After reading Mr. Kang’s ‘Poisons of Watches’, as a watchmaker who has loved watches for many years, I have a lot of emotions. The article mentions ‘If one day you have a chance to stand alone under the light at night, hold a magnifying glass more than 5 times, adjust your breathing, and stare at a good watch. Don’t rush to see anything initially, you can stare at the dial, hands or It’s a place on the watch that lasts five minutes, and you will definitely find some details that you usually miss. ”Tasting a watch is like tasting tea. Only with a peaceful state of mind can we experience the most in-depth, most detailed, most unique, and most valuable place of this small watch.
Looking back at the beginning of my contact with the watch, I just entered the society just after graduating from college. I feel that the G-shock worn for many years is somewhat studentish, and it is also due to the relationship of vanity. Due to the limited budget, I checked a lot of watch information on the Internet, and was unknowingly paralyzed by the watch’s ‘toxicity’. The design of the dial, the style of the hands, the material of the strap, the type of buckle, and the model of the movement all dazzled me. Finally, I selected a watch from IWC. So far, I still remember getting the watch and exposing the inexplicable excitement of the mask. I believe that all watch friends have this experience.
Back to this small watch, let’s talk about the “toxicity” of these watches that have the most exquisite technology and have the beauty of the country. What is the “poison”? Share some of my insights, and welcome all netizens to leave a message and let us make progress together.
The dial can be said to be the facade of a watch. It gives people the most intuitive first impression. It plays an important role in ‘connecting and supporting’. Only when the dial is right, will people have the desire to continue to understand the watch. Measuring the value of a watch, in addition to the movement, the design of the dial is also one of the keys. Here we introduce some highly skilled dial technology and distinctive dials.
Dial enamel technology
Enamel, also known as ‘Flang’ and ‘French Blue’, is actually also called Cloisonne, which is a transliteration of a foreign language. The most mysterious and noble ‘enamel watch’ in the dial is due to the enamel painting process.
The technique of painting enamel originated from the Flemish land painting enamel area at the border of Europe, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands in the middle of the 15th century. At the end of the 15th century, the Limoges in the Midwest of France developed into an important town for painting enamels based on its enamel-making process. In the early days, religious-themed utensils were made, and gradually they were made into decorative crafts.
Since the 18th century, enamel painting has been fully interpreted on enamel watches. At that time, most of the enamel watches were wall charts, exquisite and exquisite, elegant and noble. There are three types of single-sided, double-sided, and inner painting according to the location of the color. According to the theme of the performance, there are beautiful women, characters, animals, landscapes, Bible stories, war scenes, and local customs. Among these themes, Most of the beautiful pictures. In order to decorate the richness of enamel watches, watchmakers often use pearl-inlaid bezels or apply gilt gold to the frame to highlight the appreciation of enamel painting. The enamel watch’s fetal bones are mostly made of copper and gold, and there are some silver products, but gold is extremely rare.
When it comes to enamel watches, Jacques Dro has to be mentioned. As one of the oldest watch brands in the world, Jacques Dro has been acclaimed for its exquisite watchmaking and enamel skills, and is particularly good at the ‘big fire’ enamel technique, showing the perfect works of blending classical aesthetics and modern technology.
What is the ‘big fire’ enamel process?
Daming fire enamel has always been respected as the highest state of enamel technology. On balanced fired copper or gold, multi-layered colors and even micro-patterned patterns are painted with delicate enamel powder, and then fired and strengthened multiple times until the final enamel glass is fired. Into. After the firing is completed, the enamel painter will manually draw the chronograph scales and time scales on the surface, and then roast it to ensure that the surface decoration is perfectly firm on the surface. To put it plainly, it is to apply multiple layers of color on the same enamel, and then strengthen it by baking in a furnace. Daming fire enamel can be said to be the art of skill and ingenuity, and it is a double strict requirement for art and craftsmanship. As many colors as there are on the dial, how many baptisms will be experienced.
Jacques De Loire’s special watch. The watch is based on Jacques Droe’s most representative model of the hour and minute dial series, which uses its best-known big fire enamel technology and delicate enamel painting technology to draw lifelike tiger paintings in the eccentric disk. With the ivory white famous fire enamel dial, it shows a delicate and moist texture, just like jade.
In addition to the large fire enamel, the filigree enamel is also used on the dial. Filigree enamel. Filigree enamel is the most complicated of all enamel crafts, but it is also the most familiar to the Chinese. ‘Croatia’ is a type of filigree enamel. Filament enamel is the outline of the pattern on the metal tire bottom with metal wire, fixed with natural adhesive, and then welded to the metal tire. Then the enamel glazes of different colors are filled into the outlined outline. These enamel glazes are composed of ore and metal oxides ground into fine powder. When the metal sheet is baked in a special furnace at a temperature of 850 to 900 degrees Celsius, the glaze will change color due to high temperature and produce bright colors.
