Movement Decoration Artisan

The decoration workshop

The decoration workshop at Chopard Manufacture in Fleurier is a special place in which the walls are punctuated by large bay windows that reveal a panoramic view of the bountiful nature all around. Véronique, the Artisan of Movement Decoration, appreciates being surrounded by beauty in order to create works with great aesthetic appeal. It is here that movement decoration is performed: Côtes de Genève, bevelling, circular-graining, circular satin-brushing, sunburst patterning, and Fleurisanne engraving - all skills that highlight the beauty of the watch movement and the intelligence behind each deft touch.

[A sustained note in the background]

(On-screen text: Chopard presents)

(Véronique picks out a tiny part and fixes it in place under a microscope.)

When I first started, I knew nothing about decoration. I instantly liked it. Each part has been shaped by hand and we work on all of them. If we do 6 parts in a row, they'll always be standard but never the same. Each piece is slightly unique.

(On-screen text: ART, from the Latin ARS, ARTIS. Talent, skill, dexterity.)

[Soft piano music plays]

(On-screen text: The word ART becomes ARTISAN.)

(On-screen text: From expertise to emotion. Chopard)

(A black and white graphite sketch of the palm of a hand, surrounded by the words EXPERTISE, CREATIVITY, EMOTION.)

I like working with my hands because I feel like I'm creating.

(A portrait of Véronique.)

(On-screen text: Véronique, Movement Decorating Artisan)

I work at Fleurier at Chopard Manufacture. I am a chamferer. My job involves embellishing parts that have been roughed out.

(Close-up of Véronique using a tiny sharp tool to cut into the part.)

(On-screen text: Roughing out an angle)

Our work must meet the Poinçon de Genève criteria.

(On-screen text: Satin-brushing a rim)

Parts must be decorated all over and have edges, chamfering, sinks and smoothed-down faces.

(On-screen text: Polishing a sink)

If it's not approved, it won't be a Poinçon de Genève part.

(Véronique cuts a piece of wood at a precise angle and uses it to polish around the angles of the part.)

I'm a patient person, you have to be very determined to learn a trade like this. It requires enormous patience. You must be meticulous, fussy even, and a perfectionist to be able to do a truly excellent job.

(On-screen text: Polishing an angle)

Some parts require 1 or 2 hours of work, so you have to love it and get in your own little bubble. We're concentrated on our work. I can't explain how, but whenever I start a part, I have to find a solution for achieving my goal each time.

(Véronique cleans the piece after filing and smoothing it.)

It's like any artisanal trade, you know when you have to stop. You sense when you're done and can't go any further, because if you do you might deform it, so you have to stop at the right moment.

(On-screen text: Satin-brushing the face)

Once a part has been completed and assembled in the movement, you see the light playing on the chamfers, and that's when everything's revealed.

(Véronique examines her work through an eyepiece. Close-up of the part glinting in the light within the timepiece.)

A bit of ourselves goes into these parts, that's why it's emotional.

(On-screen text: Chopard - The artisan of emotions - Since 1860)

"The satisfaction of having pushed attention to detail to the point of decorating the invisible is part of the beauty of this profession."

Véronique, The Artisan of Movement Decoration

Véronique, The Artisan of Movement Decoration

Based on the same principle as circular-graining, a hidden decoration made of overlapping satin-finish concentric circles, circular satin-brushing, in turn, brings added brilliance to the component by the decoration Artisan pressing 9-micron sandpaper on the surface of the part, which is also turned at the same time, so as to give a beautifully smooth result. Among the criteria for obtaining the precious Poinçon de Genève is the need to avoid leaving any random machining marks on the parts of a movement. All the elements composing a L.U.C watch movement are thus bevelled using micromotors: a means of infusing the creation with vibrant life and radiance. Lending a sunburst effect to a component in which all the straight lines of the decoration start from the same point of intersection, like the sun's rays, Côtes de Genève are reserved for the visible surface of the bridges and are not applied to the functional parts of the movement so as not to affect its accuracy.

Fleurisanne engraving

Mirror polishing requires particular dexterity and when perfectly done has the power to reflect the surrounding decor, as its name implies. And last but not least, the forgotten tradition of Fleurisanne engraving, an art in its own right, involving engraving bas-relief sculptures representing flowers and volutes on the Swiss watch movement, was revived by Chopard Co-President, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, 15 years ago. Only a few one-of-a-kind creations or others produced in very limited series will pass through the hands of the engraver who will be able to bring out delicate sculptures from the precious material.

From expertise to emotions

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