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The Art of Hand-Guillochage at Breguet, Preserving Traditional Crafts

The Art of Hand-Guillochage at Breguet, Preserving Traditional Crafts

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A exemplary Breguet is effectively conspicuous, even from the start. The fluted caseband, the welded drags, the Breguet hands, the Breguet numerals and the mysterious mark are a portion of the changeless codes that make a Breguet a Breguet. The agelessness of the brand dwells in a style that was set up by Abraham-Louis Breguet more than two centuries prior, the incredible watchmaker who had the most profound influence on horological craftsmanship. A portion of his inventions changed the universe of watchmaking: the perfecting of oneself winding instrument with his ‘perpétuelle’ watches, the ‘pare-chute’ stun insurance framework, the tourbillon or the Breguet hairspring – to give some examples. Be that as it may, today, we’ll center around the specialty of guilloché or engine-turned dials.

In expansion to his different plan and specialized innovations, Breguet likewise introduced various improving techniques to watchmaking. Past their esthetic interest, these often had a viable application or capacity. This includes engine-turning or guillochage, which has been utilized by the brand from its most punctual days, since the year 1786 (according to Emmanuel Breguet). The distinctive mathematical examples engraved on the dial makes them look magnificent yet in addition make them simpler to peruse – see beneath some illustration of antique Breguet pocket watches with guilloché dials:

Guillochage is a technique that showed up in the sixteenth century. It was first performed on soft materials like wood and ivory and afterward on metals, explicitly for goldsmith and silversmith work. Lines are progressively scratched into the dial by means of a hand-worked machine (rose engine, straight-line machine), either in straight lines or in circles. The cuts are rehashed, combined and can cross each other to make a huge number of mathematical themes: Hobnail clous de Paris and pavé de Paris, barleycorn or grain d’orge, waves, chequerboard, and so on…

Hand-guillochage requires mastery, center, coordination, tolerance and deft hands. A plate is fixed to the engine-turning machine. Different molded rotating wheels (rosettes) control the development to make various examples. With one hand, the expert turns the workpiece with a wrench, with the other he manages the cutting instrument. The positioning of the piece, the speed of revolution and tension on the instrument for each string are basic to obtaining a normal and predictable stylistic theme. Guillochage is tedious and unforgiving as long stretches of work can be ruined in a second. The most complex dials often need over an entire day of guillochage.

Guillochage or engine-turning can be performed with various strategies – the outcome obtained with a stamping instrument or a CNC (the two techniques are utilized for available extravagance watches at bigger creation scales) is acceptable and customary. Be that as it may, such dials neglect to duplicate the incomparable shine of hand-created guillochage. With hand-applied engine-turning, each dial becomes extraordinary, the endowment of blemish being the seal of authenticity. This master handcrafting makes each watch an inimitable show-stopper. A stepped clous de Paris dial won’t ever have a similar sharpness than one that has been hand-engraved.

At Breguet, craftsmans start from a strong gold plate (and some of the time with other materials, for example, mother-of-pearl for a portion of the women’s assortments) on which the outline of the dial design has been engraved. This assists with keeping within the limits of the beautification and to see the beginning and the finish of every improvement. The engine-turning is then performed. Among customs at Breguet, each guilloché theme is outlined with a liseré (an outline) to make a reasonable division. The dials are then silvered and lacquered with a profoundly straightforward stain known as zapon. They bear the inscription ‘Swiss Guilloché Main’ and the customary mystery signature.

Today Breguet specialists are still quietly hand-crafting engine-turned dials at their production in the Vallée de Joux. Breguet dials are either plated or engine turned (aside from a couple of special cases, including the sort XX family). The brand is one of only a handful not many to rehearse hand-guillochage in-house with a full atelier preserving this sacred art. There are no schools and Breguet trains its engine-turners in-house, who require three years of training.

Similarly, as the assembling of engine-turning machines stopped during the twentieth century, Breguet figured out how to gain a few machines worked before all the creators vanished. A devoted workshop cautiously fixes these and returns them to operational readiness. The brand has even been manufacturing its own machines for a couple of years at this point. For more information, kindly visit .