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Professions exercised within the manufacture

Christophe Claret is a perfectionist. In this respect, he loves to quote Leonardo da Vinci: “Details make perfection, but perfection is no detail”. This leitmotif is also that of the personnel active within the Manufacture. All have been chosen from among the finest artisans and workers in the region, in order to uphold its level of excellence.

Each step, in each workshop, embodies a fresh challenge. Quality control is omnipresent. All the main watchmaking professions are represented at Christophe Claret.

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  • Production

    Christophe Claret has a cutting-edge industrial facility. Substantial investments have been devoted each year to purchasing and engineering the machine tools. The latter are regularly developed in partnership with the movement design engineers. The purpose of all these endeavours is always the same: to obtain improved machining quality and greater precision on watch components. Christophe Claret deals with the realm of ultra high-precision, machining parts to the nearest micron and even to nanometric standards. In order to consistently push back the limits of what is deemed possible, the firm has to continue innovating, keeping a close watch on what is being done in other fields such as automobiles and aviation, in order to draw the best from them. The choice of state-of-the-art machinery 

  • Profile-turning

    Profile-turning is the realm of high-precision micromechanical engineering specialists who use CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machines to shape metal. Components are machined by removing material from metal bars using high-precision burins and milling cutters.

  • Hobbing

    In watchmaking, hobbing is the operation that consists of giving a profile to the wheels and pinions. It is now done on sophisticated computer numerically controlled machines, of which Christophe Claret owns some finest specimens created. In this particular field, in light of the demands and tolerances imposed by the Manufacture, one simply cannot afford to sculpt the metal to anything but the most precise and exacting standards. 

  • Hardening

    While the Manufacture Claret is far removed from the Vulcain forges, it is nonetheless skilled in working metals. Hardening is one of the operations that serve to modify the molecular state and structure of the metals used, by heating them and then cooling them more or less rapidly according to the temperature to which they are subjected. Hardening is above all applied to steel parts to make them tougher and more resistant.

  • Chamfering

    Even the most high-performance machine is nothing without the work of the artisan. At Christophe Claret, the difference stems from the expertise. At the end of the day, it is always the human hand that intervenes, as in the meticulous bevelling operations. It is up to the chamfer to highlight the beauty of the part by drawing out its sides in order to eliminate traces of machining and to raise the angle by hand using a small file and then a buff to smooth it and a wooden grinding wheel to polish it in order to give a subtle brilliance to the various surfaces, to play with the light and the shimmering reflections playing over the heart of the movement. 

  • Circular Graining

    Circular graining is also referred to as stippling, and it is one of the signature decorative motifs in Fine Watchmaking. It is composed of closely drawn or overlapping concentric circles. This technique is used to adorn bridges, plates, casebacks and dials. It is done using a small machine guided by the human hand to perform this extremely meticulous work: an abrasive pad is placed on the circular graining machine. The latter is regularly lowered to mark the surface of the part with small circles, while also gradually turning the rest carrying the plate so as form the motif.

  • CÔTES DE GENÈVE

    This type of decoration is generally reserved for the visible surface of the bridges. Côtes de Genève are in fact not compatible with functional surfaces, due to the quantity of material removed. While there are semi-automatic machines that can create Côtes de Genève rapidly, that is not Christophe Claret’s choice. Once again, it is the human hand and its expertise that give the decoration its unmistakably personalised touch. 

  • Specular polishing 

    Specular Polishing is performed on a zinc and pewter plate using diamantine polishing powder. The watchmaker performs this operation which may take a quarter-hour or five hours, depending on a number of parameters including the climate, the humidity of the air and the possible dust that might get mixed up in the polishing process and thus spoil it. Among all the so-called finishing tasks, this polish enables each model to appear in all its splendour. It reveals the matter by drawing the very essence from the raw material. As Christophe Claret explains. “It serves to combine the intrinsic high quality of the part with its beauty. It is the art and the manner of highlighting the qualities of the components that have been developed and produced”.

  • Watchmaking workshop

    All the watch parts have been developed produced and finished according to the Fine Watchmaking standards embodied by Christophe Claret. It is now time to organise the choreography of time and to give life to this finely crafted mechanisms. Welcome to the world of the watchmakers, the acrobats plying their tweezers and screwdrivers in order to patiently assemble the most complex calibres. At Christophe Claret, each movement is assembled by a single watchmaker, who assumes the entire responsibility for the whole process, from receiving the separate components through to final controls. It is at this moment, at the end of this long process, that the heart of the finest Christophe Claret starts to beat.