Adding a few diamonds to a watch: how hard can that be? As it turns out, stone setting is a lot more difficult than many appreciate. Diamond-setting watches requires the expertise and craftsmanship of about half a dozen highly skilled craftspeople, each a master of their craft.
Joshua Muchow became somewhat informed about gemstones and related techniques in studying for the jewelry-heavy Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève categories we discuss annually. This new information has sparked a significant amount of passion for the topic, leaving him wanting to share some of what he’s learned about one of the most beautiful sides of haute horology: gems and their settings.
Timepiece repairs can be expensive and often take a long time, so you generally want to avoid damaging a watch. Here, John Keil lists five common things you may not be aware of that can damage a watch and how to prevent them.
Joshua Munchow talks about steel here, the metal that made the world! Watch cases and other movement components are commonly made from certain stainless steels, 304 and 316L being the most frequent. It also happens that some brands hold exclusive rights to use specific alloys in the production of its watches. Here’s what you should know about steel.
Close to 120 years after Abraham-Louis Breguet patented the tourbillon, master watchmaker Alfred Helwig (1886-1974) created a “flying” tourbillon at the German School of Watchmaking in Glashütte. The flying tourbillon became somewhat characteristic of Glashütte and lives on in a few very special watches today. Who was Alfred Helwig? Find out here.
Humans have long had a fascination with the depths of the ocean, striving to go ever deeper, ever further, and ever faster by pushing the limits of the human body, technology, and advancing modern science. But like all things, we are often faced with limits. Enter the helium escape valve.
Hairsprings are miniscule. Generally no more than one centimeter in overall diameter when coiled, they are roughly 50 microns thick and 150 microns wide. Tiny they may be, but insignificant they are not. In fact, they are so significant that Rolex refers to them as “the guardians of time.” But what do silicon hairsprings bring to the table? Watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains why he went from skeptic to fan.
Many people believe resonance to be very rare, when in fact every single timekeeping device (yes, even quartz) is a resonant mechanism. But clocks and watches featuring resonance as we generally understand it in watchmaking are few and far between. In the last few decades, less than a handful of highly skilled watchmakers have taken up the challenge of creating a resonance watch. Here, Joshua Munchow looks at the pros and cons of the different approaches taken by the three leaders in this technology.
In this video, our friends at The Watches TV headed to Bunter SA to learn just what the term “invisible setting” means (hint: it is a complicated style of gem setting without visible prongs holding the gems so they look like they are floating). You may find this as interesting as we do.
High-end automata today beautifully illustrate that extraordinary engineering can be combined with impressive artistic crafts to wonderful ends. But even in the highest quality examples, the principles of what drives automata are largely the same as they have been for centuries because most are based on very straightforward mechanical principles to create motion. Everything you ever wanted to know about automata is right here.