Just a question: where do the vintage guilloche came from?

Was it from Stern? Or another company?

you will need to specify the period as there were many dial producers
02/08/2014 - 11:28
delivering to VC
Ho even for the guilloche
02/08/2014 - 15:59
 I thought of yours and mine (1957 for mine)
Re: you will need to specify the period as there were many dial producers
02/08/2014 - 20:15
Alex, I don't mean to take this thread on a tangent, but your answer here to cisco's question regarding guillochage brings up a question in my mind. The website for the Fondation de la Haute Hologerie defines etablissage thusly: "A procedure for manufacturing the watch and/or movement by assembling the various parts. As a general rule, the procedure in full comprises taking delivery of, inspecting and stocking the ébauches, the components for the movement and exterior; assembly; timing; fitting the dial and hands; fitting the movement and the final inspection before packaging and dispatching." (http://www.hautehorlogerie.org/en/encyclopaedia/glossary-of-watchmaking/s/etablissage/). I am only slightly familiar with the Swiss eubache and etablissage traditions, and had assumed that they mostly concerned the assembly of movements from components by others and the timing of the entire watch, but that other watch parts (except perhaps the crystal) were designed and constructed "in-house." Clearly, I must be mistaken. How mistaken I have been is what I would like to learn. As perhaps the highest regarded etablisseur of its time, I wondered if and when Vacheron Constantin had produced dials, hands, crowns, and cases for their watches. I realise that I am asking about a vast period of time here, and I apologise for such a general, unwieldy question, and also for the possibly inappropriate placement of it here. Perhaps you or another member could point me to a link where this question has already been answered?
Try a search of "etablisseur"
02/08/2014 - 20:37
There were many conversations in the Lounge about this fascinating aspect of Swiss watchmaking history, which continues to this day through the auspices of specialty component manufacturers.  Karl Marx, in Das Kapital, had these very informative details on the manufacturing of watches:"Formerly the individual work of a Nuremberg artificer, the watch has been transformed into the social product of an immense number of detail laborers, such as mainspring makers, dial makers, spiral spring makers, jewelled hole makers, ruby lever makers, hand makers, case makers, screw makers, gilders, with numerous sub-division, such as wheel makers (brass and steel separate), pin makers, movement makers, acheveur de pignon (fixes the wheels on the axles, polishes the facets, etc.), pivot makers, planteur de finissage (puts the wheels and springs in the works), finisseur de barillets (cuts teeth in the wheels, makes the holes of the right size, etc.), escapement makers, cylinder makers for cylinder escapements, escapement wheel makers, balance wheel makers, raquette makers (apparatus for regulating the watch), the planteur d’échappement (escapement maker proper); then the repasseur de barillet (finishes the box for the spring, etc.), steel polishers, wheel polishers, screw polishers, figure painters, dial enamellers (melt the enamel on the copper), fabricant de pendants (makes the ring by which the case is hung), finisseur de charnière (puts the brass hing in the cover, etc.), faiseur de secret (puts in the springs that open the case), graveur, ciseleur, polisseur de boite, etc., etc., and last of all the repasseur, who fits together the whole watch and hands it over in a going state." I feel it was a gradual process to consolidate these seperate functions, beginning perhaps in 1810 when V&C opened their first self-declared "factory" in Geneva (as opposed to cabinoteers and finissage, I suppose) and, of course, accelerated when they took on Georges-Auguste Leschot in 1839.  Again just opinion, but in part due to long-time business and familial relationships, there always seemed to be an expectation that watchmaking in Switzerland should not concentrate in a few centers but spread the economic benefits as widely as possible.  Our current preferences, even prejudices, in favor of in-house manufacture are not really relevant to the vintage period and still remains a novel idea in terms of Swiss horological history.
