Polishing Artisan

passion and perfectionism

To comprehend the degree of perfectionism cultivated by Chopard, one needs to have experienced a close look at the surface of a watch case or a piece of jewellery, or to have glimpsed the beauty of a few tiny components in order to grasp the passion with which they have been polished and enhanced by the Manufacture's artisans.

(On-screen text: Chopard presents)

(Kevin sits at a workbench, polishing a small piece of jewellery.)

[Kevin] I enjoy working on chains and necklaces. It's what I feel the most confident doing. There's a risky side that I quite like, it appeals to me. It's something I love doing.

(Kevin places a finished piece of jewellery featuring nested metal rings with free-moving gems in the innermost and smallest ring and the word Chopard engraved on the glass face next to the polished outer ring of a similar unfinished piece.)

[a sustained note in the background]

(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.)

(A portrait of Kevin.)

(On-screen text: Kevin - Jewellery-Polishing Artisan)

[Kevin] A polisher's hands are their main tool. The whole job is based on touch.

(Kevin enters his workshop wearing a black polo shirt embroidered with the word "Chopard". He selects a tool and polishes a small piece of jewellery.)

[Kevin] I really enjoy my work. I've loved it ever since I started my apprenticeship. Making necklaces, earrings and seeing them worn by someone, usually a woman, is lovely.

(On-screen text: Hand-polishing challenging areas)

[Kevin] We can say that we've achieved something that adds a touch of the sublime to the wearer.

(On-screen text: Polishing on a lathe)

[Kevin] We've seen our jewellery on royalty, and in the Elton John film. We can say that we made the pieces you see in films or worn by people in magazines, on television.

(On-screen text: In-house cotton bud polishing technique)

[Kevin] It's quite something to know you've held them in your hands. It's a great feeling.

(Kevin selects tiny tools to polish the intricate curves and corners of a small shape.)

[Kevin] We do everything by hand, for polishing in any case, from start to finish. It adds value to a piece of jewellery. Chopard is proud of its craftsmanship.

(On-screen text: Polishing using a unique in-house cotton bud technique)

[Kevin] Each piece is unique, whereas all machined pieces are the same. If everything was automated, I'd feel less like an artisan than I do working by hand.

(Kevin inspects some finished rings in gold with elaborate floral designs.)

[Kevin] Meticulousness is crucial to our work. People think it's easy.

(Kevin shines a gold ring on a band of fabric.)

[Kevin] They don't realise what's involved, everything that goes into it.

(Kevin rotates the gold ring, examining it and places it next to a similar finished piece of jewellery featuring nested metal rings with free-moving diamonds in the innermost and smallest ring and the word Chopard engraved on the glass face.)

[Kevin] It isn't always easy.

(Close-up of the piece of jewellery with the nested rings, the light catching the different surfaces.)

[Kevin] If we have to do risky work to a piece, when we could break it, we have to concentrate harder. You have to cut yourself off from the world and focus on the piece.

(On-screen text: Preparing gemsetting prongs for polishing using the brushing technique)

(Kevin gently polishes the prongs of a small intricate piece, places it among other similar pieces resting on black fabric and delicately examines another one.)

[Kevin] This was particularly true for the Animal collections, the Disney collections, and the Love bracelets, which were complex and very enjoyable to make. I've always been at Chopard and I still enjoy it just as much. I still love coming to work.

[soft piano music continues to play]

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

"Even if customers never see them, they will know that everyone at Chopard has taken concern for fine craftsmanship to extremes."

Caroline Scheufele, Chopard Co-President and Artistic Director

Kevin, Polishing Artisan

Polishing is a demanding craft, requiring accuracy and meticulous care as well as a sense of beauty and harmony. Such is the work of Kevin, who has been a jewellery polishing Artisan within the Maison since 2007. Right from the time of his apprenticeship with Chopard, Kevin has been trained to safeguard this ancestral expertise and precious skills. This approach also represents a means of preserving the very soul of watchmaking and jewellery. Machines serve only as an extension of the Artisan’s hand, such as the diamond polishing disc, fitted to a lathe, used to work on even the tiniest screws and reveal their beauty. The final touch, however, is mirror polishing.

"Mirror polish"

Historically, used to prevent corrosion, today, it is more a matter of perfection. The surface of a component is polished until the Artisan can see his or her own reflection in it – hence the name ‘mirror polish’. Artisans thus work to magnify that which is visible – such as a ring, a necklace or a watch case – as well as invisible elements such as certain movement components. This is all part of a quest for the ultimate beauty, a value cherished by Chopard’s Co-Presidents. Well aware of this, the Maison’s polishers demonstrate a subtle blend of passion for their craft, natural pride in fine workmanship, and a relentless pursuit for perfection, along with a humble attitude.

From expertise to emotions

Our mains d'art