Fleurisanne Engraving Artisan

Fleurisanne engraving enjoyed its heyday in the 19th century and in Fleurier's watchmaking workshops, care was taken to decorate the movements of the Swiss watches with volutes (scrolling patterns) and floral motifs. Upon seeing a gold watch featuring a movement decorated with delicate volutes in the Fleurier tradition stored in the L.U.CEUM, the Chopard Museum, located within the Manufacture in Fleurier, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele felt the desire to revive this neglected tradition and decorate the movements of certain one-of-a-kind or very limited-edition luxury watches with the help of Nathalie, an Artisan of movement decoration for Chopard since 2004, and who has since become a Master of Fleurisanne engraving.
"We had this mutual opportunity: a member of our team wished to learn this skill and we wanted to give her the opportunity to learn, practice and finally make these pieces, thus perpetuating this particular aspect of Fleurier’s heritage."
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele

Nathalie, Fleurisanne engraving artisan

"Each Swiss watch produced is unique. Decorating the movement of a limited edition of just eight Swiss watches takes one full year of work and each piece produced by the Manufacture’s decoration workshops is unique. "

Nathalie, Fleurisanne engraving artisan

After training in a minting company and patient practice in imagining three-dimensional shapes while perceiving the sculpture in the making within the material; after alternating between repeated failures and beautiful hopes, she finally mastered this ornamental art, turning her passion into a profession. Seated at her workbench, the artist designs the volutes and other motifs on the Swiss watch movement bridges herself, using a pencil, all freehand, a technique requiring perfect mastery of volumes and shapes. Using a sharp-tipped graver she marks the component before removing material around the floral motifs so as to add relief. The flowers appear to emerge from the previous metal like bas relief sculptures. That is however not enough to embellish a Swiss watch movement Fleurier-style: the background must also be finely chased, dot by dot,

with the same graving tool. She then polishes the motifs, a highly perilous task given the difficulties involved in polishing gold, which is an extremely soft material that scratches easily. Decorating the movement of a limited edition of just eight Swiss watches takes one full year of work. Only some luxury watches pass through her hands, but they are unmistakably ennobled in this process. Some of her tools are 15 years old: files for removing shavings; punches; as well as gravers which she makes herself, sharpened and polished so as to ensure no trace is left in each engraved groove. In this wealth of detail, the importance devoted to the human touch and to beauty is clearly perceptible: it does indeed take time to embellish time.

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