Re: Try a search of "etablisseur"
02/08/2014 - 21:10
My goodness! I had no idea of the level of specialisation of the period. Simply mind-boggling. It is funny that you should mention Karl Marx; just yesterday I stumbled across this online: " . . . No less a landmark work than Karl Marx' Das Kapital makes reference to Vacheron and Constantin for successfully introducing machine work into the watchmaking process. . ." Thank you for opening my eyes, wide, with this excellent quotation. Regarding your ancillary comments, I for one find admirable the opinion of the time that the "economic benefits" of watchmaking should be spread "as widely as possible," and am somewhat perplexed by the current attitude regarding "in-house" construction. I have always felt that specialists would have the experience and the ability to provide components of superior quality, and that if a maison utilised strict quality control, that there should be no quality advantage to shifting production wholly "in-house." But as MikiJ so aptly put it recently, "apparently I'm going against the grain - again." In any event, thank you for the useful (and one would think self-evident, but apparently not to me) suggestion to search under "etablisseur." That is just what I will do, fortified by your post.
Great answer!
02/08/2014 - 21:41
as usual :)
Re: Try a search of "etablisseur"
02/09/2014 - 11:15
Thanks for your very interesting information on the history of Swiss watchmaking. Its was a pleasure reading.
This in House stuff is quite recent imho: 2 examples.
02/08/2014 - 21:27
In former times (vintage watches) all horoloical brand were sourcing their components form different specialist, with a different level of finish or quality. That for dial cases, calibers, etc , there were some caliber specialist but even there there were chronograph specialist (Valjoux, Venus) some for very small/flat calibers (LeCoultre, PIguet) , some brand were using there own calibers and not delivering to others but this was really the exception. Whatever, in-house doesn't mean finish or quality: I will take an example of  two well known vintage watch outside Vacheron: a Pierce chronograph and a Patek Philippe 1463 . The Patek Philippe 1463 fetches extremely high prices, the Pierce is an affordable one.caliber The pierce chronograph has an in house caliber. It is very interesting from the technical point of view and the military story. But talking of finish it is far from the highest standard as shown below. For the Patek 1463 the caliber comes from a Valjoux ébauche, the finish and the work on it is huge There were companies specialized in the finishing, I think Victorin Piguet for example could deliver the movement finished. There is a world of work between this (a basic Valjoux VZ) credit chornofolie And the Patek 13-130 coming for this ebauche(you can now compare it to the pierce...)The case now For the Patek Philippe 1463 they came frome the Borgel/Taubert company; there were not many specialist for waterproof steel case and Borgel/Taubert was one. You can see above the word Patent two letters "F.B" in a square, with a key under, that is for François Borgel. It is a massive caseback with an octogonal shape which is directly screwed in the case. For the pierce they have a patented waterproof system with screws and a lead gasket, I don't know if it was "in house" but I would suppose so. For the dial the Pierce is simply painted, don't know where it does come from, the Patek has a nice brushed finish, and I suppose it was coming from the Stern company, dial maker and owners of Patek Philippe. Stern was also delivering to Vacheron or Longines and many others. so one was a very in-house watch: the pierce, very simple and robust one was sourced from different companies but with the best finsh possible in every detail, the Patek Philippe 1463 There is one competitor the this Patek, the Vacheron vintage waterproof chronograph, it is the same a Valjoux ebauche with a magnificent finish a fantastic design and best quality case. It is also much rarer than the Patek. The magnificent Vacheron 6087 These last decades, the industry has changed, the companys that were delivering were bought and it launched this in-house trend. As a vintage amator, it doesn't mean much for me. The only things that counts is quality.
Re: This in House stuff is quite recent imho: 2 examples.
02/08/2014 - 22:23
Thank you very much, cisco, for this excellent presentation of your argument that "in-house" doesn't exist simply for quality reasons, and that quality is not necessarily associated with "in-house" manufacture. You have corrected my misapprehension in a brilliant and entertaining manner indeed. (Of course, I was aware that whether the movement is developed in-house or from an eubache, Vacheron Constantin ((and a select few haute hologerie Maisons)) finishes it to a fare-thee-well, whether or not the Maison applies for the Poincon de Geneve.) I perhaps should have differentiated between quality from a technical view (my original point) and quality (of finish) from an aesthetic view, but no matter, since in horology many of the finishing practices serve to increase the accuracy and durability of the movements as well as their beauty. Also, it appears that you too may refer to both aesthetic and technical aspects by using the words finish and quality separately (". . . with a different level of finish or quality;" ". . . in-house doesn't mean finish or quality . . ."). I very much appreciate your time and effort in comparing and contrasting the Pierce Chronograph and the Patek Philippe 1463, served by wonderful photographic layouts.
