At some point, a discussion of your favorite watch style will get to the point of “well, what exactly defines this type of watch?” This is particularly true of a style that started out as a very task-oriented tool watch, and then gets all sort of refinements and upgrades to it that puts the watch into luxury watch elevations. Such is the case with the Atelier Holgur Frømand.
Atelier Holgur Frømand: A diver
For me, a dive watch is a fairly simple classification – put a uni-directional clicky bezel on it, give the dial a cleanly-legible layout, and ensure it’s got plenty of meters attached to the water resistance rating. And on all three of those fronts, the Atelier Holgur Frømand certainly delivers.
The bezel is 120-click dive bezel, the overall color scheme is black-and-white (hard to beat that contrast for legibility), and the 300m WR rating is more than most of us would ever need. And, if you were to use this diver for it’s intended purpose, it has fixed lugs, which means you won’t need to worry about a spring bar popping loose and losing your watch under the waves.
For that, the Atelier Holgur Frømand starts with the materials and finishes. For the case, that means Grade 5 titanium (light and strong), with a blasted finish that is offset by polished lugs that come down from the sapphire crystal. So, that’s a pretty strong start.
To follow up on that, then you’ve got a movement that you may not expect for a diver – the Schwarz-Etienne ASE 200. What really stuck me about the movement is the micro-rotor. This, of course, helps the watch to stay thinner, while still giving automatic winding that can help keep the 86-hour power reserve topped off. The plates you see in the movement have a blasted finish, which further reinforces the utility mindset of the watch.
The Atelier Holgur Frømand certainly looks rather unlike most watches you might have in your collection. When viewed from the side, you can see the sheer variety of angles and surfaces involved in the case shape, including the “lugs” that – for me – call to mind the slope of a car hood or trunk lid snugged in between raised fender flares.
The other part of the aesthetics you need to consider is going to be the strap setup. With the fixed lugs, you’d either be using a one-piece strap, or going with the included straps, that have hook-and-loop fastening after you pass them through the lug openings. This might sound a bit odd for a watch in this price range, but it’s certainly a way to solve for how to handle those fixed lug bars. In our time with the watch, we did not encounter any problems with them coming loose, and it certainly makes swapping out straps a breeze.
Now, the question is – if you’re getting drawn in by the style and materials – is just how much you’re willing to put down on the counter for it. At this time, Atelier Holgur only anticipates creating 100 pieces of the watch, at a price of 9850 EUR (approx $10,600). This certainly puts it up into the realm of other more traditional luxury dive watches that you might be more familiar with, though the Atelier Holgur Frømand certainly will set itself apart from any of those with its design. If you put a premium on that uniqueness, you can order one up one of the limited-edition watches directly from atelier-holgur.com
- Grade 5 Titanium, polished and microblasted finish
- Integrated strap bars
- Bezel: Unidirectional dive bezel in black DLC, 120 clicks
- Diameter: 40mm
- Height: 13.5mm
- Water resistance: 300m / 30atm
- Glass: sapphire crystal front/back with anti-reflective coating
- Dial: snailing with 3D applied Super-LumiNova®, sub-seconds
- Hands: Atelier Holgur sword style with 3D applied Super-LumiNova®
- Schwarz-Etienne ASE 200 for Atelier Holgur
- Skeletonised, microblasted with hand polished bevelled edges
- Self-winding mechanical movement
- Power reserve: 86 hours
- Winding rotor: micro-rotor with bi-directional winding
- Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 Alt/h)
- Movement parts: 198
- Movement jewels: 33
- Functions: hours, minutes, seconds (hacking)
- Supplied with two straps made with tide ocean material® (recycled ocean plastic).
- Daily wear strap with Hook & Loop fastener and pin system
- Diving single loop strap with Hook & Loop fastener adjustment
Author Expertise / Author Experience
A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview. If you’re on Twitter and/or Instagram, you’ll find me there as @PatrickWatches.