Vincent Calabrese on movement finishing -
"When we speak of finishing it makes me think of the factitious fronts (facade) of a building in the movies or the mirrors that the explorers in the middle ages gave the natives to coax and then swindle them.
It is of course understood that any work should be well finished but often in watchmaking, finishing is used to hide a lack of technical quality or the lack of creativity and personality of the piece.
The quality and competence of a watchmaker can not be verified in the finishing, which is so much appreciated by enthusiasts, but in the quality of the regulation, on the safety of the functions, in the regularity of the play…
Furthermore, the finishing can be summed up to the decoration of the bridges by circular graining (perlage) or Geneva stripes (côtes de Genève), of angling, polishing of the screws etc… all things that in watchmaking are done by machines or what we call petites mains (literally “little hands”, persons (often women) used to do the decoration).
Personally I do not want to cheat and use the petites mains. I execute, mechanically, a well finished decoration of my bridges and plates for my 2892-A2s and for my hand made movements I try to do the best that I can.
I would also like to note that I could never receive the Geneva hallmark, due to the fact that I live in Lausanne and, in addition to that, I do not want to receive the official chronometer bulletin, since I do not want to produce watches having lower chronometrical results than the ones I am currently producing.
I not only offer original products, I fight to keep my prices as low as possible and to offer a price/quality ratio without competition.
I want my watches to be bought for their character and creativity and would be very disappointed if I had to content myself with fashionable finishing to get people interested in my works."
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Additionally, we would like to thank Tina Calabrese for her support and efforts. Without her help this post, and others like it, would not be possible.
All photographs taken by Tina.
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