Filament enamel is difficult to be fine on the metal wire, the smaller the area of the pattern, the more difficult it is to make the thin metal wire. Finally, a rather delicate polishing process is required. The raised gold threads must be smoothed, the surface will become smooth, the gold threads will be more shiny, and the enamel surface will emit a charming flashing luster. Due to the extremely complicated production process of filigree enamel, only a few top watchmakers have the ability to make it since the 1950s.
The Hunting Minute Repeater introduced by Athenian Watches uses the silk enamel to be magical. The watch is equipped with a double-layer enamel face plate, with a small fish hidden in the middle of the double-face plate, showing the moment when the crocodile opened its mouth to devour the small fish. When the minute repeater function was activated, a thrilling African hunting trip began: the ferocious lion stretched out its claws and darted the little monkey, while the little monkey swayed and dodged in the tree, and there were elephants and giraffes deep in the jungle. In the water are lotus and waterfowl. The double-layered enamel faceplate and lifelike dolls are hand-crafted with filigree enamel technology, presenting the concept of time passing in a lively way. The complex and fine filigree enamel technique is vividly used, which is definitely the perfect crystallization of beauty and craftsmanship.
Dial carved craftsmanship
Since ancient times, watchmakers have been pursuing the artistry of dials, and carved dials are one of them. The art of carving has long been used by ancient Greek and Roman goldsmiths to decorate handicrafts. They can use a small carving knife to carve out a variety of patterns. This technique has been widely used in jewelry in the 15th century And on the watch.
Strictly speaking, fine carving is a collective term for several processes in the art of dial making, not a non-specific one. In other words, you can say that a certain craft belongs to the category of fine carving, but fine carving doesn’t stop there.
One of the most common fine carving methods in gold relief, ‘hammering deep relief’ is actually a common art in European advanced gold and silver processing and is a specialized art. The ‘hammering deep relief’ process does not require a knife or a ‘mold’. With just a small hammer and a few simple tools, it can be bent, stretched, spliced, compounded and formed on a gold sheet according to the template of the original painting. , Polishing and other very complicated processes. Deep relief is mainly shaved, but real deep relief micro-relief can look very three-dimensional. Called engraving, that is, smashing down with a tool. Although a knife is not used, the relief effect is not inferior to the work of the knife carving, and because there are no traces of the knife, the pattern is more uneven, and the characters’ lines are vivid and smooth.
Jacques Dro’s golden hour and minute seconds dial-four seasons series, decorated with golden birds. Exquisite workmanship and lifelike.
Bas-relief is also the most common method of fine carving in gold relief, which is easier than deep relief. For the sculptor, bas-relief and bas-relief are often used in the shape of a shadow. On the basis of bas-relief, the background or foreground part of the bas-relief becomes bas-relief. This not only looks more layered, but also breaks the flatness of the bas-relief, which also increases the difficulty of carving.
The Breguet classic complex series watch, the 18k white gold dial uses a bas-relief process. The rotating dial of the Niuzuo pattern depicts a child’s hand struggling to reach the adult’s hand depicted on the flange, which has a strong sense of hierarchy.
In addition to gold embossed shell engraving is also one of the more common methods of fine carving, which is attributed to the large number of mother-of-pearl used in dials. Shell carving can also be made into deep relief and bas-relief. The difficulty is that no mistakes can be made in the carving process, because there is no chance for correction after each knife cut. This requires the sculptor to be absolutely stable, accurate, and cruel.
Breguet Queen of Naples watch with embossed dial on the dial. With a simple steel needle, the technician scribes patterns with a depth of less than two millimeters on different levels of the shell to form an extraordinary detailed carving decoration, which makes the shell appear three-dimensional and exude gorgeous beauty.
There is also a fine engraving process that combines enamel, engraving filled enamel and carved transparent enamel. The finished bas-relief or relief is covered with transparent colored enamel for firing. Usually, the relief under the enamel is in a geometric pattern. The engraving technique of filling enamel is an ancient enamel technique. The difficulty lies in that when a carver sculpts a pre-designed pattern on a silver tire, the thickness of the line on the pattern must be accurately reflected. The sculptor needs to carefully sculpt the grooves of different figures to show the structure pattern with vivid lines. In addition, there is the carved transparent enamel process, which uses the transparent texture and colored enamel glaze to show the finely carved patterns on the silver tire.
Vacheron Constantin’s ‘Angel’ watch. The sculptor first sketched the shape of the angel on the dial and dug or carved the groove in the corresponding area. Then the enamel master filled the groove with enamel and then used 800 ° Repeated firing to a high temperature of 850 ° C, and finally grinding and glazing, can be said to challenge the limits of the dial technology.
There is so much appealing about a small watch, it is impossible to talk for three days and three nights, so I will continue to talk about the ‘toxicity’ of the watch in the next episode, so stay tuned! (Text / picture watch home Dong Hang)