Chain bracelets may become in and out of fashion with time. Nevertheless, for many the passion for creating them never vanishes, as we will be able to admire in Baselworld 2019.
The golden time of chain bracelets is now in the past. They are complex to produce and therefore challenging to resize or repair. It is a struggle to find a retailer today who can adjust or repair a chain bracelet, however, many luxury brands dedicated to watchmaking are able to do that service for their unique and exclusive timepieces.
Considering that each link of the most intricate bracelet is individually handmade, positioned, aligned, assembled, and soldered, it is no wonder that it takes a long time to create one. The skill and expertise of the chainsmiths is fascinating to admire. They begin with almost nothing, just a simple gold wire.
The first step is to make this wire the required diameter by pulling it through a drawplate, having coated it with beeswax to facilitate the task. Next, the wire is twisted around a circular, oval or elliptical mandrel in copper or steel. It must be very tight and evenly wrapped around this tube to ensure the uniformity of the links obtained by cutting each coil. A sheet of paper, placed between the mandrel and the wire, helps create a degree of clearance for when the coil is taken off the mandrel, the paper is burned away with a blowlamp before the coil is removed.
The first link is closed and soldered. The next one is attached to it before being closed and soldered in its turn. This is repeated, link by link, always by hand. When the links are simply inserted one in the other, the result is a basic curb chain. But here, as in knitting, the patterns can become more complex and interesting.
Stay with us to find out more about Baselworld 2019, Haute Horlogerie and the finest craftsmanship.
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