At the just-concluded 2015 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, Blancpain relied on the new Villeret series Ganesha created by the ‘Master of Arts’ studio Assorted copper craft watches, won the best craft watch award.
Red Copper Craft
Ganesha red copper craft watch, listen to its name Shakudō craft, refers to its dial. Red copper, originally from Japan, is an alloy mainly composed of copper and gold, showing a dark green color between blue and black. After passivation treatment, the black luster of red copper will gradually deepen and show a more intense color, which is very beautiful.
The passivation process requires a solution consisting of copper acetate (green-gray), which has traditionally been made in Japan and is called rokushō in Japanese. With the increase of the proportion of rokushō solution, the black luster of the alloy will gradually become darker and show a more intense color. Historically, red copper has been used with other materials to make utensils such as swords, decorations and jewelry. Craftsmen who are proficient in red copper forging technology often sculpt and decorate their works.
In India, the Ganesha is the god who covers all obstacles, the god of wisdom, talent and prudence, and the leader of education and academics. The red dial of the watch is decorated with a portrait of the ganesha Ganesh, using another process of the Blancpain Le Brassus watchmaking workshop, the gold carving process.
In the 17th century, the gold carving technique introduced to Switzerland by French Hugueno artisans was a very important part of watchmaking. Gold carving is divided into three-dimensional relief sculptures, unique splendid carvings, and shell molding. The gold sculptor can only carve in gold, stainless steel or platinum after years of experience. First, you need to draw a sketch on a plane, and then engrav the pattern directly on the watch with the tip of a knife. After that, use a chisel to refine the drawing according to the appropriate carving style. In this way, once seemingly easy, in fact, complicated watch carving can be completed.
The most traditional and pure gold carving craftsmanship needs to be completed by hand. The gold sculptor carved various patterns and patterns on the dial or plywood with various hand tools. Different sculpting methods require the use of different tools. The engraving only requires the use of engraving knives with different widths, and the relief requires additional chisels and Puncher. It is no wonder that more than 40 carving knives are placed on the work table of a gold sculptor. The carving knives are also divided into different types, and they are selected according to the position and size of the carving. The gold carving master needs to be very calm when holding the carving knife to ensure the safety of use. Therefore, each gold carving master will make a set of the most suitable tools according to his wrist size, carving habits and needs.
Blancpain’s Le Brassus large complex watchmaking workshop has an elite gold sculpture team with both male and female gold sculptures, which is rare in the industry. One of them, Ms. Mary, a very outstanding sculpting technician, was awarded the highest prize in French handicrafts in the heraldic sculpting category, which symbolized the highest honor in the sculpting industry in 2011.
In addition to the ganesha, the decorative elements on the dial are equally exquisite. This is entirely due to the use of the third and most difficult technique of the Blancpain Le Brassus watchmaking workshop, Damascus gold inlay.
The name Damascening comes from the famous ancient city of Syria, Damascus. In the 13th century, this tradition, which originated in the Mesopotamian plains and was commonly used for metal vase decoration, was passed from Persia to India. In the 15th century, its aesthetic charm went further to the land of Central Europe.
For thousands of years, Damascus gold setting has been used on many different occasions. It was once mainly used for weapon decoration. Craftsmen use this process to embed their names, year of manufacture, vocabulary, or other relevant information on the weapon. Through the gold inlaying process, leaves, courtyards, or dragons can be inlaid, or polished to a smooth surface, or to form a relief effect. In addition, many people will inlaid animal patterns on hunting guns. In addition to setting gold, traditional Damascus crafts can also be used for setting gems.
When applied to clocks, this delicate process requires 0.2 to 0.4 mm pattern grooves on a modified 1 to 2 mm metal dial, and then precious metals such as gold and silver (the ones used here are (Gold) is poured into the groove, and then the filled metal is hammered into place carefully, and the surface is polished to make it smooth and flat, and finally it is manually carved on it.
It is also reasonable to win the Best Craftsmanship Watch Award using the three processes of the Blancpain Le Brassus large complex watchmaking workshop on one watch at the same time. Le Brassus, one of Blancpain’s two major watchmaking centers, brings together the five extraordinary craftsmanships of the watch industry under the same roof, in addition to the three items mentioned above, as well as enamel and gem setting.
As we all know, enamel techniques are divided into different types, but Blancpain only makes two types. The most difficult micro-painted enamel in enamel is formed in a square on the dial. It is the most unique big fire enamel in plain enamel.
Generally speaking, firing ordinary plain enamel needs to be performed at a high temperature of 800 degrees, and large fire enamel needs to be glazed and fired repeatedly at a high temperature of 900 to 1200 degrees. Extremely high risk. Among them, the black big fire enamel is the most precious, and the successful production rate is extremely rare.
The dial’s gem setting is mostly fixed by claws. In 2006, Blancpain released a Leman series big date meteor shower diamond tourbillon watch, which uses its unique patented technology ‘orbital’ setting method, People’s Congress is eye-opening.
The diamond is set to a track that is only one hundredth of a micron fine, and is supported by spherical metal particles in the track. No trace of claw inlay was found in this method. The dial that is completed by the orbital inlay method is fascinated. The diamond is no longer continuously placed on the dial as a single piece. Instead, the diamond is integrated with the dial, regardless of each other. It also allows the craftsman to freely express his artistic creativity. More space.
The ‘real kung fu’ of watchmaking craftsmanship lies in the fact that master watchmakers make their own achievements in watches and clocks. It is also about taking advantage of the uncertainty in the entire watchmaking process and sublimating them into opportunities to reflect their superb skills.