Finishes on a watch tell us a lot about the complexity of a mechanism as the well as the skills of the watchmaker. At Greubel Forsey, finishes are considered as important as the technology or the design. Since the brand’s founding ten years ago, movement finish has always been a major priority and today this department is the largest in the manufacture. As a reaction to the industrialisation of manufacturing processes, each part is individually decorated by a specialist following a precise protocol. Just imagine: finishing one bridge requires about 15 hours of work. In the end, every component must be impeccable, with neither impurity nor defect visible. Once the components are decorated, the watchmaker can reassemble the movement taking care not to scratch the components. The entire process means that it takes at least 6 months to manufacture and finish one single watch.
Today’s watch components are produced with relatively high levels of finishing straight from the machine, so having company artisans, watchmakers, and technicians spend hours, days, weeks, and even months beveling and polishing might seem like a waste of time (and money).
In this video by The Watches TV, Stephen Forsey explains why superlative hand-finishing is such an important element in the timepieces of Greubel Forsey.