Traditional Hand Finishing and Chronometry

Traditional Hand Finishing and Chronometry

Postby koimaster » June 6th 2017, 3:45pm

When watch collectors venture into the realm of high horology, some never really looked beyond aspects like brand recognition, avant-garde-ness or multi-complications of a timepiece. Today, appreciation for hand finishing is still not1 widely understood by collectors. Granted, high horology does not strictly necessitate hand finishing but the emphasis on craftsmanship has always been a part of traditional watchmaking. Although there are many things a machine can do better than a human (eg. CNC milling), certain finishing work can only be accomplished by a pair of skilled hands. And therein lies the charm of hand finishing – the precious “character” or “emotion” bestowed upon a timepiece through the blood, sweat and tears of an artisan.

As I delved deeper into haute horlogerie, specifically the independent watchmakers, there is something similar that struck me regarding a few interesting individuals’ fundamental approach towards hand finishing and basic chronometry. Perhaps “interesting” is an understatement after all. As a matter of fact, most of them (eg. Philippe Dufour, Kari Voutilainen, Laurent Ferrier, and perhaps Aaron Becsei) are grandmaster watchmakers who produce arguably the most exquisitely hand finished movements on this planet, period. In this article, I would be sharing this common set of, let’s just call it “philosophical modus operandi” (or PMO in short) that I have observed.


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