One of many nice pleasures of video manufacturing goes again and revisiting tasks years later, recalling how they got here collectively and reliving the pictures and modifying decisions that add as much as the ultimate lower. Beneath, I’ve curated three movies on unbiased watchmakers that carry again fond manufacturing recollections, and which I feel are particular in their very own methods – owing to the gravitas of the topics, in addition to the time and entry they granted us.
Longtime HODINKEE readers have possible seen the items beneath, however I might wager many more recent readers possible haven’t. Whichever camp you might be in, I invite you to journey again in time to Le Solliat in 2013, Geneva in 2015, and the Isle of Man in 2016. I consider these three movies maintain up as examples of a dedication to a selected means of going about one’s craft. As unbiased watchmakers, Philippe Dufour, François-Paul Journe, and Roger Smith are kindred spirits – and but their processes, and the watches they make, are so very distinctive, every a direct reflection of their creators.
In 2013, as a part of an epic European watch journey that may come to be referred to as The Road To Basel, Ben and I had the distinctive pleasure of spending slightly time within the workshop of the one and solely Philippe Dufour. I used to be fairly new to the watch sport on the time, however had heard sufficient about Mr. Dufour to know his virtually legendary standing within the watch world. The workshop – and the legend – didn’t disappoint. I say “slightly time” above as a result of, for scheduling causes past our management, we had about 45 minutes complete within the workshop – from setup to breakdown. Once in a while, I say to my video workforce, when a shoot is proving significantly difficult, “it all the time works.” That was born on that morning in 2013 in Le Solliat.
One of many issues about capturing in watch manufactures is that it is typically unattainable to seize a complete course of – from begin to end – in any cheap timeframe, as this stuff simply do not come collectively rapidly. With smaller, extra agile watchmakers although, it is typically possible to reveal all of the steps, and this was one such case. Right here, we had been in a position to present the making of F.P. Journe’s most intricate watch, the Sonnerie Souveraine – all throughout the stunning confines of the model’s house in a former gasoline lamp manufacturing facility in Geneva.
In 2016, as a part of The Road Through Britain collection, my former colleague Arthur Touchot and I visited Roger Smith on the Isle of Man. Whereas Dufour is exclusive as a storied one-man operation, he nonetheless works within the watchmaking valley of Switzerland; Smith, however, creates his watches on a distant island in the course of the Irish Sea. We spent just a few days there, watching Roger and his small workforce at work, driving the famed TT Race Course, and naturally, visiting the previous house and workshop of George Daniels. Certainly one of my favourite moments? Roger, behind the wheel, his wry grin rising ear-to-ear as he put our Bentley Flying Spur W12 by means of its paces on the quaint backroads of the island.