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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 homogeneous and delicate graining.
The next steps 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!
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…
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!
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 35 days of successful pre-orders, we are now a few days away from the launch of production. Like a new school day, we check one-hundredth time all the elements that will help us start this important phase. Although this stage of production is intense (quality and delivery), we will share with you the production of your watches, from the first blocks of steel to the assembly of your bracelets and the making of circular hands.
An appointment that we will have together about every 15 days on different platforms (website, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram) to learn all the beauty and the requirement of the production of our Beaubleu watches.
To start, our craftsmen will start with the most demanding part: the case. As the centerpiece of the watch, it will have to accommodate – to the nearest 0.01 mm – elements such as the movement, the dial, or even the bracelet. Afterward, we will carefully validate the dimensions of the housing to ensure the production of the other parts.
At first, all the pieces will be produced in raw form and then will be refined as the weeks go by, like the dial that will go from a piece of granulated metal to a thin and smooth lacquer. We will then visit our leather craftsman for the selection of skins that will be used to make your precious Italian genuine leather bracelets. As nothing is linear in production, we will guide you in the form of a logbook of our various craftsmen and professional partners.
As Ambassador of the Maison, you will thus be informed about all the important steps in the making of your watch, from the design of the watch to the finishes brought to your watch.
As you know, since the beginning we have been building Beaubleu with our community, faithful with unfailing enthusiasm. This is how, through this logbook, we once again integrate you, in your own right, into the adventure to follow the different stages of our watches.
Wishing you wonderful hours,
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 is a crowdfunding platform with the 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 –the sky is the limit. When the campaign will end, we will start the manufacturing process of your watch.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 find 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 play with our senses, for our greatest pleasure.
As often, we have the same vision as our ambassadors. The envy of giving colors was 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, that tell stories.
Once the main thread is found, it is complicated to not draw the first ideas, and keeping adding new materials, and images. We test our first inspirations, to see if, with 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 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 was 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…
“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.
Beaubleu, a 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Designer and cofounder