries incorporated in their watch while keeping a contemporary design. So the search for a designer began, they wanted someone young and preferably with experience in the automobile world, so they called every design school to find what they were looking for. They met Constantin Sohier, who was immediately seduced by the project. Constantin worked for months on different watch designs, trying different approaches always keeping in mind that the Aston Martin part had to be at the centre of the timepiece he was creating.
From Theory to Practice
Now that the design was complete, everything else had to be perfect, the movement, the assembly, the funding. For the movement, it was clear that creating their own movement was out of their reach, however, Louis and Simon found in Miyota the perfect fit for their watches with simple yet robust and high-end movements. To ensure the assembly of their watches Louis and Simon had the opportunity to meet Stephane Muller a Swiss watchmaker in La Chaux-de-Fonds accustomed to working with well-known brands for many years. He became a trusted advisor in the whole process and is the one that will supervise the whole assembly of the watch.
How to find the sufficient to cover the initial costs
With every technical matter taken care of the main challenge was to find funding for the project. This is when Louis and Simon decided that crowdfunding would be the best option for them. Out of all the different options available to them, Louis and Simon decided to opt for Kickstarter, as it seemed to be the most adapted for their type of product, but also in terms of range and countries in which Kickstarter is known. The Kickstarter campaign preparation was without a doubt the most stressful period as everything had to be perfect for the campaign to be validated by Kickstarter, we also had to make sure it would appeal to all potential backers.
Having a strong community prior to a campaign start is always important, so part of the preparation was the growth of our community, people who followed Atelier Jalaper since the beginning or joined during the preparation. Their feedback helped us. We knew we were on the right track and that we had to aim for excellence. We went from posting from time to time to creating quizzes and polls to involve this community, share our adventures day after day, and to get to know them better.
We received a lot of help from friends and newly found partners that supported us through this fascinating period.
We're live: Let's do it together
So here we are, about to click the start campaign button, ready to see if all the efforts and hard work will pay off if our watch will capture the curiosity of enough people to back us.
Thanks to all who supported us, to all who backed us. See you next time, with a legend on your wrist.