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Articles
Pierre Koukjian - Watchmaking

Pierre Koukjian has pioneered many advancements in the Swiss watchmaking industry. He later added to his creations various world premiere creations such as the double repeater and inlaying a tobacco leaf in the dial of a watch.

Moritz Immisch - Watchmaking

Immisch found opportunities to apply his watchmaking skills, developing precision clockwork mechanisms, improving practical details and considering the further applications of the physical processes involved. From 1863 he was employed as foreman to the noted firm Le Roy & Fils at their premises on Regent St. In 1872, when already a Council Member of the British Horological Institute, he submitted an essay on 'The balance spring and its isochronal adjustments' which was awarded the Institute's Baroness Burdett Coutts Prize Immisch's prize essay was published in book form - a work which remained in print for many years.

Loupe - Watchmaking

Loupes are employed to assist watchmakers in assembling mechanical watches. Many aspects require the use of the loupe, in particular the assembly of the watch mechanism itself, the assembly and details of the watch dial, as well as the formation of the watch strap and installation of precious stones onto the watch face. Some families like Kruder which were into watchmaking and working with glass started producing high-quality loupes in addition to their watches

Henry Voigt - Watchmaking business

By 1775, Voigt had a watchmaking business in Philadelphia. He also claimed to have made himself useful during the American Revolutionary War with some of his manufacturing machines. Fitch became acquainted with Voigt the watchmaker and was impressed by his ingenuity. Following several conversations in which Voigt took an interest in the scheme, he had made such sensible suggestions that Fitch offered Voigt a share in the Company if he would help him, which Voigt agreed to do. Some years later Fitch recorded a description of Voigt as follows:

Chaumet - Watchmaking expertise

The pair of bracelet-watches from 1811, commissioned by Eugène de Beauharnais, was created by Nitot. Made of gold, pearls and emeralds, its manufacture combined fine jewellery with a meticulous watchmaking movement. It was at this time that the house succeeded in placing miniature dials at the centre of its bracelets.

The Swatch Group - Watchmaking school

The Swatch Group started offering their first class in the Nicolas G. Hayek Watchmaking School for aspiring watchmakers in September 2005, and this school is located in Miami, Florida, USA. Other watchmaker schools situated in Glashütte, Germany; Okmulgee, USA; Pforzheim, Germany; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Shanghai, China.

Nicolas Fatio de Duillier - Contributions to watchmaking

In March 1705, Fatio exhibited specimens of watches thus jewelled to the Royal Society. The correspondence of Isaac Newton shows that in 1717 Fatio agreed to make a watch for Richard Bentley in exchange for a payment of £15, and that in 1724 he sought permission from Newton to use Newton's name in advertising his jewelled watches. Fatio's method for piercing rubies remained a speciality of English watchmaking until it was adopted in the Continent in 1768 by Ferdinand Berthoud. Jewel bearings are still used today in luxury mechanical watches.

Aaron Lufkin Dennison - Training in watchmaking

In 1830, at the age of 18, Aaron was apprenticed to a Brunswick clockmaker, James Cary. During his apprenticeship, he is said to have made an automatic machine for cutting clock wheels, however in his autobiography he merely says he wanted “to cut all the wheels of a corresponding size in each [of a batch of clocks] at once and in other ways facilitate the work”. (Automatic watchmaking machinery was not developed until the 1860s and Dennison’s machine was probably a modification of an ordinary wheel cutting engine).

Nicolas Fatio de Duillier - Contributions to watchmaking

In the 1690s, Fatio discovered a method for piercing a small and well-rounded hole in a ruby, using a diamond drill. Such pierced rubies can serve as jewel bearings in mechanical watches, reducing the friction and corrosion of the watch's internal mechanism, and thereby improving both accuracy and working life. Fatio sought unsuccessfully to interest Parisian watchmakers in his invention. Back in London, Fatio partnered with the Huguenot brothers Peter and Jacob Debaufre (or "de Beaufré"), who kept a successful watchmaking shop in Church Street, Soho. In 1704, Facio and the Debaufres obtained a fourteen-year patent (no. 371) for the sole use in England of Facio's invention relating to rubies. They later attempted unsuccessfully to have the patent extended to "the sole applying [of] precious and more common stones in Clocks and Watches".

