Video: Greubel Forsey And The Art Of High-End Finishing
by Ian Skellern
A very significant percentage of the (hand) work − and therefore cost − of a high-end watch goes into the hand-finishing of components. While the art of finishing began for practical reasons (perlage and Geneva waves catch and trap dust and mirror polishes reduce corrosion), good watchmakers began using superlative finishing to differentiate their work and add value to their movements.
Today, fine finishing is no longer essential from a practical point of view: watches are assembled in dust- and moisture-free environments, and waterproofing generally does a good job of keeping moisture and dust out of the timepiece during daily use.
But fine finishing isn’t just about mechanical practicality: contrasting surface finishes visually break up large surfaces, and reflections off mirror-polished steel entice the eye to look further. And finishes can be a signature of sorts, think of Breguet’s guilloche dials or Greubel Forsey’s English-style frosted plates.
Few brands take hand finishing as seriously as Greubel Forsey, where each and every component is individually decorated. Finishing a single bridge can require more than two days of work, and that’s just one of hundreds of components found within the brand’s usually quite complicated movements.
And then the watchmaker has to assemble all of these beautifully decorated parts, without making a single scratch.
In this video by The Watches TV, Stephen Forsey explains why finishing is so important to Greubel Forsey and takes a look at how the whole process takes place.
For more videos by The Watches TV, please visit www.thewatches.tv.