The watches from the Union Collection are about to be assembled in our Parisian Atelier. Since moving from pocket to wrist, watches now require straps.

Our Union Collection offers three leather bracelets in blue, black, or green, whose exotic details give real personality to the watches. What makes it distinct? Each bracelet is handmade and artisanal, making it truly unique. 

June 16th, 2020

The manufacture of our bracelets has begun. The leathers are bought raw, then prepared, and tanned in the atelier. How does it work? The leathers will undergo different treatments, carried out by specific (and traditional) machines. These machines are essential for refining and tanning the skin.

Of course, as with every element of the watch, if certain pieces of leather do not have the quality necessary for the manufacture of our bracelets, they must be permanently removed from the production chain. The team is, therefore, busy detecting scratches and stains on the skins to keep only the best quality parts.

After having selected the pieces that we will use to make the bracelets, we must dye the skins to obtain the colors of our bracelets: green, blue, and green. It will then be a question of completing the details in alligator, for the black and blue bracelet, and the téju for the green bracelet.

When we have the desired results, the skins are polished to obtain the best possible finish to protect the leather in the long term.

June 24, 2020

Once the leathers are stored, we begin cutting the skins in the best parts to obtain the different elements that will constitute the bracelet.

A bracelet is composed of a skin carefully selected on the top added with a leather lining imperatively treated to be biocompatible (hypoallergenic among others). Between these two strips of leather, we place a tear-resistant reinforcement to make the bracelet, not only more comfortable but also more durable over time in the face of daily use. These three elements are glued together and then sewn by hand. 

To achieve tone-on-tone solid topstitching, our leather craftsmen use the saddle stitch. Saddle stitching is done with only a few feet of thread at a time and must be made by hand. To create each stitch, the entire thread serpentines two times through the layers of leather.

The final touch is the application of a colored resin to protect the edge of the leather. For the blue and green bracelets, we chose an azure resin, for an even more pronounced contrast.

June 30, 2020

Now we will cut the bracelet to be able to insert the flash pump. It will allow you to change your bracelet with more ease at home, without tools. Of course, this bracelet manufacturing process ends with quality control before receiving them at the atelier. There they will then be added to the watches, depending on the choices you have made.

The second stage of production is the Union Collection case manufacturing. In the previous article, you discovered the process and creation of the flat and curved dials. Today, we will introduce you to the next chapter of our series and will discuss the savoir-faire of the case’s fabrication.

Before we begin, it is important to note that our cases go through a unique design process. Generally, the horns are an integral part of the case, but in Beaubleu, the horns come to encircle it and screw inside the case. The challenges of our design, therefore, lie in the adjustment of parts and the treatment of surfaces. An exciting process but not without risk.

April 18, 2020

Let us start the manufacturing of the cases! Suffice to say that, for now, these are simple blocks of steel, and it will be a long journey before the results. To go from the draft to the result, you must follow different stages interspersed with measurement and annealing operations.

The first step in creating the middle of the case is the modeling of the steel block. It is a simple block that will be successively compressed and flattened ten times using rolling mills – machines made up of hardened steel cylinders. This stage changes the metal quality to create a compact solid shape. Each piece will have to pass the dimension test because each variation will be visible on the final product. Nothing we can’t handle!

Beaubleu Union Collection production of the case and horns of the circular hands automatic watch
One horn on the Union collection case before adding the other one.

May 5th, 2020

Today, we are in the workshop to check the first pieces of the stamping stage. We will discuss with our craftsmen the various difficulties encountered and viable solutions.

The stamping operation, which would be like cutting, consists of shaping the medium with a stamp that crushes the material. Repeated several times, the metal gradually regains its shape. Between each stamping, the part is annealed and remeasured.

We begin to see the first elements of the Beaubleu watch horns. They are worked separately, and at this stage are only a silhouette of the design. We remain ruthless in the face of quality, and non-conforming parts are entirely reworked.

May 18th, 2020

Once the stamping process is finished, the piece is now ready to begin the machining stage. The machining process is an important step, and failure at this level of manufacturing can result in significant costs. This step consists in sculpting the final shape of the parts, focusing on the mechanical aspect, i.e. ensuring the placement and drilling of the screws, the adjustment of the parts between them (case horns and movement) and the quality of the shapes (chamfers, fillets, curves, and solids).

