Beading, Beveling, Satin-finishing, Micro-blasting: the different watchmaking finishes
In watchmaking, there are different finishes that allow you to decorate the movements present in your watches. We tend to think that watch decorations are only used for their aesthetic side, but we often forget their primary function: to hide small dust and particles that can lodge on the movement during machining. In fact, their reliefs make it possible to capture dust but also to hide any traces of machining that could be left during manufacturing.
There are several types of finishes that we will be able to describe to you in this article.
Perlage: a round decoration
Perlage is a watchmaking decoration, easily recognizable thanks to its circular shape. Unlike the Côte de Genève finish which is placed on the wrist side, the perlage is more discreet and is placed on two barely visible areas: on the dial side of the movement and on the bottom of the plates. In the first zone, the dial conceals it and in the second, given that the movement is closed by the bridges, we hardly see it anymore. However, this does not take away from the beauty or usefulness of this round decoration. Thanks to its circular shape, beading is often used in the hollows of the movement because it is the only decoration that it is possible to make in this type of narrow place.
Beveling is an extremely meticulous watchmaking finish, which consists of removing the edges between the surface and the sides, as well as forming a polished bevel. As with all watchmaking decorations, beveling makes it possible to eliminate any traces of machining that could have been left on the edges. These traces could harm the proper functioning of the mechanical movement, it is therefore essential to remove them. There are different methods used for beveling:
- Modern methods which are defined by the machining of parts. The beveling is then carried out by milling machines then the polishing is carried out chemically, mechanically or even with brushes.
- Then there are the artisanal methods which take much more time and which require unique know-how and specific tools such as a burnisher, a wooden grindstone and many others. Handcrafted bevelling is a rare and expensive technique these days.
Satin-finishing is a decoration that you can find on certain watch movements. It is also called “drawn lines” or “stretching”.
This finish consists of covering a surface with a set of fine scratches, all parallel to each other. These reliefs then created will be able to catch the light and allow the movement to adopt pretty reflections, while giving a homogeneous appearance to the treated surface.
Microblasting is a watchmaking finish, which is defined by the treatment of a surface using impacts of glass beads. These micro-beads are then projected onto a surface in order to create slight impacts, without damaging the treated surface. This treatment is extremely versatile because depending on the size of the glass beads as well as the force with which they are projected, it is possible to obtain varied results.
Like all watchmaking finishes, in addition to the aesthetic side, which makes the treated surface textured, this finish also makes it possible to hide machining traces.
At Charlie Paris, we can take the example of the dial of theConcordia Tundra , which has undergone this treatment.