Le Garde Temps, la Naissance d’une Montre adventure has now entered the hand making of components and technical validation phase.
The project, intended to preserve traditional watchmaking techniques, which was officially launched at Greubel Forsey during Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2012 is now in its second year of development.
The project came about when Philippe Dufour, Stephen Forsey and Robert Greubel (of Greubel Forsey) decided to collaborate in creating a complete wristwatch from first sketches to the final timepiece, in an effort to combat the decline of many watchmaking techniques and hand craftmanship in general.
After more than 12 months of working on the timepiece on paper, the hand-making of components and technical validation is now underway. At SIHH 2013 in Geneva, Michel Boulanger, Philippe Dufour and Jean François Erard set up their machines in a working atelier to make components. Over the next 12 months, parts and mechanisms will be made, tested, modified and perfected.
When they decided to embark on the project, as well as aiming to make an inventory of the watchmaking techniques that deserve to be safeguarded, Dufour, Forsey and Greubel have set about passing them on to a talented young watchmaker with the aim of perpetuating them. They chose Michel Boulanger, a qualified watchmaker and restorer who teaches at the Paris Watchmaking School. With the support of the three project initiators, his challenge will be to create a very few but truly handmade haute horlogerie timepieces and pass his expertise on to future generations.
A blog has been set up to allow people to follow the project as it advances.