At this stage, we finally have before us the Beaubleu pieces. The horns are hollowed out using an arm capable of positioning on five axes. This technique is called CNC 5-Axis Use and is intended for small series. In our case, it is the most advanced technology to obtain the expected result. The horns’ slenderness and position must be treated first by computer-controlled machines and after by hand. 

Alex, a machining specialist, sums up our day with a laugh: “Your horns are beautiful, but hell to do.” In order not to spoil anything, pieces are precise to a tenth of a millimeter, with each part remeasured and redone from the start if it is considered non-compliant.

May 30th, 2020

We knew it, but the machining step being extremely delicate, several parts were not in conformity: deformations of certain parts due to metal variations and other unexpected “pleasures”. So, we stay calm and begin again. Luckily, this has no impact on production times, which is a victory.

June 10th, 2020

Considering the past few days and the relaxation of government working conditions regarding Covid-19, we are now entering the most beautiful stage: the treatment of surfaces. We have gone from a big block of steel to a rough watch. Now it is time for a final look at the metal of the Union collection: grained and polished. All visible parts are placed in a sealed box where very fine sand will be thrown at high speed. Abrasion of the steel will then give this grainy, almost powdery appearance. The challenge here is to better control the grain size to obtain a homogeneous and delicate graining.

June 16th, 2020

he next step is polishing. Using a lathe, the parts are polished, being extremely careful not to protrude from the grained surfaces. Despite the loud noise of the machines, the workshop is plunged into religious silence for the concentration of each craftsman. A single movement can damage the sanded surface and if this is the case, we must start sanding completely.

Another element must be considered: the quality of the surface. Aside from the absence of scratches, the qualified experts, and our designer Nicolas, check the light and environmental expressions on the watch. It is like the body of a car, the reflective design will tell you if the part is “veiled”, concave, or convex. It is a question of experience at this level because if you remove too much material from the polishing, it is the assurance to start the part from the beginning.

There is a special mention for the hollowed-out ropes. Since no power tool is small enough to polish the interior, the finishes are done entirely by hand. Great progression!

June 22nd, 2020

A small routine check on the first steel watches begins. The angles of the parts are well controlled, and we see ourselves in the polished surfaces. Some parts have been reworked to meet our quality requirements.

Today, there are still different stages, such as the processing of certain models such as the Audace or Olympe from the Rive Gauche line, and of course the final assembly. In the meantime, we will focus on our signature round hands and their manufacturing process.

Most of us have resumed work, life is gradually resuming, and for several weeks now, the production of our Union Collection watches has begun. This article will be the first of a small series, which will give our ambassadors the opportunity to follow the manufacturing process and its different stages: from the dials to the straps.

Today we are going to discuss the dials. Originally, it was a simple metal plate, which quickly became the center of attention. If we consider the case as the body of the watch, the dial is therefore the delicate face.

This is the first element that attracts the eye, it is, therefore, important to carry it out in the rules of art with impeccable quality. The manufacture of a dial is far from being a subcategory of watchmaking, it requires impeccable know-how and extreme precision to be both beautiful and readable. It supports many elements such as indexes, decorations, or simply inscriptions. In addition, for perfect placement of the hands, without risking touching the glass covering them or the other parts of the dial, each measurement must be made to the nearest hundredth of a millimeter. For our watches, the additional difficulty will be the curved dial, which requires a special technique.

April 15, 2020

First day of production. The excitement is at its peak, after weeks of the pre-order campaign and the uncertainty that we have all faced with COVID- 19, we are finally starting the cutting of steel plates which will become flat or curved dials. We begin to make the central and outer contour, where the canon of the movement will be housed. The canon will consequently receive the circular hands. The cutting process stops here for the flat dial, and for the curved dial, we will have to carve a thicker steel plate to give it its curved shape.

April 20, 2020

That day, we soldered our feet to the dials. These feet will be clipped onto the movement to position the dial for the following operations and final assembly.

April 25, 2020

This Wednesday, big things are happening. Using sandpaper, we will soften the metal plate. This step will remove machining residue, then sand the surface and finally prepare it for polishing.

