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The watch caliber grail of Swiss watchmaking

A heart under surveillance: all motors around us, size is the only mechanical watch that is designed to work even in our sleep! Performance, a quest, a challenge. Focus on a few engine.

Formerly subject to moult attentions and decorations hidden under the simplicity of a dial and the simplicity of a watch case, watch the gauge was right in recent years, a systematic stripping. As lovers of classic cars, watch brands have opened their hoods, sometimes even made of glass, so that spread under the internal mechanical beauties. Transparent background laid on the wrist, the watch movement is brought to the surface. Sometimes he just ousted dial, offering instead its bridges and its workings. It fit the expectations of collectors, new and rich men who want to have luxury toys, and especially to be able to show.After a period of excess, the trend is the return to classicism. Anyway, the engine at the heart of all issues.

ETA culture of omerta

When the quartz arrived in the 1970s, the Swiss watch industry has experienced one of its greatest crises. As to lose up to two thirds of its jobs. Each small factory there was of his own making mechanical calibres, while demand declined. Called to the bedside of the great patient, a consultant appointed Nicolas Hayek, surrounded by some saviors to whom history has not honored, has prevented the massacre. He negotiates with banks back, regrouped forces, resolved - with the molded plastic Swatch - the problem with the low end, namely a Swiss watch offer at the same price as the Japanese, despite the high cost of Swiss workforce. Thus he went to the genesis of the Swatch Group, each of the brands which now had control its movements ETA.

When contacted, the company refused to comment, even when it requires some historical data on its 7750 class, mythical tractor indestructible and reliable watch chronographs. After all, fell into the public domain, this movement does not he belongs today more to the community than a business? The number of movements industrially manufactured by ETA is estimated between 5 and 6 million for both Swatch Group brands than for others. A production is associated Nivarox other entity flagship of the group, producing the famous spiral, these small springs that punctuate the heart beat of the watch. A monopolist who regularly contributes to debate federal Competition Commission responsible for curbing monopolistic appetites. The silence is required because, once again, an investigation is underway after the Swatch Group has announced for the umpteenth time - and begins to implement its threats - drastic restrictions at other brands. Some would be in danger.

Concepto, the expected good surprise

Just before Baselworld, revealed by a leak began to swell and forced the factory movement led by Valerian Jaquet organize in April, sunrise sail on the promises of its offer. Neither more nor less than the long-awaited alternative to the monopoly face of the Swatch Group. Through a series of patents in the development of optimized processes as well as unlimited means, in the words of many experts, a new production could quickly deliver the strangled by lack marks, spiral-rockers set in an amount of up to between 300 000 and half a million pieces. Once the full order book, said unit can be duplicated at will, knowing that the number depends on the cost side accessibility.Already deemed to control in five families, the development of exceptional mechanical movements, assembly of large series, machining, stamping, machining or the decoration, Concepto, if successful as his bet on map reliability could well be that that will occur by the most serious skinning Swatch monopoly.

Sellita, another industrial reports possible?

The company Sellita Watch Co SA exists in La Chaux-de-Fonds since 1950. She managed to remain independent, to not fall into the hands of a group or a brand. In 2003, she decided to create her own family of calibres. Aided by fashion brands that dare transparency and begin to communicate their secrets, his name appears in the open, especially with the introduction of templates SW-300 and SW-500 from prestigious Swiss brands. She openly enrolled in an alternative to ETA calibers, including the predominance prevents revolutionize everything.Indeed, it must be compatible ETA if you want to enroll in a market where all the tools in circulation, at the watch cases or components that are grafted onto the engine itself are designed to accommodate these unassailables. Production is estimated at about 800,000 copies.

The company, however, is weakened by the fact that, for the control of most of its sets (internal word for couple "exhaust-spiral"), it continues to purchase from Nivarox, which promises a reduction in deliveries of the order of 30%. We will have this economic war gave birth to a Swiss Made solution if Switzerland wants to maintain its land envied these skills. Sellita is in the running.

Vaucher Manufacture, sustainability

On the sidelines of Baselworld 2012, a conference initiated worth all the detours. Michel Parmigiani, before the name of a brand, is especially a great watch, from the restoration of antique pieces and therefore, as such, particularly fond of watchmaking history.Who could have known that Fleurier in termination of the Val-de-Travers swept by the long winters, opened after Geneva, the second school of watchmaking in Switzerland? A Vaucher, descendant of a family of watchmakers and raw cotton as having made a fortune, returned to the country to provide funding to his contemporaries. A Meylan and a Golay there even learned their craft, before returning their knowledge in another mountainous region, the Valley de Joux.

