Experts talking

Every time, the "Experts talking" column develops a different case.
The author's aim, as connoisseur and authority about the matter, is to help you to understand the subject by making these informations comprehensible and digestive.
Presently: Complicated watches

Already available
- Autoquartz
- Chronograph or chronometer
- Shock-absorber
- Water-resistance

- The Swiss watch production
- Material and finishes for watch cases

- Watch Professionals I
- Watch Professionals II
- Watch-cases
- Sapphire crystal
- Boîte et bracelet
- Bevelling and finishes...(I)
- Bevelling and finishes...(II)
- Bevelling and finishes...(III)
- Bevelling and finishes...(IV)
- Bevelling and finishes...(V)
- Bevelling and finishes...(VI)

- Bevelling and finishes...(VII)
- Bevelling and finishes...(VIII)
- Bevelling and finishes...(IX)
- Bevelling and finishes..(X)
- The Tourbillon
- Observations on top-of-the-range mechanical watches I
- Observations on top-of-the-range...II
- Observations on top-of-the-range...III
- Observations on top-of-the-range...IV
- Stricking watches
- The Screws (I)
- The Screws (II)
- The Screws (III)
- The Screws (IV)
- The Screws (V)
- Chronometry

- at present


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The author

Having acquired an educational background in economics and literature, Caroline Sermier fell in love with watchmaking right from her arrival at Renaud & Papi.
Her current responsibilities as head of the communication department allows her to blend a taste for writing with her fascination for complicated watches, and particularly for the finishing and decorative details on top-of-the-range luxury watches.

25. Observations on top-of-the-range mechanical watches (III)



4. Finishing requirements and criteria

4.1. General considerations

Finishing a movement consists of performing decorative operations when all functional machining operations are completed, in order to create the artistic emotion of beauty and technical perfection.

General criterion for finish : burrs are unattractive and impair the smooth running of the mechanism.

Notions relating to bevelling : Each type of surface of a part has a name ; each is touched up, corrected and decorated by hand.

  • Flanks : graining
  • Underside : matt appearance
  • Top surface : flat graining and smooth appearance ; no cross graining is tolerated, or a mirror-like appearance, (flat polishing)
  • Milling : flat graining

The edges between the visible surface and the flank of the part (chamfers) are finely bevelled and polished. The rim is thus underlined by the light playing on the bevels.

Note : Hand-bevelling is an extremely meticulous task.
Machine-bevelling is faster but the appearance is very different.
The only proof that a part has been decorated by hand is the interior angle. No machine is currently capable of achieving this.
It is by observing this detail that one discovers this art which perpetuates the grand watchmaking tradition.




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