Directly after these stages of dial preparation, before lacquering and varnishing, the plate must be properly polished to obtain a perfectly smooth surface to eliminate micro-scratches. This stage of the process is very meticulous, and we establish the bases of the best quality to limit the problems which can arise later. Indeed, we always have some surprises… 

curved dials blue and green of the union collection

April 27, 2020

The dials now have the desired shape, they are polished and ready to receive their first layer of lacquer for the curved dials and varnish for the flat dials. Here we begin the last and most delicate stage of the production of the dials.

Whether lacquer or varnish, the process remains the same, but as you may have seen in pictures, the rendering is different. To prevent particles of dust from settling on the dial, we isolate it in a special cabin under very strict conditions. Our standards of cleanliness are high to offer you high-quality parts. Then, the varnish is applied with care, set to dry, and adheres to the metal plate before adding a second coat to obtain our famous velvet colors. Generally, a lacquer is applied on a flat surface and it is thus easier to manage the thickness of the coats. On our curved dials, the operation is more complicated and requires a special technique which is a secret recipe from the Maison!

Dials blue green white and black of the union collection

May 7, 2020

Our dials are now dressed in their velvet color. So, it is time to focus on the last details. Let us start with the decal, here it is to add the inscriptions that should appear on the plate. Whether on flat or curved dials, you will always find the same three inscriptions: “Beaubleu Paris”, “Création Parisienne” (Parisian creation), and “Automatique” (automatic). This pad printing process is carried out in a white room to prevent the encrusting of dust particles once again. You may have a question in mind, but what is pad printing?

A pear-shaped tool collects the ink inscription on an engraved surface, then immediately moves it on the dial to obtain a clear and precise inscription.

May 12, 2020

Today we insert the indexes. The application of the indexes which are in the form of a lamp requires a different technique. These elements must be applied meticulously in their reserved place on the dial. They thus create a relief effect that accentuates the contrasts of the dial and therefore of the watch. And you know, it is all about contrast with Beaubleu watches!

May 20, 2020

Now is the time for quality control, an important step as it determines which parts can be used and which have defects.

May 27, 2020

Following the quality control of the dials, defects were detected on 4% of the parts. These defects, not visible to the naked eye, are most often micro-dust between the varnish and the metal plate or microbubbles in pad printing. They, therefore, lead to the scrapping of these parts to remake them from scratch. By this process, we install a high level of quality for our pieces. 

This is how the first part of our logbook of the production collection ends. In the next article, we will detail the manufacturing of the cases, which requires different know-how but is just as exciting.

After a few weeks full of emotions, we have decided to share the crazy Beaubleu adventure and the launch of our new Collection Union with our Kickstarter campaign. A common success with a lot of twists and turns!

Unity is strength

35 days of joy, enthusiasm and will power, but also some moments of anxiety and unexpected (otherwise, it would not be funny…). 35 days to become closer together with our Beaubleu community. This project, that we carried to heart, could not be what it became without your support and your enthusiasm. 

Launched on February 29th (lucky day?), our Kickstarter goal of 42K € has been exceeded in less than 24 hours, instead of the 35 days planned. An amazing start, full of memorable memories for the Beaubleu House and its community. 

Quickly, we created the keen interest of watchmaking experts in France and abroad, with press articles worldwide – actually, we count more than 25 press releases!

During these weeks, the number of backers did not stop growing (more than twice), and made us reach more than 300% of our final objective: 128 443 €.

A common accomplishment that gives us the opportunity to serenely launch the Union Collection production thoroughly prepared upstream. 

The birth of the watches with our Kickstarter campaign

In a few hours, our backers will receive a survey on Kickstarter to finalize their choices of watch, strap and other options available.

As every good thing comes to an end, the preorders will continue on our website at a higher price than the one proposed on Kickstarter. 

Over the production, we will publish a detailed diary about the birth of the Union Collection, on our different digital platforms (website, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter et Newsletters).

Today, our craftsmen and professional partners are ready to start production, and even if the world is facing a complicated period, our daily discussions assure the best manufacturing monitoring.

We stay at your complete disposal to answer your questions. 

We wish you wonderful hours.

The Beaubleu team. 

