10 Jan Everything You Want To Know About Luxury Watch Making
There is nothing quite as timeless, stylish, and classic as a luxury timepiece. While some luxury brands have long histories as leaders in the niche, others are emerging as new players to offer a modern twist on the classic accessory. The art and craft of watchmaking is a long-standing tradition and, in the luxury market, that means craftsmen must find a way to combine the best modern developments in the field with the constancy of time-honoured tradition. If you’ve been wondering what goes on behind the face of your timepiece, here is everything you want to know about luxury watch making.
Education Is Required
Some things do not change throughout history. One constant in the luxury watch industry is that not just anyone can jump into a career as a watch maker. In order to even consider a career in the industry, aspiring luxury watch makers need to embark on a combination of intense study and practical training. To earn your certification from the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Education Program (WOSTEP), you’ll need to put in their required 3000 hours of bench work. However, learning to become a luxury watch maker isn’t all hands on. WOSTEP students also need to have a solid understanding of theory and the history of horology.
They Are Made By Hand
In an age when more and more manufacturing is done by machines, a key distinguishing factor in the luxury market is hand-made quality. While some high-end companies do use automated machines for some parts of the process, the final assembly is done by hand and checked over with the precision of a highly trained human eye. The hand-made quality of a luxury timepiece gives it a personal touch and artistry that cannot be achieved any other way.
They Use The Best Materials
In order to create a finished product that is the ultimate luxury, every individual component must be of the highest quality. Rolex, perhaps the most well-known player in the luxury watch market, even has their own foundry which produces all their gold and precious metals. This type of oversight and accountability allows Roles to make sure that only the best materials go into their watches. While Rolex doesn’t produce their own steel, they due demand a higher grade than most which is more resistant to corrosion and maintains a higher polish.
They Aren’t Mass Produced
Like most products in the luxury market, the world’s best watches are not mass-produced. The time it takes to create such a high-quality product means that there will inevitably be a more limited number of them available. While the laws of supply and demand may mean that this drives up the price, the individual time and care that goes into sourcing high quality materials and hand-making the final product means that you’ll be wearing a piece more akin to a work of art.
It’s A Long Process
Building a luxury watch from scratch takes time. First, the individual movements need to be designed and fabricated, and this can only happen after the luxury materials have been ordered and delivered. Next, the many individual pieces and moving parts need to be put together by hand. Once all the parts make it through a quality control phase, they move on to the decorative stage where they are finished with engravings, patterns, and paintings all done by hand. After the final assembly, a watch is thoroughly tested and checked. For 600 hours, a watch will be put under the type of stress and strain it will likely encounter while being worn. Watches are shaken, flipped, and vibrated to make sure they can withstand day-to-day wear. If a watch makes it though this final process, it is finally ready to be sold.
Despite modern manufacturing advances, the field of luxury watch-making is one area that still requires the dedicated skill and craftsmanship of a true artisan. The next time you reach for your timepiece, take a moment to appreciate its true beauty, both inside and out.