Opened in 2006, Vacheron Constantin's Les Cabinotiers department is something of a world apart. It renews with the tradition of bespoke watches and one-of-a-kind pieces, offered as a service to collectors.
The first exhibition to be jointly curated by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie and the Michelangelo Foundation, both of which recently relocated to a historic building in downtown Geneva, highlights rare crafts and the "singular talents" who perpetuate these skills.
"Geneva's most thriving fabrique is watchmaking. It employs more than 5,000 people, which is over one fifth of the citizens." So reads the lengthy article on Geneva, published in 1757 in the Encyclopaedia of Diderot and d'Alembert. Despite being written with a lower-case f, fabrique (manufactory) no less refers to the multitude of watchmakers, goldsmiths, jewellers and other craftsmen whose cabinets (small workshops) had spread along the right bank of the Rhône in the eighteenth century, and who combined their skills to produce watches and jewellery.
Marc Frisanco, a specialist in intellectual property at the Richemont group, sees striking parallels between global warming and the spread of counterfeit goods. Tackling either of these problems must inevitably appeal to basic moral principles. Part Two in the June issue of HH Magazine.
Hublot has joined forces with WISeKey to provide its customers with a means of authenticating their timepieces online, by giving each of their watches a unique "ID card." Counterfeiters be warned.
With a collection that includes some 4,500 watches, for the most part bequests from three private collectors, the British Museum offers a rare opportunity to contemplate the history of time measurement. These intricately engraved complicated watches are one example.
AlpVision, a Swiss firm based in Vevey, has developed a digital imaging system based on mathematical algorithms that will identify a watch throughout its lifetime, and for one simple reason: all industrially-manufactured products, even mass-made ones, have their own print.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Arras, in northern France, this year ends a trilogy of exhibitions on the watchmaker's art. "The inventors of time – Treasures of horology from 1500 to 1700" pays tribute to the Renaissance geniuses who set out in pursuit of technological and artistic excellence.