For a few days, for general health, we are encouraged to stay at home. But no worries, life is still going on and more than ever the Beaubleu adventure so. As you may know, our new Union Collection has highlighted some innovations such as the second’s hand, the lume, and the blued steel hands. And we will talk about these last ones.

The blued steel hands in the Union collection.

beaubleu-intrepide-white-blued-steel-hands-automatic-watch

You can see them on some models like the Olympe and the Intrepide, they are easily recognizable with their blue shades. We have chosen them to twirl on our dial because they give poetry – as we are always looking for – contrast – you can find it in every detail of our watches – and readability – their blued shade stays discrete to be more focused on the reading of time.

Today, more used for the aesthetics of our watches, the blued steel hands used to have specific usefulness.

The blued steel hands and its traditional technic

beaubleu-olympe-white-blued-steel-hands-automatic-watch

Let’s go back a few decades ago, we can say the Before War period. The steel hands were flame blued to reduce the sensitivity of the metal against the corrosion. But what process do we use? It is quite simple – depending on your knowledge and experience of course – the blued color is obtained thanks to a temperature rise process. First, we heat red the steel and then we steep it to increase its resistance. Then, we heat it again at a specific temperature. If it is not heated enough, we will have yellow shade, if the temperature is too high, we’ll obtain a purple shade.

Here we are, you know all about our blued steel hands and the contrasts they give to our timekeeper while conserving the best reading of time possible. Each variation given by these hands extends the discovery of your watch and these surprises unfold by the everyday light. For us – and for you too – each detail counts, then it seemed important to us, and useful, to tell you these “small” information about our circular hands.

Even if the actual period in France is not the best ever, we will keep writing every week about our watch and our universe.

We wish you wonderful hours,

Take care and stay safe.

The Beaubleu Team

You got it, you will be able to preorder our new Union Collection from February 29th at 00:01. To centralize and simplify the preorder process, everything will happen with the crowdfunding platform called Kickstarter. Never heard about it? No worries, this article is made for explaining how the platform works and the simple step to follow to preorder your watch.

Kickstarter, what is it?

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform with an objective to achieve for starting the production. Through this process, you take part in the Beaubleu adventure and you have the opportunity to have your watch before anyone else.

Our goal is to reach and overtake the crowdfunding objective –sky is the limit. When the campaign will end, we will start the manufacturing process of your watch. 

How does it work?

Our Kickstarter page will be online on February 29th at 00:01. This page gives you access to all the details concerning the new collection, from the creation to the production chain. After learning everything about our project (if you did not know it), discover the 3 simple steps to follow for preordering your watch:

1. Your reward selection

When you are on our Kickstarter page, on the right side, you will see a column with different rewards. You just have to select the one you want.

2. Subscription & payment in a few clicks

After having selected your reward, you will be invited to subscribe to Kickstarter in a few seconds. When your personal informations are completed, you will be automatically redirected to the payment page, the preorder final step.

3. Watch choice & options

When our Kickstarter campaign will end (April 5th), we will send you a survey about your watch choice(s) and the options available (strap, engraving, etc).

Finally, we will keep you in touch about the different manufacturing steps until the reception of your watch in July.

The Beaubleu adventure continues, thanks to you. Your support on Kickstarter will help us to extend our brand and to be internationally known. Let’s start this new chapter together on February 29th!

Thank you again for your support and enthusiasm.

We wish you wonderful hours.

The Beaubleu team.

You couldn’t miss it, our babies are out, and we did not expect this frenzy about the new collection! The excitement aside, I wanted to take a few minutes to talk to you about the story of the Union Collection. This part is the first step about the design process of the house before the launching (very expected) of the pre-orders.

The coherency

A few months ago, someone asked me: “so how is going to be the new collection?”. I knew people were expecting a lot from this new creation, and I asked myself: How to offer more surprise and keeping at the same time the Beaubleu’s identity? Who will go these watches to? How to integrate the community’s expectations? Such a hard work…

However, before putting down my first thoughts, I strolled in Paris… From the antique stores to the design gallery and the 11th district restaurants, I was looking for a main thread for the entire collection.

It was the moment to fin the coherency.

I imagined this watch like an interior. From a room to another, the aspect stays because of the combination of warm and cold materials. The warmth of a wood table with a velvet sofa joined by a marble table, all these contrasts which play with our senses, for our greatest pleasure.

