Article on Rose Engine

Fellow THL'ers may enjoy reading an article in the February issue of WatchTime about Ralph Lauren's use of a vintage 1897 hand-turned rose engine to make fantastic guilloché dials.  This ancient device is used by Vacheron to create many of their signature designs.

Article on Rose Engine

Article on Rose Engine

Kazumi's photo shows the machine in use!
2 years after, same guy in action:
01/25/2010 - 23:04
Amazing what he can do with a so big machine:
Wish I had been there with you to see it again, Lin.
01/26/2010 - 01:58

Getting to see the master guilloche artist at work (the rose engine and his dials) is really something.  It gives you a much higher appreciation of the kind of work that goes into an authentic guilloche dial (vs. a stamped one). Its a nice coincidence that Lin decided to post a picture of the dragon dial here because I was just looking at photos of it over the weekend and admired the intricate work done. As for Ralph Lauren's watches, I doubt any amount of guillochage or manufacture movements will save it from going the way of the Dodo.  IMHO, it is just another designer brand trying to get a piece of the (luxury watch) pie.  Maybe VC could come out with its own polo shirts...I'd buy one. Cheers! Kazumi

One more pic for Kazumi
01/26/2010 - 10:15
hope we will see each other in 2011...
Supachai VC's guilloche artist is a sorcerer, the guy manages to draw
01/26/2010 - 10:33
on dials where normal guilloche artists make patterns. I'll post some in the flesh scans of the Dragons soon
Re: Supachai VC's guilloche artist is a sorcerer, the guy manages to draw
01/26/2010 - 17:53

Alex, in your interview with J-C Torres back in December, he stated: 'enamellers, engravers and guillocheurs are a dying art and the more brands come out with watches using these crafts the better as it would mean a rebirth of these crafts and a new generation who would continue the tradition.' In view of this statement, I'm curious about VC's approach to retaining these skills.  As with the maki-e technique, how prevalent is the use of outside artisans to provide these high-art techniques of dial decoration?  Are many/most of these craftsman independents?

VC has an inhouse team dedicated to the Metires d'Art: an enameler, an
01/26/2010 - 18:30
engraver, a gem setter and a guillocheur. However they are dedicated to only the bespoke pieces or special models made in extremely limited numbers as they do not have an "mass" production capacity. VC can also work with outside artisans ex: the enamel for the Grands Explorateurs or the Chronometre Royal, engraving for the Masks etc... It is quite rare to have these crafts inhouse as there are few capable of doing such works and they work for different brands
I 100% agree with "VC's guilloche artist is a sorcerer"...
01/27/2010 - 18:41
Per my post in Alex's 2010 HL Dinner report, I am happy and impressed that VC has acquired/retained all that craftmanship expertise in-house, but I also find it worrying that there are so few people with that expertise.  If I were VC, I'd have my guys spending over 50% of their time training the next generation...  Imagine if VC has to stop producing Tribute to Explorateurs because something happens to their expert? By the way during the VC manufacture tour I was told how that rose engine works, and it is really impressive...