Edward John Dent - Interest in watchmaking

At the age of 14, Dent became apprenticed to his grandfather, John Wright Dent, a tallow chandler. Under the terms of the indenture – dated 20 August 1804 – John Wright Dent was expected to find suitable lodgings for his apprentice. Fortunately, Edward John Dent's cousin, Richard Rippon, was willing to have him. Rippon was an expert watchmaker and Dent became fascinated by watchmaking and less interested in the business of making and selling candles. Indeed, Dent became so interested in the watchmaking craft that, on 13 February 1807, his grandfather agreed to transfer the remaining years of the seven-year apprenticeship as a tallow chandler to Edward Gaudin, Watchmaker.

Raketa - The Petrodvorets Watchmaking School

Being one of the few watch brands in the world producing its own movements, the factory has created its own watchmaking school, the Petrodvorets Watchmaking School, to ensure the transmission of watchmaking expertise to future generations. The only one left in the schooling program has been established in collaboration with the Saint Petersburg Technical institute.

Chaumet - "200 years of watchmaking design"

In July 2011, the House of Chaumet celebrated the 200th anniversary of the creation of its first pair of watch bracelets belonging to Eugène de Beauharnais. To mark the occasion, the house organised the "200 years of watchmaking design" exhibition bringing together 30 pieces and 300 drawings.

Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec - Was watchmaking passed down from father to son?

The genealogies that were able to consult for this article repeatedly note that Joseph Ferdinand, the son of Nicolas Mathieu, born December 15, 1804, was a Watchmaker to the King. To date, there has not been found any document confirming this. It remains to be seen whether Joseph Ferdinand followed in his father's footsteps and became a watchmaker. One passage in the property inventory made after Nicolas Mathieu's death implies that the father left his business to his son. Here, again, there is no evidence attesting to the son's watchmaking activity. Everything there is to know about this is that when his father died, Joseph Ferdinand was a merchant and lived at no. 183, Rue de Grenelle-Saint-Germain, now Rue de Grenelle.

Geneva Seal - The Office of Inspection at the School of Watchmaking

The methodology of the voluntary inspection requires that the watches are submitted to the Geneva Watchmaking School. The "Office for the Voluntary Inspection of Watches from Geneva" has, as a matter of law, been located at the school since the inception of the seal.

Nautische Instrumente Mühle Glashütte - 1945-1970: Hans Mühle

While the names of most Glashütte watch factories have disappeared the name "Mühle" still was connected to the center of the German precision watchmaking and a precise measurement industry. Hans Mühle founded a new company in December 1945 which manufactured dial trains for pressure and temperature measuring instruments.

Léon Gallet - Léon L. Gallet & The Industrialization of the Swiss Watch Industry

On his return to Switzerland in November, Jacques David wrote a long detailed report on the men's findings to the Intercantonal Society of the Jura Industries. While David's report helped to wake the Swiss watchmaking industry from its comfortable complacency, increased revenues were needed for the Society's members to initiate the developments required to meet these new challenges.

Hillyards Shop House - History

The Hillyard family ran a successful watchmaking and jewellery business from the premises for nearly twenty years. Their shop boasted a clock tower at some stage, an advertisement which served as a convenience for passing travellers and drovers.

International Watch Company - IWC and the Rauschenbach family

Following the death of his father-in-law, Ernst Jakob Homberger had a considerable influence on the Schaffhausen watchmaking company's affairs and guided it through one of the most turbulent epochs in Europe's history. Just before the world economic crisis, he took over as sole proprietor and renamed the company Uhrenfabrik von Ernst Homberger-Rauschenbach, formerly International Watch Co. His contribution was honoured in 1952, when he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of St. Gallen. He died in 1955, aged 85 years.

HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts - Red List

The second edition of the Red List was published in March 2019 and watchmaking joined the critically endangered category, with fewer than 30 watchmakers able to commercially create a watch from scratch. It is hoped that its inclusion may encourage the UK to become a signatory of UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Philippe Dufour

Philippe Dufour (born 1948) is a Swiss-born watchmaker from Le Sentier, Vallée de Joux. Today he is vastly regarded as the greatest master of modern watchmaking and his watches are referenced as one of the best ever been made. He crafts all of his watches by hand himself from start to finish. Dufour is the first watchmaker to put the arguably the most complex of complications in a wristwatch in 1992, a Sonnerie. His other two models include Duality and Simplicity.

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