In this day and age of electronics and technology and automation, hand made watches are in many ways becoming a lost art. Yet for many, it is precisely the human touch that makes fine watches so special, so alluring. And it is why hand made watches from the likes of Philippe DuFour — undoubtedly one of the greatest and most important figures in modern watchmaking — now fetch princely sums in the secondary market.
The bigger picture here is an opportunity to mention the important initiative led by Gruebel Forsey. Their “Le Garde Temps” project started a few years ago continues to move forward with the very important goal of recording and preserving for posterity traditional watchmaking techniques. Which brings us to today’s video. Greubel Forsey is financing Philippe DuFour to produce a film for this very goal: demosntrating watchmaking techniques that slowly are being lost, slowly are fading from memory. So that generations to come, people will have a recorded lesson, on how to do these steps of watchmaking. Philippe DuFour gives us a glimpose into what he is going to be doing in his workshops for this film. He would like to share his knowledge and translate to the next generation what he knows, focusing on the most traditional handcraft, traditional ways of building a watch – as he says we have a duty to transmit this knowledge to future geneations. Watch DuFour demonstrate the use of a bow to polish a screw or jewel sink, and use diamond paste for the art of black/flat screw polishing — all by hand.
Photo credits: Phillips