If you’re thinking about purchasing a luxury watch, you’re probably considering one of Swiss origin. The connection between Switzerland and high-quality timekeepers goes beyond their precision in manufacturing — their very lives are kept to a precisely managed schedule. From buses that guarantee arrival within three minutes of their scheduled time to the cultural need to avoid tardiness (everyone takes their coffee break at exactly 4 p.m., and living complexes have explicit timelines for laundry room access), Swiss precision does truly shine, entirely unsurprisingly, in their high quality, ultra-precise watches.
The Art of Swiss Manufacturing
Looking at the complex inner mechanisms of a Swiss-made watch can inspire the same emotions one feels when staring at a piece of Renaissance art — sheer awe at the detail and wonder at such intense dedication. Although these technical works of art are produced in a factory, the high-end technology and attention to detail surrounding every step of the process allows you to forget their origin. This is clearer than ever at Chronométrie Breitling in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
Walking into the pristine environment filled with fully-automated Modulo CNC machines, you’d never have remembered that the original manufacture of early screws was done by hand, causing no two to be alike. Gone are those archaic days — these precise machines operate 24 hours a day and require absolutely no human intervention unless they detect three consecutive problems with a part (which could be the placement of hole being outside its three micron tolerance). Employing a ridiculous amount of high-end, highly precise machines that do everything from drilling the holes to the semi-automated assembly of the kits (which contain 346 components each), these watches come out as certified chronometers; since the first chronometers were invented for marine use, this means they can keep a highly accurate time while also enduring motion and changes in temperature, humidity, and air pressure. While these machines are truly astounding, it’s vital to mention the 180 experienced employees that keep them running at Breitling’s location.
The Swiss Nature Shines Through
To be honest, the “ridiculous” aspect of Breitling’s manufacturing process is what makes their watches of such high quality, and is a perfect example of Swiss culture shining through their craftsmanship. A dedication to precision as much as beauty, the end product is a truly timeless work of art — one that just so happens to keep perfect time.