TOUR DE SUISSE
| 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 email@example.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