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Well, there´s a major difference towards a Stradivari...

November 11 2006 at 6:56 AM

PeterCDE  (Login pc01)

Response to Good point.

Hi Max,

comparing it to a violin is a tiny problem, in that the instrument does have to produce a certain sound and the dial does not...

Not to belittle any work, which wouldn´t be justified as the work of Anita is certainly very special. When i met her in April, it´s been truly fascinating to see how such small objects come to life and being an observer increased my respect and appreciation for her work a lot.

But while the difference towards a violin seems obvious, on closer view it might be less so.
When the vintage Paillonnee units came to life, it´s been a LOT more difficult to do them. This due to the fact electric power and controlled oven temperatures wasn´t at hand, which makes things quite a bit easier these days.

I´m rather confident modern manufacturing technology could do Paillonnee dials, even in a somewhat larger series.
I mean, they are doing things like hairsprings made of carbon/diamond or robot-formed Breguet overcoils
Therefore it might be possible to create the Paillons and the enamel coating with sufficient equipment, which on the other hand is really expensive and the outcome might not justify the investment.
Nonetheless, i´m rather confident doing Paillons by means of LIGA technology or DRIE etching would end up in pieces virtually impossible to distinguish from hand-made old ones, other than within a production run all Paillons would be perfectly equal like clones (a matter that can be addressed, though).

But there´s one thing that separates the Stradivari (or another really great instrument) from a watch dial, which is in fact the function.
For those who are familiar with fine instruments, the sound makes the difference beyond the craftmanship and skills required to do them. I think in the watch world, it´s a bit apparent when looking at repeaters and especially different pieces of the same make and reference. The different sound these can produce, when they are made by the same hands, might show there´s more in these watches than simply to produce and put together all the parts.

In this, watch dials might be easier to achieve than to re-produce a truly great violin. At least the visual difference most probably would be quite small.
Just that the costs to do so, particularly in a larger series, might not justify such venture.



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