TRIED AND TESTED

Hong Kong Tatler - - Style -

sim­ple move­ment to­gether with­out mak­ing a mark or blem­ish on the minute com­po­nents. Sur­pris­ingly, there are few sys­tems for cer­ti­fy­ing that a brand has achieved haute hor­logerie sta­tus. Per­haps the best known is the Hall­mark of Geneva or the Geneva Seal. Only watches made in the Can­ton of Geneva are el­i­gi­ble, and they must meet spe­cific cri­te­ria in tech­ni­cal con­struc­tion and the fin­ish­ing of the move­ment. The stan­dard was re­cently mod­ernised to in­clude a func­tional com­po­nent to rig­or­ously test claims of per­for­mance, and test­ing was ex­tended to the en­tire, cased-up watch (with the move­ment fit­ted), whereas it had pre­vi­ously ap­plied to the move­ment alone. Given its ge­o­graph­i­cal limit, only a hand­ful of brands are el­i­gi­ble to ap­ply for this cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

The Fon­da­tion de la Haute Hor­logerie (FHH) is work­ing on a for­mal eval­u­a­tion process to de­ter­mine which brands fall within what it calls the perime­ter of fine watch­mak­ing. I’m hon­oured to be part of that ex­er­cise as a mem­ber of the FHH’S cul­tural coun­cil, a group of in­dus­try spe­cial­ists brought to­gether to con­trib­ute their ex­per­tise in var­i­ous ar­eas, in­clud­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing, col­lect­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and sales, to name a few. The process it­self and the re­sults of the eval­u­a­tion will be re­ported at a later date.

Haute hor­logerie is much more than the sum of its parts. It’s watch­mak­ing that tran­scends its in­dus­trial aspects, where the func­tional and tech­ni­cal com­po­nents are im­bued with his­tor­i­cal crafts­man­ship. Ex­am­ples of haute hor­logerie are watches that can pro­voke an emo­tional re­sponse, and which tran­scend their me­chan­i­cal and func­tional ori­gins to be­come pieces of art.

THE LEVEL OF HANDFIN­ISH­ING IS KEY IN DE­TER­MIN­ING HAUTE HOR­LOGERIE STA­TUS; MA­CHINES CAN’T RE­PLACE THE DEX­TER­ITY OF THE HU­MAN HAND OR YEARS OF EX­PE­RI­ENCE AT THE WORK­BENCH

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.