TOUR DE SUISSE

WatchTime - - CONTENTS - By Roger Rueg­ger

| Last April, 12 Watchtime read­ers from five coun­tries trav­elled to Switzer­land to visit eight watch brands.

Last April, 12 Watchtime read­ers from five coun­tries trav­elled to Switzer­land to visit eight watch brands – a trip that turned out to be a “life­time ex­pe­ri­ence” for some of the par­tic­i­pants.

— One of the great­est things about watches is that you not only get the op­por­tu­nity to meet watch­mak­ers, but also the peo­ple who col­lect watches. Now imag­ine bring­ing both groups to­gether dur­ing an ex­clu­sive watch­mak­ing trip with Watchtime’s Edi­tor-in-chief as their guide, add fan­tas­tic food, ev­ery kind of weather con­di­tion imag­in­able (yes, there was, in fact, quite a bit of snow), and chances are good that you’ll re­turn hav­ing more watches and friends than be­fore. at ba­si­cally sums up the six-day pro­gram Watchtime was able to put to­gether thanks to the fan­tas­tic sup­port of the par­tic­i­pat­ing watch brands.

e group was hosted by Vacheron Con­stantin, Patek Philippe, Blanc­pain, Hublot, Jaeger-lecoul­tre, Ulysse Nardin, TAG Heuer and Girard-perregaux and vis­ited watch­mak­ing fa­cil­i­ties in Geneva, Nyon, Le Bras­sus, Le Lo­cle and La Chaux-de-fonds.

One of the tour’s main ob­jec­tives was to pro­vide not only a com­pre­hen­sive over­view of watch­mak­ing in gen­eral, but also to al­low enough time to fully un­der­stand each brand’s own spe­cial­ties, so that by the end of the tour, ev­ery par­tic­i­pant saw more or less “all of the pieces of the puz­zle.” ese pieces in­cluded de­sign, pro­to­typ­ing, re­search and in­no­va­tion, move­ment and case pro­duc­tion, as­sem­bly, métiers d'art, grand com­pli­ca­tions, test­ing and, of course, restora­tion and preser­va­tion, with four mu­se­ums grant­ing ex­clu­sive ac­cess to their col­lec­tions. It also al­lowed for un­count­able hands-on ex­pe­ri­ences with some of the rarest and most com­pli­cated watches that are cur­rently avail­able.

Speak­ing of hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence: Dur­ing the visit to Jaeger-lecoul­tre, the par­tic­i­pants were able to work on real move­ments, which made an al­ready ed­u­cated group ap­pre­ci­ate even more the steps in­volved with build­ing a me­chan­i­cal wrist­watch or a clock like the At­mos.

Watchtime’s 2017 reader trip started in Geneva and ended in La Chaux-de-fonds, a city that has been in­scribed on the UNESCO World Her­itage thanks to its watch­mak­ing his­tory. It also in­cluded a visit to Ulysse Nardin’s enamel dial unit Donzé Cad­rans in Le Lo­cle and to the Musée In­ter­na­tional de l’hor­logerie.

If you would like to par­tic­i­pate in one of Watchtime’s up­com­ing reader trips (we are, of course, work­ing on sim­i­lar pro­grams right now), we rec­om­mend you con­tact of­fice@watchtime.com early so that we can add you to our list and keep you in­formed. —

1) The In­ter­na­tional watch mu­seum in La Chaux-de-fonds 2) Stone set­ting at

Hublot in Nyon 3) A col­lec­tor's Gi­rard­per­re­gaux in front of the brand's build­ing in La Chaux-de-fonds 4) Up-close with the

Hublot Laferrari 5) Part pro­duc­tion at Ulysse Nardin in La Chaux-de-fonds 6) As­sem­bly at Ulysse

Nardin 7) 3D print­ing at TAG Heuer in La Chauxde-fonds

‘We have been here for only 10 min­utes and I al­ready want one!’

1) Wrist­shot of a par­tic­i­pant's

Patek Philippe 5960R 2) Learn­ing about the dif­fer­ence be­tween a tourbillon and a car­rousel at Blanc­pain in Le Bras­sus 3) In front of Patek Philippe in Geneva 4) Enamel dial pro­duc­tion at Donzé Cad­ran

in Le Lo­cle 5) Pro­duc­tion of Girard-perregaux' bridges 6) Grand Com­pli­ca­tion work­shop at

Jaeger-lecoul­tre 7) In­ter­na­tional watch mu­seum in La

Chaux-de-fonds 8) Watch­mak­ing masterclass at

Jaeger-lecoul­tre 9) Hands-on with the new re­leases 10) Watchtime magazine brought

to­gether col­lec­tors and watch brands

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