Originally Posted by ~ B ~
Well JLC and Patek to my knowledge both get their enamel dials done by the same workshop in Europe, as do almost all Swiss/German watch brands. From what I have seen comparing the two workshops in Switzerland and Beijing, the Chinese one uses thinner gold wire, thus yielding finer detail. Ultimately, it depends on the painting chosen on whether this quality is apparent to the naked eye and loupe.
I am pretty sure JLC does its enamelling in-house at Le Sentier - at least I am sure they do so for peinture sur émail (painted enamel) - which is led by the incomparable Miklos Merczel. Cannot speak for whether their cloisonne work is outsourced.
I think the other big house that led the way for in-house enamelling is VC, but I am not sure if that is a current thing with them.
For the benefit of everyone else here are some examples in lieu of a lengthy explanation as to why I rate the JLC enamelworks very
highly. Remember this is all done in vitreous
(as in glass) enamel - everything is done with the consideration that the end product has to survive being fired in a jeweler's kiln.
This is not widely known, but only
gold cases can have vitreous enamel applied to them. Steel JLCs have epoxy resins applied to them and are then baked at a much lower temperatures. Which is nice in its own way, but not quite at the same level as vitreous enamel in terms of depth, beauty or difficulty. Thankfully not cost either though.
Your friendly neighbourhood JLC boutique or AD is likely to refer to either process as "enameling", and while a little misleading they are not technically
wrong - one is vitreous
enameling, the other cold
Sometimes they more accurately refer to the process for steel JLCs as "lacquering". This is cold enamel:
Originally Posted by ~ B ~
No please, give all the feedback you can! I truly appreciate it as that is the only way we can improve. I will be using actual celadon and Yixing clay as a dial in my watches and will be sourcing this from the fourth-generation artisan who makes my handmade tea ware, which is then shipped to the north of China to be assembled in the watches. Lacquer will be a possibility as well in future. I have discussed this with the makers and it is no problem.
MOP is a cinch, it has been done in watches costing 200 USD even. Fine porcelain has also already been done by the makers working for me - I think the result is incredible.
My intention all along was to tie Chinese watchmaking with other ancient fine traditions like marquetry as you mentioned, porcelain ware, ink and brush painting and poetry et al. China has a long history of watch and clock making stretching back 600 years, and the modern history began in 1955 with four old watchmakers assembling a single piece freehand with no prior designs in a little room in Tianjin.
Also, I wanted to add that the watches shown above are my own personal watches commissioned with the maker. While I will be using these same movements in the watches of my CELADON brand, I wanted to test the watches firsthand and only if they pass my standards do they deserve a place in the pantheon of Maison CELADON.
I wish you all the very best with your venture, and will keep an eye on your marque!
Originally Posted by Kaplan
So, are you having your SF avatar engraved on the back?
That's actually a pretty good (if crazy) idea, but I sadly don't print money...
Anyway, since I'm on a bit of a didactic roll, here are some examples of engraving on JLCs... I'll leave it up to you guys to decide who does the finer work. JLC Le Sentier:J.C. Randell:
Originally Posted by Newcomer
Interesting. See, I actually prefer the 5140. Although I do love the 3940, the 5140 feels more balanced in regards to the north-south, and east-west orientations. I find the "north" of the 3940 to be a little bit stark and empty.
This is probably going to sound really stupid, but perhaps some numbers can help me? I feel like with the 5140, you have a "2" on the west, and a "2" on the east (with "1" being the standard unit of measurement. It is just supposed to be a proportional analysis). Additionally, with the north you have a "1" with the bigger text, and the south a "3" with the bigger moonphase. I feel like the north-south and east-west are balanced, even though the south of the dial is more occupied than the north.
As for the 3940, I will give east and west a "2," and the north maybe a ".75" and the south a "2.5."
I don't think this made any sense. But I swear in my head it sounds good. Also, I find the "busy"-ness of the moonphase in the 3940 to be a bit overwhelming in lieu of the simplicity of the other subdials.
This is, of course, picking the pickiest of nits.
Have you checked out the new 2013 JLC Master Perpetual Calendar? Would be interested in your thoughts about its "balance".