Monday, September 12, 2011

Hermès Festival des Métiers Part 2/3

Hermès scarves have a cult following of their own. There are people who collect scarves the same way there are people who collect bags. First introduced in 1928, scarves are coveted for their rare quality and of course, their designs. A desinateur is responsible for coming up with prints, and they spend years creating print patterns.

The final design is then screen-printed on this machine.
Check out the strips of silk under the silkscreen machine!

Hermès watches meanwhile are made in Switzerland. The watch subsidiary, La Montre Hermès, has in its employ, skilled watchmakers. There are two ways to becoming a watchmaker. One is to go to a watchmaking school in Switzerland, or to apprentice and undergo training for several years. This particular Hermès watchmaker here went to 4 years of watchmaking school in Switzerland, was further trained at La Montre Hermès for 1.5 years and continues to undergo regular trainings.

It takes 1 day to 1 month to finish a watch, depending on the mechanism of the watch being made. According to the watchmaker, the Tourbillon takes the longest to make. That is, if I understood his French correctly, heehee.

And that is just the mechanism. If a watch face or the dial requires some stone setting, then that will take much longer, months even. Here's the stone setter at work.

He was busy setting diamonds into the pyramid studs of this Collier de Chien:
The still to be assembled parts: far right is a pyramid stud with no diamonds. The stud next to it has been fully set with diamonds.
In the process of setting stones into the tiny cavities of the pyramid stud:
I just realized, if you're a stone setter, you can't be a klutz. Imagine banging your hand against that tray. How do you find the diamonds if they spill across the table and the floor? Eeek!

1 comment:

paul syjuco said...

what a clean workspace! to be a stone setter you really need tons of patience. imagine literally setting thousands of tiny stones on a sheet of metal. you can go blind. we've some pieces in our shop that takes weeks just to set.

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