Now in the hands of the Sandoz Foundation, as the Parmigiani Fleurier brand, the beautiful plant does more than provide for the growing needs of its single family. Hermes, sensing the potential, has recently crept into his capital, which had the beneficial effect of precipitating an analysis of market positioning and most importantly, highlighting its development prospects. So, with the recent arrival of Jean-Daniel Dubois headed, manufacturing has focused on the reliability of the five families of gauges, including 5300, a slimline, and the control of its first trades.A wealth of skills that transforms these blanks manufacturers can develop everything in-house - several developments are already underway - a breath of fresh air for watchmaking intensive exceptional calibres. A 98% independent, since it does not plant the stones nor manufactures its barrel springs, Vaucher Manufacture is able to move quickly, already in 2013, from its current 6,000 units to 15,000 pieces. With, of course, its own hairspring couples.

Dubois Dépraz 111 years discrete knowledge

Managers as the Dubois brothers, that you aerate the head or bag, both filled with marketing communications conventionally written language. Here, the City, in the heart of the Vallée de Joux, the key words, despite the decline in their history gives them more than a century, are humility, discretion, reserves and a sense of service given the benefit of a good fifty prestigious brands.Achieving such a level of skill and craftsmanship for volumes that often exceed the small series unanimously commands respect.

These people have preserved their capital in family hands. Almost in spite of themselves, they cite the point that their business generates a sudden appreciation of which claim to some prestigious names, yet deemed short on confidence: Patek Philippe, Rolex, Omega, Richard Mille and more recently, of course, Breitling. The history of this fiercely independent is closely linked to the mechanical chronograph. She is the only one to have solved the problem by modular way, which remains his true difference in the market. This involves grafting or nested, complex mechanisms on templates from all sources, without much affecting the strength to walk. Sole!Dubois Dépraz control and all expressions of miniaturization on chronographs multiple indications (with or without perpetual calendar), indicating specific mechanisms days, months, leap years, moon phases, sunset and sunrise, equation of time, tides time zones, jumping hours, regulator, mechanisms for regattas, watches polo, or repetitions minutes quarters, five minutes ...

Soprod, knowledge and tools

Thanks to the 35% it had in the capital of SFT Holding, Miguel Rodriguez, already owns, among other brands Festina Lotus and then the two houses of haute horlogerie and Leroy Perrelet has recovered Soprod (Tramelan) companies Indtec (Sion) and Imm Ineltec (France) moribund hands of Peace Mark, a Chinese giant brought down by the economic crisis.These acquisitions have strengthened the manufacturing almost involuntarily profile Swiss mechanical and manufacturing of such contractor who had already bought Astral Technologies Sarl (spiral) and DTH Dubois Technical Horlogère SA (exhausts, Le Sentier) became the MHVJ watch, the watch manufacturer Valley de Joux. Direction Soprod confirmed, manufacturing is 100% free of any dependence of the Swatch Group. She did not buy any component, manufactures spiral and has its own family of calibres, the A10. A family of course ETA-compatible constantly enlarged by the development of complications.

Technotime voluntary actor and award-winning

Built in 2001 by a handful of investors on the assets of France Blanks, a mythical and historical movement factory, the company relies on "engines" a measurable reliability through testing internally developed or available on the quality control market.The majority of members of the four families of templates, it develops, manufactures and sells a good fifty watch brands, is equipped with spiral made in-house. Beautiful complications including a tourbillon, subtle level customizations decorations and finishes, and a policy of fair pricing. His presence also emphasized by brands such as promising new Blacksand helps to enrich the diversity of Swiss watchmaking landscape. The company, whose business Sebastian Gigon market remains one of the faces most present, also with media people, did not hesitate to take a risk coronation. That engage in international chronometry contest 2011 organized every two years by the Watch Museum of Le Locle. Although it has taken since it is honorably positioned on the third step of the podium, holding a candle in category Tourbillon, to large structures such as Chopard and Greubel Forsey. No doubt the aura of this unexpected performance will fall on all of its production.

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