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Why are all premium watches very expensive when analyzed from a technical point of view? Smart watches can never be replaced

Edith 2023-11-07


Top watches are very expensive, often hundreds of thousands of dollars or even higher prices make the ordinary people prohibited. So why are these premium watches so expensive? Why are traditional mechanical watches still standing in front of powerful smartwatches?

In addition to some super-complicated watches with very complicated functions, those simple three-handed premium watches are also expensive. This is because whether it's the outer shell of the watch or the inner part of the core, watchmakers need to be extremely talented and intelligent in this small space. Although there are no complicated techniques like tourbillon or minute repeater,TUDOR Black Bay M7941A1A0RU-0003 there is a great deal of creativity in the presentation of the dial and the finishing of the movement. Talented handmade watchmakers bring the art of fine watchmaking to life, and the pure, flawless craftsmanship and pursuit of perfection are the hallmarks of what we call "Haute Horlogerie". Today we are going to talk about "Fine Watches", which is an in-depth analysis of the different techniques used to complete the movement, so that we can understand the value of these expensive watches.

In a fine watch, in addition to the complications inherent in the center of the watch, the choice of materials and the design of the model are extraordinary.

The center of the movement can be seen through some unique details that give a glimpse of both its technology and craftsmanship, such as the drilling of the movement, which is held in place by blued steel screws, and the gold sleeve.TUDOR Ranger M79950-0001 In some aspects, the craftsmanship on the dial and the center of the machine may have a practical role or functionality. For example, the electroplating on the dial, in addition to being aesthetically pleasing also prevents corrosion. Machine center Geneva stripes This pattern, like the shimmering surface of Lake Geneva, may be thought of as decorative polishing. But in fact, in the beginning, the Côtes de Genève were originally intended for functional purposes, designed to trap dust particles and prevent them from drifting down onto the fine elements of the movement. Therefore, its texture grain should be neither too rough nor too smooth.


In watch movement terminology, the term "polished texture" refers to some of the decorative polishing and finishing touches on machine-produced watch parts. Designed to erase machining marks from the surface of the part, the raw metal is instantly transformed into the artistic appeal of the watch.

While modern CNC machines can be used to produce and fabricate semi-finished parts for watches, it is the finely crafted handmade parts that can be considered true works of art. The craftsmanship and skill passed down through generations, created by the ingenuity of talented artisans, cannot be matched by industrial products made on CNC machines. What's more, some processes, such as chamfering on the core plywood, the more complex the edge of the curve chamfering, the more difficult to use CNC machine tools to complete, which can only rely on skilled craftsmen to complete by hand.

Chamfering polishing, also known as corner cutting, refers to the metal diamond angle of the edge of the center of the heart cleat is not processed before, is very rough and uneven, in order to be in the aesthetic and the center of the heart of the time constant, the watchmaker will be the edge of the center of the heart of the filing inclined to the same angle and width, generally 45 °. The beautifully polished outer edge emphasizes the shape of the part. Chamfers must be regular and smooth. It is one of the most delicate hand finishing techniques.

Modern lathes can mass-produce improved blank cores, which has made it easier to manufacture watches. However, at the sub-machining stage, precision cores still have to be perfected by hand to perfect the bevel of the chamfer. The hand polishing of the cores by watchmakers using traditional tools such as files, dowels and abrasive pastes is still an irreplaceable process compared to modern CNC lathe machining. Hand polishing uses different types of abrasive particles to obtain an almost flawless finish and a perfect shine. This meticulous technique requires a great deal of patience and skill. The same curvature and glossy texture can only be achieved by hand. This polishing process is one of the top machine-centered techniques in Haute Horlogerie, and it is worth reminding that the chamfered surface is not flat, but has a curvature of the arc-circle kind, which can only be produced by a very few trained watchmakers.

Black Polished

Also known as mirror polishing, the centerpiece is clamped in a jig and the circular grinding motion is repeated on an emery zinc alloy disc until a perfect finish is achieved - an angle at which the surface of the part appears pure black! This process is very time-consuming and the polished part requires that the light reflection must be in a single direction, which also helps to reduce the risk of oxidation.

To achieve such a finish, the surface must first be softened. The watchmaker has to rub the flat surface of the part marked on a zinc plate, and with the help of an abrasive paste, the watchmaker de-angles and polishes the irregularities of the core of the movement, all the way to a perfect black polish. This process is only applicable to high-end watches as it is very time-consuming, take polishing the surface of a frame plate on a tourbillon, it may take around 3 hours.

Côtes de Genève polishing

refers to the fact that one of the most traditional types of decoration consists of applying regular parallel wave-like patterns to parts, such as bridges and gears. The stripes can be straight or circular and must need to be perfectly aligned between the different parts.

Perlage Sanding

Another traditional sanding process, also known as circular sanding. This method of sanding covers the surface of cleats and wheel systems by applying a pattern of small, overlapping circles using rotating spikes. However, this process has now been replaced by machines, which are operated by watchmakers who simply process the polished parts by hand.

Fishscale polishing is usually used on some skeletonized, art-themed models. Machine engraving is used to present patterns or various desired material messages to decorate personalized parts and true works of watch art.

In mass production, engraving is done using CNC machines, lasers or pantographs. Hand engraving in fine watches, on the other hand, is a very complex and time-consuming process that is very rare today. The watchmaker needs to engrave the watch under a microscope, cut by cut, according to the original design. It is easy to distinguish hand engraving from machine engraving, as hand engraving has tangent marks and essential "imperfections", while machine engraving does not.

Machine center drilled grooves

Performed on a lathe-built centerplate, the holes for the jewels in the center of a fine watch are so rough that the irregular edges of these jewels must be polished by hand. The concave chamfer around the machine center jewel is one of the most noteworthy details in a fine watch.

Even the smallest parts, such as screws, are finished and organized. The screws are polished to increase their gloss and burnished at high temperatures to a blue color with an attractive, delicate hue. Currently, some brands use industrial polishing and coloring to manufacture screws, but they still can't compete with true fired blued steel screws. True blued screws need to be hand polished to a mirror finish and then burnished at high temperatures. In the precise process of compact production using flame, the screws must be heated at very precise temperatures to obtain the correct same color.

Machine-centered gears

Undergo many finishing techniques to carefully eliminate machining marks. Their spokes can be chamfered at the top and bottom, the gutters are polished, and the gear surfaces are finished with a round satin finish.

Through the above, we have felt that traditional fine mechanical watches are a high-class work of art that focuses on delicate top-quality craftsmanship and unique handmade values, representing the highest value of traditional watches. Anyone and any organization that wants to make these models can't get around the centuries-old watchmaking evaluation system. And while today's smartwatches have a dazzling array of functions, they are two completely different objects from traditional mechanical watches. One is a tool that brings convenience in daily life, while the other is an object that fulfills spiritual needs. Maybe some people think that the powerful functions of smartwatches will definitely eliminate traditional mechanical watches, but we will find that jewelry still exists today after thousands of years, don't we?