Many of the articles in QP56 cover the combination of the
two elements of watchmaking that seem most incompatible -
craftsmanship and high technology. All too often it seems that
technology in watchmaking must inevitably drive out the
craftsmanship and the artistry of the master watchmaker. Everything
today appears to move seamlessly from AutoCAD programme to
CNC-formed components that can be assembled by a (merely) competent
technician, with every decorative element being built in by a
designer working in an entirely different office - or sometimes
even a different country.
But, as the experience of Anoukh Danthe and Oliver Leu of Revelation shows, AutoCAD simply cannot model every variable. Equally design is something that cannot be parachuted in as the physical realities of manufacturing make design a process rather than a single act - particularly when the movement is part of the design, as in the ID Two from Cartier.
This doesn't mean that every discipline has to be under the same roof - creativity needs both connection and distance. The most creative collaborations in watchmaking at the moment rely on the tension of Swiss watchmakers working with design teams elsewhere, be that Paris (Louis Vuitton and Cartier), London (TAG Heuer) or Milan (Panerai). Biel-based dial-maker Daniel Haas is a perfect example of an artisan offering his specialist skill to the watch world. Working in semi-precious stones, Haas brings something to the table that few others can offer.
Elsewhere in the issue we check out the watches on display in Silverstone's F1 Paddock, take a tour around Breitling's manufacturing facility and look at the rising popularity of chronometer competitions. Finally we give you a peek at some of the highlights of the upcoming Dr George Daniels auction, featuring some of the finest watches ever made by both Daniels and other horology greats.
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