A cottage industry
02/08/2014 - 22:40
The watch manufacturing industry in Switzerland, France and England was a cottage industry for a long time, well into the mid-nineteenth cetury. And the workers in all these regions were entrenched resisting change to their way of life. I outlined this aspect in my posting on Fredric Ingold. His problems in establishing a manufacture met furious resistance and he failed despite, from our point of view he had a very good idea. It was the watch manufacturerers in the US in the late 19th century that finally forced the Europeans to reconsider their manufacturing and quality control ideas. The changes in society, the industrial revolution and the rise of liberalism, the middle class created an overwhelming demand for quality and luxury products that just could not be met by the status quo. The world was changing from an agrarian one to an industrial one (at least the western world). However, the situation did not mean the end of suppliers or subcontractors. This concept is present today and works quite well in the manufacture of almost all major items, appliances, cars, aeroplanes etc. As long as the supplier can meet the standards and quality specified in the design. There are still some who have gone back to the old system, Philippe Dufour and Roger Smith for example. But their timepieces are very expensive and their production is relatively small.
Re: A cottage industry
02/08/2014 - 23:28
You are very kind, JB, to patiently outline here for me in broad strokes the development of the Swiss watchmaking industry, of which I dare say most veteran loungers here may already be aware. I must read your post on Frederic Ingold to get the full flavour. This post will serve as a wonderful introduction to the theme!
Brilliant, a most welcome diversion
02/09/2014 - 01:24
into related makers, and the contrasting photos explain more than words.  I especially took notice of your mentioning Borgel; the name inspires passionate collectors.  I first met such a person when he enquired about the legitmacy of a Borgel-cased V&C trench watch and have been following his growing body of research into the marque ever since.  If you'd like an introduction, please pm me smiley.
Thanks wou Dean
02/09/2014 - 12:00
I will remember that when the day will come :) 
Re: This in House stuff is quite recent imho: 2 examples.
02/09/2014 - 11:16
Thanks for your very interesting information on the history of Swiss watchmaking. Its was a pleasure reading.
Re: you will need to specify the period as there were many dial producers
02/10/2014 - 15:59
Come on Alex, give us a shot of your magnificent "Wedding Cake" dial - please! Would you happen to know who or what house crafted that beautiful dial? Miki
this one ?
02/10/2014 - 16:10
That's the ONE ;-)
02/10/2014 - 16:36
Alex I still want to bother you with my question:
02/09/2014 - 12:12
 who supplied Guilloche dial in 1957?  I won't give up devil
mostly Stern, but also Berg & Co (nt)
02/10/2014 - 11:13
Thank you Alex
02/10/2014 - 11:50
It is a bit surprising to see that these amazing dials were done afaik only for Vacheron and that Stern, owners of PP, didn't provide the same kind of dials for PP. The first time I saw one was a stun, I directly wanted one and I better understood your passion for these :)
In the 1950s Stern no longer belonged to the Stern family (nt)
02/10/2014 - 14:35
haaaaa that I didn't know ! I learned something, thank you Alex !
02/10/2014 - 15:32
Re: haaaaa that I didn't know ! I learned something, thank you Alex !
02/10/2014 - 23:18
As did I, and one imagines others here. I would like to say three things, cisco. First, please accept my apologies for taking your post on a tangent with my question regarding etablissage. Second, I want to thank you for so graciously providing examples of in-house (Pierce) and ebauche (Patek Philippe 1463) calibres to masterfully discuss quality, finish, and etablissage (after I started this tangent, no less). Third, allow me to congratulate you on your persistence in finding an answer to your original question. I am very glad that you succeeded (especially since it makes me feel a little less guilty for diverting the topic of your post). The last tidbit concerning the Stern dial company's ownership change was definitely a bonus for which we also have you to thank!
THanks for your words Mamehta
02/11/2014 - 09:21
Nothing to apologize, I could have done the same with the Vacheron Constantin 6087 instead of the Patek  Philippe1463, not OT (out of thread) at all. But 1463 details photos are not as hard to find as for the Vacheron 6087 . Glad you enjoyed it, I enyoed doing it :) Say hello to Coronado for me, I have great memories of San Diego :) cheers François