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.
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.
Something is getting prepared and you might know it after seeing some blurry pictures on Instagram. However, the suspense will last a few days… We are going to reveal it and this time, the women will take part. But before this, we will share with you our vision of the watch for women. We already heard that the woman was the future of the man and if she was also the future of the watchmaking?
Once upon a time… The women were the first ones to wear the wristwatch, while men wanted to keep their pocket watches… However, the women have quickly been qualified as “superficial”, more interested by the esthetics (always more glitters please) of the watch than the beauty of the mechanism. Thus, the watchmakers give automatically quartz movement, considered as less prestigious and without rewinding (as if the women were slack). Today, the women want to get out of these boxes, created without their knowledge, by taking watches for men. Confronting this reality, a few brands have decided to take masculine models and make it for women. But is it really enough?
We have the feeling that the women have been forgotten by the watchmaking industry. When we think of it, it is not only a feeling, they have been completely forgotten! Despite the effort of brands to re-establish the place of the watch for women, we think that adapting the existing masculine models is far to be enough. Like men, the women deserve that we think of their own models, concerning the mechanism or just the design and the poetry of the watch. After all, the watch is more a way to personalize the time whose symbol is not necessarily butterflies or flowers, isn’t it?
Finally, today what do the women really want? No distinction between men and women. For this, what a better idea that creating a same and unique collection for everyone? A collection that has been thought as much for women as for men. This new universal collection defines our vision of the watchmaking for women: to link our circular hands’ poetry to the innovative automatic movement which animated our watches. It is time to refocus on enjoying more to wear a watch for what it expresses for you than to know if it has been created for men or for women.
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
Think of the first time you were in front of a text about a watch. Wow, it was such a thing. Don’t worry, it happened to us too, even our Beaubleu designer lived this moment. To help you for your choice or just for your curiosity, we have done a list of the main word that you will find in our Beaubleu’s website pages. Enjoy the Beaubleu watch lexicon !
The balance is a component which regulate the mechanical movement of your watch. Working with the balance spring, it produces a regular movement called oscillation. This is why you hear a « tic-tac ».
Finally, the spring regulate the watch’s movement by returning the balance at its initial position to start a new oscillation. More the quality is good more the precision is important.
Main element of the case, it is located on the top of the caseband and carry the glass of the watch. Depending of the watch, it can turn and shows, in this case, the duration of an event.
The caliber is watchmaking vocabulary to show that we have some skills. However this term names the movement of the watch.
The case is the component which protect the watch’s mechanism against impacts, humidity and dust. It is composed of several elements.
The case is composed of 3 pieces. The caseband is placed between the bottom of the case and the bezel.
The crown is a button located at 3 on your watch. It allows you to manually wide the movement and to set the clock.
The cylinder is an essential piece for the movement of the mechanism. Without a cylinder you cannot have a movement. This piece is a cylindrical case which contain the spring. The cylinder accumulates the energy produced by the spring and deliver it to the different gears of the movement.
The dial is one of the main piece of the watch. Why? it is what you see first. It shows various indications such as the hours, the minutes and the seconds.
Located at the ends of the case, they are used to clip the strap to the watch.
The index is the benchmarks for the hours. They have replaced the Roman and Arabic numbers through the history.
When a quartz watch needs batteries, the mechanical watch does need them. Indeed, it is composed of a mechanical movement which can be a manual winding or an automatic one. For your Beaubleu watch, we have chosen an automatic movement. It winds itself with the movement you make during the day. It is possible because of a rotor which turn around its axis. However, it is necessary to wind the watch manually regularly.
he watch’s movement is the set of pieces and mechanisms which make it work. This different movements are also called calibers.
The watch’s clasp is an important detail and it exists in different forms: the folding buckle, the butterfly buckle and the pin buckle. The last one is the one we used for Beaubleu’s watches. It is composed of a buckle and a metal rod, like your belt buckle. This type of claps is used for our leather straps but you will never find it on a metal strap. The good thing with this kind of buckle is that you can adjust ore precisely the size of the strap.
The spring is the watch’s source of energy. It is a small steel tape which is rolled inside the cylinder.
As you know, today the watches are not only used to indicate the time. These other functions are called watchmaking complications and some of them are very wanted by the watch amateurs. Here some of them: the perpetual calendar, the chronograph or the time zones.
The Beaubleu watch lexicon is finished. Of course, we did not list the entire watchmaking vocabulary. We want that you continue to read us and like it! However, with this basis, we will be able to have some benchmarks. If you have any questions, we are here to reply, and it will be with pleasure and passion!