first, thanks to all who made this possible, of course Auudemars Piguet, Thomas and all the Purists who finally made it overto Switzerland.
It's again been a great time, once again!!
Many of the pictures may be redundant, anyone not interested in even more pictures of watchmakers at work or enthusiatic purists - stop reading here!!!Otherwise hours of loading time ahead!
Tuesday early morning at Geneva lake - normally I'm not up that early, but parking a car in Geneva isn't easy and beeing up late usually means an expensive "surprise". But this beautifull view was well worth it...
Definetely lots of activity in the sky already....
The PuristS group gathered at the Hotel, leaving to visit AP's case manufacturer in Geneva's suburbs.
Unfortunately photographing inside wasn't allowed and those two pictures will remain the only "inside" pictures.
Alinghi models seem to have some magic attraction to AP-fans
We were guided through the facilities split in two groups - the time we finished our way through, Martin Wehrli already was waiting forus in the conference room.
In case some see familiar, but non AP pictures on the walls, this case manufacturer also works for a certain german company....
According to Martin, an impressive amount of 2000 kg of precious metals are transformed into watch cases for AP!
Leaving Geneva we headed towards Le Brassus - pretty much the same way former Vallee de Joux watchmakers made their way back from Geneva, the famous "Marchairuz" pass (I've to admit a bit more comfortable, most likely).
We arrived at our Hotel around lunch time... no words neccessary, I'd say
That must be the "most photographed facade" recently....
Again, we split in two seperat groups and our part was guided by Michel Golay (thanks so much Michel, before I forget!! ).
First stop, the "aesthetic design" departement....
Rushing along the corridors....
Part of the case manufacturing is also done here in Le Brassus, a watch case anybody...?
Note, the jewelled cases nowadays are also preworked by CNC.
Some ROO rose gold case backs, right hand the stamped out blanks. Left the ready milled inside.
The case band, here the incredibly complex geometry oft he RO case is obvious.
A "tool set" for milling a case band - modern CNC machines changes and selects the correct tool for any specific operation automatically from a pre set "reservoir" of tools.
Michel explains the process of "wire errosion".
Soon after we headed to the case finishing/polishing departement.
It's good to be reminded the large amount of hand finish in case making - I've the impression that's often forgotten part when talking about "hand finish" in watches generally.
Hand buffing/polishing of the "buckle part" of a deployment ...
Setting up the lapidating machine for finishing work of a ROO case.
One should note that any polished angled portion needs a carefull adjustement of this machine.... Refinishing such a case can be incredibly time consuming.
Hand filing the cases before final polishing work - excellent work at this stage is crucial for the final result.
The next part is jewellery and jewel setting...
Obviously digital camera industry is doing well also:-)
That's a "piece unique" -and there is even a watch in there....
normally hidden and covered by hundreds of diamonds there is a tiny button and the watch movement appears, sliding out laterally (no movementpresent at this moment, but one can see the housing here).
Soldering white gold jewel settings for a diamond bezel....
Setting the stones for a ladies RO white gold case. The red trays right hand contain a number of "girls best friends" in different sizes. Each pre worked jewel setting in the case must be adjusted to fit the individual stone.
The restoration departement, also some after sales service for more complicated modern watches is done here....
This show case contains some examples of parts made "from scartch" here - note the "monster bumblebee"
. I guess this one was for comparing sizes, but come on......never seen such a beast
Soon after leaving the factory we sat down on the Hotels terasse to enjoy the beautifull autumn sun.
Michel Golay, who was so kind to take care of Olaf's RO, already returned with the finished repair. Olaf was delighted, of course....
But wait a minute, something went wrong......
Beautifull weather, great company.....
Thanks all, once again, it was a really enjoyable trip!
ps.: I just realized that's day one only....but I promise I'll not post all the images