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TellWatch has designs on watches
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TellWatch has designs on watches

Friday, 19 June 2009
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Christophe Roulet
Editor-in-chief, HH Journal

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3 min read

Bought by a private investor in 2004, Polysoft Tell is the company behind TellWatch, a CAD application for the watch industry. Five years on, numerous manufacturers swear by this tool.

Polysoft Tell’s clients read like a “who’s who” of watchmaking, with a list that includes all the major groups, from Richemont to Swatch Group, LVMH to Franck Muller Group and Bulgari, together with most of the independent manufactures, including Chopard, Christophe Claret, DeWitt, Greubel & Forsey, Patek Philippe and Ulysse Nardin. Joining this impressive roll call are schools of watchmaking and key partners to the industry such as Agenhor, Dubois Dépraz and ISA. All these major players have been won over to the benefits of TellWatch, a computer-aided design (CAD) application, developed by Polysoft Tell (read the “From the Workbench” article in issue n°4).

User-focused means user-friendly

“We’ve made significant inroads into the watch sector over the past two years,” explains Jean-Claude Arnault, co-director at Polysoft Tell. “The original application was intended mainly to complement existing solutions. Today, it incorporates the full range of functionalities, including 3D modelling. This gives TellWatch the edge over rival applications as it immediately calculates the impact which modification of one parameter will have on all the other components. TellWatch is developed not from a pure IT perspective but with the end user in mind, and I believe this gives it valuable usability.”

TellWatch will calculate this in a matter of minutes whereas it takes another application over an hour.

“We’ve also put a lot of effort into improving functionalities relating to parts decoration and kinematics,” continues Philippe Gay, also co-director. “We’re less concerned with constantly adding new “bricks” to the application, which now has a sufficient number of core functions, than with optimising their speed and reliability. Just one example: a customer asked us to calculate force ratio for some movement components. They also assigned a school of watchmaking with the same task. We responded within two days whereas it took the school several weeks, and the input of four different applications. The same is true when calculating deformation for a spring, for example. TellWatch will calculate this in a matter of minutes whereas it takes another application over an hour.”

Polysoft Tell intrigues

This execution speed is something both Polysoft Tell’s directors are eager to emphasise. With an application load time of around two minutes, or 30 minutes for a complete movement, and the smallest margin of error, TellWatch on Linux saves considerable time. “People have their doubts,” Jean-Claude Arnault says. “They’re intrigued by a product from a company that employs just a dozen or so specialists. And yet you only need run TellWatch to see it has nothing to envy rival applications.” Given the depth of the watch sector, the big names in IT development haven’t put their full might into the battle, instead preferring to adapt existing industrial applications to watchmaking.

Nothing of the sort at Polysoft Tell, which singled out the watch segment as one of its priority targets, with TellWatch as the key. The crisis currently sweeping the sector has even brought some benefits for the firm. “We’re observing a tendency among watch companies to want to optimise their production tool,” concludes Philippe Gay. “This means focusing on IT solutions that will perform the full range of functionalities, not least of which is computer-aided design. This is where we can step in with a solution that is sufficiently unique to be of interest.”

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