Atelier Wen gears up
4 minute read
Unsatisfied with other corporate service providers, watch brand Atelier Wen made the switch to Sleek’s services to help with the admin side of business – and they haven’t looked back since.
"A pretty particular concept"
Atelier Wen was founded on an interesting concept and philosophy that co-founder Wilfried Buiron shares more about.
“We’ve always had an appreciation for the kind of quality you can get from the watch space in China,” he says. “And it’s now somewhat of an open secret that most watch brands in the world are, for the most part, manufactured in China which is a fact that’s rarely acknowledged or at least less communicated to the public”.
With that, Wilfried and fellow co-founder Robin teamed up to make quality watches that prided themselves on being openly made and manufactured in China. Drawing on the inspiration from the designs of traditional Chinese heritage, Wilfried states that their objective was truly in making modern and tasteful watches that could appeal to just about anyone.
“Similar to how Chinese consumers wear Italian fashion or Swiss watches, we wanted to make it possible for Swiss consumers to wear Chinese watches and I believe that it is this concept that makes us stand out from the rest”.
"A mutual decision"
In starting Atelier Wen, Wilfried states that neither him nor his co-founder would have been able to do it without the other.
“I brought a lot of entrepreneurial skills, being fluent in Chinese and being on the ground in Beijing, while Robin brought great practical skills such as the watch knowledge and connections in the industry that really enabled us to get started”.
“We do, especially now that we’ve done it, have an increasingly deep desire to create something out of our own creativity and ingenuity without having to rely on a pre-existing structure,” says Wilfried who now sets his sights on a new business venture while at the same time managing Atelier Wen as a side business that has been growing healthily and managing itself on its own at this point.
“Sleek has definitely been a win-win for us”
Wilfried first came across Sleek through a simple Google search after being frustrated at the quality and lack of customer-centricity with traditional accounting providers in Hong Kong.
“Like a lot of accounting providers, they were quite traditional and offline with tons of physical documents that needed to be signed back and forth via email” he states.
“Sleek just provided a much sleeker and smoother platform for us to manage this admin side to our business – and one that utilised new technology and was far more transparent, even in its pricing as well”.
“Sleek’s a great solution to go with”
When asked to rate his experience with Sleek and what he was most impressed with, Wilfried stated, “ I would say an eight out of 10”.
“The responsiveness has been good – definitely responsiveness and proactiveness have been what we’re most impressed with” he states.
“Just the ease of onboarding and how it contrasts with the rather traditional service providers in the market has been great”.
“Second series of watches in the works”
So what’s next in their business journey? “Next up for us is really launching the new second series [of watches] that should, hopefully, be around in July and we’ll take it from there,” shares Wilfried.
“This has been in the works for a very long time – we’re talking around two years or more – and we recently just entered the stage of prototyping it,” he states. “So it’s a super exciting series that Robin and I can’t wait to see in the metal so to speak”.
Atelier Wen was born out of the founders’ passion for horology and a deep understanding of China’s pivotal role in today’s global watchmaking industry. To find out more and the exciting range of watches they’ve designed, check them out here!