As often, we have the same vision as our ambassadors. The envy of giving colors was an evidence. So, what colors?  How to keep the vibrating and warm side of the interior design? I started to buy velvet and satin to find deeper colors, the ones which tell stories.

What to do with the inspiration?

Once the main thread found, it is complicated to not draw the first ideas, and keeping adding new materials, images. We test our first inspirations, to see if, with the time, we are not bored. This process is long and hard, but we cannot miss it, because if there is one thing that we don’t want, it is that we became bored. No, no and No !

After, I compiled the finale inspirations, and I mixed them: a velvet with a polished steel, a green with a Soulage painting or a grained paper. And without any drawings, the models started to appear (almost) by themselves.

Then, the inpiration step is ending, but will stay on our Studio’s wall until the end of the production.

This step has been celebrated with the team, of course, and the next day, the serious thngs were back with the step of creation.

Next week, same day, same hour, we meet for the second step of creation. We will talk about drawings and composition.

We wish you wonderful hours,

Nicolas Pham, Beaubleu’s designer

You couldn’t miss them. These last days we have posted pictures of new universal collection’s watches. Of course, the pending continues, but don’t worry, you will discover them very soon (speaking of hours), but before that, a few words about our first universal collection.

After two years, you got it, our first universal collection is coming! A few changes have been made…

The first Beaubleu universal collection…

“Universal”, such a word. It means for everyone. We were exhausted to hear “mixt” or “unisex” without a real meaning. Our universal collection is the results of thought about the watchmaking about the gender distinction and about the watch for women. As we said in our previous article about our vision of the watchmaking for women, this collection breaks the frontiers between gender and refocus on the watchmaking.

Adios butterflies, glitters and unicorns for the women! Adios the super big watches for men! Welcome to the poetry and the innovation with our fine details! Our goal? Finding back a balance with a unique size of box and an elegance signed Beaubleu.

…created with our Ambassadors

Beaubleu, watchmaking house with circular hands but not only. As we like to say, Beaubleu is not only a story of watches. We like to share our passion and experiences with you. This is why we have created the Beaubleu Club, reserved to our Ambassadors. It gives access to many advantages such as the co creation of the new collections. For the first time (not the last), we asked our Ambassadors to compose this new universal collection. And again, the worry of details was in the heart of our exchanges. They were very concerned and played the game perfectly by telling us comments and expectations, and also encouragements and congratulations.

And the third circular hand comes with this universal collection!

beaubleu-montre-automatique-aiguilles-rondes-circulaires-collection-union-details-RD-bleu

Very expected, the third circular hand for the seconds has finally appeared. It has a different material treatment than the minutes and hours hands. It offers a new poetry on the dial while keeping the readability of the time. When we see it moving on the colored curved or flat dial, you cannot stop watching it, and you can see the time passing.

Our new collection will be launch for the first time of Beaubleu’s history with the crowdfunding platform called Kickstarter. The pieces will be presented during a big event and they will be available for preorders form the 29th of February. And always with the wish to give more privileges to our clients, we will propose a very special price.

Quelque chose se prépare, d’ailleurs vous avez surement déjà vu les aperçus sur Instagram. Certes les images sont floues, mais il faut savoir faire durer le suspense… Nous allons bientôt vous les dévoiler et cette fois-ci, les femmes seront de la partie. En attendant, si nous partagions avec vous notre vision de la montre pour femme ? On a déjà entendu dire que la femme était l’avenir de l’homme, et si elle était aussi l’avenir de l’horlogerie…

Faisons un point sur la montre pour femme

Si la montre est l’unique bijou de l’homme qu’en est-il pour la femme ? Elles étaient pourtant les premières à porter la montre bracelet, quand les hommes ne voulaient se détacher des montres de poche… Cependant, rapidement les femmes ont été mises dans une case « superficielles », répertoriées comme étant plus intéressées par l’aspect esthétique (toujours plus de paillettes s’il vous plait) de la montre que par la beauté du mécanisme qui l’anime. Ainsi, les horlogers leurs ont imposé des mécanismes à quartz, considérés comme moins prestigieux et ne nécessitant aucun remontage (comme si les femmes étaient flemmardes). Aujourd’hui les femmes veulent sortir de ces cases, créées à leur insu, en allant piquer des modèles parmi les montres pour homme. Face à cette volonté, certaines marques se sont dit que prendre le modèle masculin et en faire une montre pour femme pourrait marcher. Mais est-ce vraiment suffisant ?

