We all know that the human touch in fine craftsmanship, especially watchmaking, is an irreplaceable skill. However, Baselworld 2019 will once again prove to us how valuable and mesmerizing handcrafting truly is.
The crown’ jewel for many watch luxury brands such as Patek Philippe or Rolex is the fact that from cases and dials to their beating hearts, their watches are finished by hand by a dedicated, trained master artisans, with rare skills and knowledge passed through generations.
The detailed manual work carried out on the internal mechanisms of a watch is where hand-finishing reaches its unique zenith. Movements are created using advanced technologies, artisanal know-how, authenticity, and detailed finishing.
After machining, every movement component (many of which will never be seen) passes through or is finished by human hands, and often decorated. The same processes are applied for all calibers, from Grand Complications to classic calibers. Specific surfaces can be so minuscule that they’re barely perceptible to the naked eye, and craftsmen work with binocular microscopes.
This trustworthy refinement is carried out by talented craftsmen whose raison d’être is the integrity and precision of what they do, and whose fulfillment comes from the fact that everything inside the watch has been enhanced by them to move with soft expertise. The quality of finish determines not just how well the part will perform its function, but for how long.
In the past when oils were less stable, the sinking of wheels kept the oil more directed toward the axis. Today, it’s a purely aesthetic job, which is related to the attention to detail and contributes to the overall refinement of a superb watch. The different wheels (flat metal circles) all receive a polished sink, which is a concave chamfer or slightly hollowed groove. It’s done using a diamond-cutting tool on a mechanical lathe, which is lowered onto the carefully placed piece, where it cuts a circle like a bull’s-eye or Spitfire logo. The sinks, shining, perfect circles, are made one by one.
Stay with us to discover more about Baselworld 2019, watchmaking and the finest craftsmanship.
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