To mark the 125th anniversary of the birth of Le Corbusier, the La Chaux-de-Fonds watchmaker Girard-Perregaux presents three commemorative watches inspired by key periods in the visionary architect's life.
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In the wake of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, Baselworld proved to be a week of measured enthusiasm, boosted by a record year for watchmaking in 2011 but with exports forecast to slow down.
The Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants never fails to produce some gems. This year is no exception, in the persons of Masahiro Kikuno, a young Japanese watchmaker working exclusively by hand, and the Ukrainian Valerii Danevych, a specialist in watches made entirely from wood.
Alongside the SIHH 2012, De Bethune presented its finished Dream Watch IV, new interpretations of its DB 28, and an exceptional demonstration of the horological métiers d'art. As well as returning to a major breakthrough by the name of résonique.
Despite a high-flying year in 2011, with the world economy still on an unsteady footing, the eighteen brands exhibiting at the 22nd Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie refused to be lured by the siren song of record export levels. But nor did they rein in their unparalleled expertise.
Alongside the complicated mechanisms and métiers d'art that inhabit the upper echelons of watchmaking, skeleton-work is an art in itself. So as to reveal the mechanism inside the watch, the dial is removed, mainplate and bridges are carved, and other parts cut away to show the bare bones of the movement structure whose every surface, now the focus of attention, must be decorated with the utmost care. This is, of course, a perilous exercise which requires consummate expertise.