Voici ce que nous en pensons chez Beaubleu…

Nous avons la sensation que les femmes ont été complètement oubliées par l’industrie horlogère. A y réfléchir, ce n’est pas qu’une sensation, elles ont vraiment été oubliées ! Malgré les efforts des marques aujourd’hui pour rétablir la place de la montre pour femme, nous pensons qu’adapter des modèles masculins déjà existants est vraiment loin d’être suffisant. Comme les hommes, les femmes méritent qu’on pense à leurs propres modèles, que ce soit au niveau du mécanisme ou bien simplement du design plus recherché et de la poésie que dégage la montre dans sa globalité. Après tout, la montre n’est-elle un moyen de personnaliser le temps et dont le symbole n’est pas forcément des papillons et des fleurs partout ?  

beaubleu-montre-automatique-aiguilles-rondes-circulaires-collection-union-details-RD-vert

Au final, aujourd’hui que veulent les femmes ? Qu’il n’y ait plus cette distinction permanente homme/femme. Quelle meilleure idée pour mettre tout le monde sur un pied d’égalité que créer une seule et même collection pour tous ? Une collection qui a été pensée autant pour la femme que pour l’homme. Cette nouvelle collection universelle définie notre vision de l’horlogerie pour la femme : lier la poésie de nos aiguilles rondes qui tournoient à l’innovation du mouvement automatique qui anime nos montres. Il est donc temps de se recentrer sur le plaisir de porter une montre et de ce qu’elle exprime pour vous, plutôt que de savoir si elle a été créée pour les hommes ou pour les femmes.

What a better exercise than making the evaluation of this passing year. The vision of time for Beaubleu depends on different elements. “A flash year” will say some of you, the others will be more like “long and tumultuous”. Anyway, it was an intensive year, full of emotions, challenges and news for our House renamed the Circular Hands House by some of you, and we are very proud.

The Beaubleu’s circular hands like to travel

As some of you already know it, we started this adventure in an Art gallery in the 10th district of Paris. We were surrounded by a community of passionate persons very interested by our pieces. We took care of preserving this relationship by staying on internet and giving the opportunity to everyone to choose his own numbered piece, but also to try the watches during private presentations.

Moreover, we couldn’t be prouder than when we heard discussions and comments about the new watch “of my boyfriend”, “of my birthday” or “my last purchase”: the Beaubleu watch.

One word, two syllables which has been known by the big department stores because of you. New opportunities came to us, being sold by renowned distributors. The success of our collaboration with Le Printemps has been fast from the first day.

Even if Beaubleu is ink in the main French cities, the watches travel around the world. They have been captured in Japan, US, Canada or Mexico.

At every hand’s location, a new way is drawn for Beaubleu and give us the possibility to grow up gradually because of strong and long-lasting relationships.

The Beaubleu Club

Les montres Beaubleu et leurs aiguilles rondes

When you received your watch, we enter the Beaubleu Club, offering you a privileged relationship with our team. The confidence permitted us to share with you our last creations (before anyone else) – from the patina aspect straps made in our Parisian workshop to the new collection. You have been very passionate and enthusiast in the common House’s elaboration. The wall of our studio is now full of your messages, congratulations and encouragement (Instagram, emails, even letters) giving us the force to always surprise you with our creations.

Beaubleu’s news for 2020

New goals, new creations. You might know it, the first limited edition collection had a great success and since a few months, I am working on drawing and designing the next pieces with the new House’s aspirations. A collection which delete the frontier between watch for men and watch for women. A collection in the continuity of Beaubleu’s strength with the adding of elegant details for always more poetry and innovation.

The important challenge for this new year is also continuing to make new relationship while keeping privileged ones with our Ambassadors. This is why Beaubleu will be presenting the new collection in February.

Then it is with pleasure and enthusiasm that the entire Beaubleu team join me to wish you wonderful hours for 2020.

Nicoals Pham-Decoudert

Designer and cofounder