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Tag: Daniels

Six Small Words: Aesthetic

Aesthetic  /esˈTHetik/: Concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty.

There was, if I remember correctly**, a slightly disparaging statement that Dr George Daniels made about 19th and 20th Century Swiss movements in his book Watchmaking. His premise was that English “gentlemen” – the wearers of fine timepieces at that time – appreciated timekeeping over beauty. English movements were designed to keep good time and therefore there was, perhaps, no need to cover up their (technical) shortcomings with superfluous finissage.

However, finissage has now become synonymous with luxury or certainly with haute horology; the quality of the finish on a watch is almost directly proportional to the price (although this often seems to be on a log scale). A friend and watchmaker told me that, while discussing finishing on a recent visit to Switzerland, he heard of parts being beveled and polished by hand; they could only be considered suitable for inclusion in the watch if they were no visible defects under a 20x loupe. In effect, the watchmaker was asking for flawless work and one assumes that the price will be inline with the cost of flawless diamonds, i.e. astronomical.