We previously introduced a lot of beautiful art watches in this exhibition in the Geneva topic. While appreciating these beautiful watches, everyone must be curious to know how the exquisite patterns are made. from. In order to satisfy everyone’s wish, the Watch House has specially selected the three most representative brands in the field of art watches in this exhibition, and share with you the stories behind those beautiful patterns …
Marquetry is an ancient craft, and there are not many examples of this technique used in dials in history. Although there have been some watches with dials made with this technique before, this year, Parmigiani Fleurier (Parmigiani) is probably the first time a clever inlay watch that combines craftsmanship, theme and complex functions. This year Parmigiani launched a total of three inlaid works, two Tonda tourbillon watches and a table clock.
The two watches are mainly based on music. The two models are named Tonda Woodrock (UK version) and Tonda Woodstock (US version). We know that in the history of rock music, Britain and the United States are the two most influential Tribute to each country, so the designers decided to use the British flag and the American flag pattern as background inspiration for the design; and because the guitar is a musical instrument with a natural connection to the wood inlay, and the tourbillon device is exactly the guitar speaker, It is also the harmonious unity of these three that makes these two watches a perfect fusion of two borderless arts, music and watchmaking.
In addition to watches, this clock is also not small. Its design inspiration comes from the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, who is famous for murals with cross lines and different color blocks. These grid lines and various color combinations make Mondrian’s work exude a musical atmosphere. The three instruments of the horn, double bass, and piano are on the dial. They are an example of blending sound and image.
After talking about the watch, let’s talk about today’s protagonist inlay craftsmanship. Mosaic work is a very old art that is hard to see in our lives now. The process is mainly to cut out some small pieces of wood on a wooden plane and assemble them, thereby creating extremely delicate decorative effects. Inlay craftsmen are often trained as top woodworkers. They need to be diligent and precise. From the initial sketches on paper to the creation of spectacular mosaics that can subvert the original design, all of the high-tech processes are well known.
The inlaying craftsman first started with the original design of Lintong. Lintong is the basis of this process. The craftsmen used Rotring Tool (special drawing pen) to carefully describe each element in the picture, and then determined the assembly according to the finished Lintong drawing The size and contour of the module.
Next, inlay craftsmen reprint ten or more design drawings on paper, and they will use these drawings to cut out different assembly modules.
In preparing for this critical cutting stage, the craftsman selects the wood, and the selection criteria involve the color and surface of the wood.
The craftsmen piled up the 10 pieces of wood carefully selected and nailed them together with nails.
After the wood pieces are nailed, then the copy plan to be processed is glued to the top of this pile of wood, and carefully cut along the border of the copy plan with a very thin saw blade, so as to obtain 10 wooden modules with the same shape. Even if all that was needed was a wooden module, the craftsmen cut it with a pile of wood, and then kept only the most successful one of the 10 modules.
I emphasize here that each module in the pattern must go through this process. Even if there is only a slight difference between each module, each module must be cut according to this set of procedures. How much is the difference? There are as many different modules and as many different colors. This amount of engineering is no less than assembling a highly complex movement.
When the last module was cut, we thought we were done and we were waiting to assemble it, but the real test for the craftsmen was just here. Although the craftsmen strictly follow the dimensions during the entire process, as long as they find very small errors or small obstructive cracks during assembly, the entire work will be ruined. This is when the craftsman is the most ‘tragic’, he must start from the beginning, patience copying and cutting again according to the required changes (a lot of tears).
Therefore, the work of mosaic work must be persistent and precise, and even the smallest details must be carefully considered, and the overall situation must be remembered, because the results will only appear at the last moment. At this time, each module is perfectly embedded in its own position and plays its role as part of the whole.
Finally, I will give you the watch box of these two watches, but I want to say that the watch box is not made by inlay craftsmanship!