ART 01

Art on the wrist
La Cote des Montres - May 7th, 2024

ALTO, art on the wrist

A newcomer to the watchmaking world, ALTO stands out with its radical approach. ALTO pushes back the limits of creativity and technicality in pieces where art and time come together to create a unique experience: wearing a genuine work of art on one’s wrist.

With its first model, ART 01, ALTO lays the foundation for a contemporary project that stands in stark contrast to a polished and standardised watchmaking industry.

A project that respects yet challenges the codes of an age-old art.

With its form inspired by the wedge design of 1970s concept cars, the ART 01 is arguably to watchmaking what brutalism is to architecture. It plays with light through its facets while its shape squares the polyhedron.

The ART 01 shows that it is possible to interweave extreme and antinomic elements into a coherent whole. ALTO’s radical design philosophy is translated into a sleek, ergonomic, and elegant watch.

The ART 01 also reflects ALTO’s concept of time. Time moves forward and marches on–no one can resist it.

Yet ALTO has again chosen to display its disruptive vision and break away from the established order. The ART 01 subtly reverses the traditional march of time, with a seconds hand that turns backwards.

A countdown. A contradiction. A counterpoint to established conventions.

That is for you to decide. Whatever the case, it is an invitation to the wearer to reflect on the meaning of time as it passes.

The ART 01 marks the beginning of ALTO’s watchmaking adventure.
An artistic adventure without limits.



through art  

ALTO, an acronym for “Art and Limited Time Objects”, takes a radical approach to watchmaking in which art and time merge to create a unique experience.

ALTO invites a bold exploration of the passage of time through the prism of creativity.

ALTO believes in the profound interconnection between art and time, asserting that art has the unique power to capture, reflect and even transform the perception of time.

ALTO is pushing back the boundaries of traditional watchmaking and ushering in a new era with its first creation, the ART 01.


The ART 01

A work of art
on the wrist  

The ART 01 embodies ALTO’s design vision. Conceived as a symbol of the artistic expression of time, this watch challenges traditional watchmaking both through its radical design and its technical innovations.

The ART 01 stands out with its unique sapphire crystal. It combines a curved and facetted outer surface with a hemispherical inner surface. A technical feat never before achieved in watchmaking.

Crafted from grade 5 titanium, the case of ART 01 is both strong and lightweight. Its distinctive shape, in continuity with the sapphire crystal, required three years of development and over 20 machining steps. The brushed, satin, and polished finishes are entirely hand-crafted.

The shape of the ART 01 dial is inspired by the major Greek arts of sculpture and architecture. It pays tribute to light as a source of artistic inspiration. The brass dial has a matt finish obtained using the bead-blasting technique, and is designed to maximise the light entering the watch. A natural dialogue is created between the play of light and shadow through the louvred apertures.


The ART 01 houses the A01 calibre, an automatic micro-rotor movement conceived and designed exclusively for ALTO. Drawn up by designer Barth Nussbaumer and developed by the Cercle des Horlogers in La Chaux-de-Fonds, this movement combines performance and elegance, with an unprecedented architecture that can be admired through the caseback. The different materials used, the fully customised decorations and the “traits tirés” surfaces on several components give the A01 calibre its distinctive character and unique design. Another special feature is the seconds hand, which turns counter-clockwise and powers the hour and minute hands, which turn in the traditional clockwise direction.

The ART 01 has been produced in 25 numbered pieces and is priced at CHF 18,450 (excl. VAT) or EUR 19,100 (excl. VAT).


The creative entourage


As the founder of the brand, Thibaud Guittard embodies the passion that drives ALTO. With a background in watch marketing, he founded ALTO with the ambition of reinventing watchmaking by placing art at the heart of his company. Inspired by design, cars, music, and cinema, Thibaud assembled a talented team to turn his vision into reality.

Writer, director, and photographer, Mathieu César took the reins of ALTO’s artistic direction in order to give it a deep and unique creative meaning. With a film, a musical composition, and a series of photographs, he has given ALTO a cross-disciplinary and holistic approach that goes far beyond ART 01. Mathieu is taking part in a creative and artistic adventure designed to show that ALTO is in tune with the times.

The independent designer Bart Nussbaumer drew up the ART 01. He was the only one who understood Thibaud’s disruptive vision and his whole new approach. The ART 01 posed a real technical and aesthetic challenge for the designer as the constraints are ubiquitous in this piece: the curved, bevelled, and hemispherical crystal, its sharp and angular edges; the emerald cut of the case, its finesse; the cut-aways in the dial, the aperture of the movement.

The independent Swiss manufacture Le Cercle des Horlogers created the ART 01’s micro-rotor automatic calibre. This movement with a spectacular and unique architecture required two years of work to meet the constraints imposed by ART 01 in terms of shape, finesse, and architecture.

A protean artist, Yorgo Tloupas is at the heart of ALTO’s creative endeavour. Using the distinctive shape of the ART 01 as a starting point, he defined the brand’s entire visual and graphic identity, as well as its logo. A very raw identity and that adheres to a level of standardisation beyond common norms in order to give the watch all the space it deserves.


ART 01

Technical description

Reference :MK1 TI
Limited edition :25 numbered pieces
Case :Grade 5 titanium
Hand-rubbed satin finish
Glass :
  • Main sapphire crystal:
    Curved surface
    Double 17-degree chamfer
    Hemispherical inner cut (anti-reflective treatment)
  • Caseback sapphire crystal:
    Flat surface with lateral chamfers (anti-reflective treatment)
    Hardness: 2300 Vickers
Dial :7 elements
Matt black lacquered brass
Water resistance :3 ATM
Weight :56 g
Movement :Manufacture A01 calibre with automatic micro-rotor movement
Width :37.5 mm
Height :33.15 mm
Thickness :4.04 mm (including rotor)
Weight :18.4 g
Plate :Grade 5 titanium (PVD treatment)
Bridges :Brass with diamond-cut angle (PVD treatment)
Modules :Grade 5 titanium
Satin finish on two planes (PVD treatment)
Rotor :Reconit® 18 with engraving and rhodium plating
Jewels :32
Frequency :4Hz
Hand trotter :“Back in time” seconds hand in reverse operation
Power reserve :48 hours
Bracelet :FKM
Buckle :ALTO folding clasp
Prices :18,450 CHF (excl. VAT) • 19 100 EUR (excl. VAT)