What? There is even further information about the history of watch hands? Well, we at Drmenstyle.com prefer things the more the merrier. And, having more knowledge of watch hands don’t hurt anyone. Therefore, today we will go through further important information you should know about the watch hands. In fact, we will be continuing from our previous post about the manufacturing process.
Extra information (Source: Drmenstyle.com)
In case you missed out on our previous post about watch hands, you can click here to read more about them. However, if you are too lazy (like me) sometimes, then we can try our best to summarise. Before the invention of machines, watch hands are made manually from hands, usually with a hammer. The hammer will form the rough frame of the watch hands, called the ébauche
MODERN MANUFACTURING PROCESS
However, manually designing and processing watch hands are slow. Therefore, the watch hand press machine was invented somewhere around the 18th century. However, buying a watch hand press machine is not as simple as just buying a shirt. This is due to the fact that each watch hands have their own unique characteristics, therefore no two machine are the same.
Alpha Hand (Source:ebay.com)
Paddle Watch Hands (Source: Ebay.com)
However, the overall manufacturing process in general still remains the same. Below are some examples of the name of the manufacturing process and their explanations to get a better idea.
METAL ROLL PROCESSING
In case you do not know, watch hands begin with sheets of metals which are processed into rolls. In fact, these thin rolls of metals are often identified as film reels. Now, depending on the criteria of the manufacturer, the sheet metals can be precious metals like gold, platinum or just stainless steel.
Metal “film” reel (Source: luxuryactivist.com)
This is the next process of manufacturing the watch hands, which is punching the holes. This is a necessary step before making the lips of the watch hands, which is also dependent on the diameter of the manufacturer’s requirement.
LIPS/ CANON MAKING
Here is the most important step, which is making the lips of the watch hands or watch-makers like to call it, the canon. In this canon process, the sheet of metal with the punched hole will go through a machine. In order to form the shape of the canon, a press will cut away the excess metal around the punched hole. The canon is the most important process, without it, you cannot fix the hands on the movement pivot.
Lips or Canon (Source:luxuryactivist.com)
If you cant fix the watch hands on the pivot movement, then the watch hands are basically useless because of the movement and watch hands cant turn together at the same time. However, there are some instances whereby the press may damage the future hands during this process because the design of the watch hand is too fragile. Therefore, some watch manufacturers will make the lips or canon separately and then only manually join them to the finished watch hands.
In this process, the pre-watch hands with the canon or lips will undergo surface treatment in the form of diamond polishing. Diamond polishing is essentially the process of removing the surface scratches, stains on the hands. Also, this process gives the mirror effect look on the watch hands.
TEMO Diamond polish paste 0.5 Micron (Source: Amazon.com)
Blanking is essentially the cutting process of the watch hands. What happens during this process is that the watch hands will go through a machine, which cuts the final shape of the watch hands using a press. However, this is not the final step or process of watch hands manufacturing. Sometimes, the customer will request for additional features like luminescent.
Blanking (Source: Luxuryactivist.com)
If it is true, then the watch hands will go through the machine the 2nd time, this time, to create a special groove on the watch hands. It is in the watch hand groove, whereby the masters can apply the luminescent product manually.
SURFACE TREATMENT AND DESIGN
This is the last step before the completed watch hands undergo strict quality control and packaging to the customer. Sometimes, the customer will request for additional details added which can be skeletonization, painting, adding logo and etc.