What happens when a French artist gets his hands on a Swiss watch?

Just ask Frederique Constant. The Geneva watch brand wanted to remind the world that its watches are handmade in its manufacture. So it decided to hand over the blueprints for its Slimline Moonphase Date Manufacture over to Parisian artist Romaric André – better known as seconde/seconde/.

From editing vintage watches with playful elements to collaborating with brands of all sizes and price segments, seconde/seconde/ has found in the watch industry a perfect and somewhat untapped playground for combining his two passions: satire and horology.

The results of this particular collaboration are two wonderfully whimsical limited editions of Frederique Constant’s Slimline Moonphase Date Manufacture, where the hour markers seem to have gained a mind of their own.

Somewhere between Alice in Wonderland and Salvador Dali, the markers have changed sizes and gone for a wander around the dial. The script of the logo and the date indication have also been played with – they now look as if they were hand-written.

The moonphase disk’s moon and stars have had a similarly rough night – they look uneven and drawn by hand. 

The artist explains further: “As watch lovers, we’re looking for perfection... but when it becomes too perfect, we start to regret the lack of soul, the lack of connection with the ‘artisanal roots’ of watchmaking.

“It’s the same in life where the quest for perfection sometimes is conflicting with our human nature and beauty. I love to talk about our contradictions as social bodies, and I think this watch embodies a bit of this sweet bipolarity we all have.”

In a industry that often takes itself far too seriously, it's lovely to see a heritage watch manufacture such as Frederique Constant taking a more light-hearted approach.

One iteration is presented in steel and limited to 100 pieces, and the second in steel with a rose-gold tone crown and dial elements limited to 10 pieces.

£2,995, frederiqueconstant.com