film noir-inspired photography by richard foster
Of all the enamel techniques, from cloisonné to champlevé to Grand Feu, which one is considered the most difficult?
– Brigitte Morina: There is only one true enamel: Grand Feu enamel. Otherwise it is not enamel. All techniques are difficult but the most difficult and rare one is miniature painting. The number of people in the world who are capable of executing a finely detailed painting on the tiny surface area of a watch dial is small to say the least. How has the craft of enameling evolved for the 21st century?
– Our artisans still use the same tools: brushes, agate mortars, but the arrival of the thermostat (oven) and microscope ease a bit their work of art. Fire remains the master. On the other side, because of environmental reasons, some oxides/ colors disappeared and it is a challenge to recreate some colors, like a deep plain black, for example. Also, as there is no school for craft of enameling in horology, it is all about transmission and share of know- how between enamelists. What distinguishes the enamel watches from DeLaneau from those of other brands?
– At DeLaneau, we have our own enamel workshop. Our artisans combine their know-how, skills, inspirations and emotions together with great expertise to create and realize unique pieces. They are involved in the creative process, from the very beginning. Also, they create their pieces from A to Z. This is not common in our industry. Our production capacity is naturally very limited and it is a truly magical moment each time one sees a complete new dial for the first time.