Décors Guillochés

Techniques

To each his own technique...

Décors Guillochés SA concentrates all its resources on meeting the specific needs of the customer and the market in which it operates. The product that leaves our manufacture must correspond to the customer's programme from every point of view, and this is why Décors Guillochés has developed a range of production tools and a broad spectrum of skills.


manual guilloché work
manual guilloché work

› Manual guilloché work, the essential difference

This is unique work. Each piece has its own identity and characteristics. The piece is the authentic result of the artist’s skill, which imbues it with his personal touch. Every member of the Décors Guillochés team has been trained in the mastery of this technique, which dates back three centuries.

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Guilloché on steel
Guilloché on steel

› Guilloché on steel… the stamping die

Products made by stamping, a less costly process than manual guilloché, are characterised by being part of a series. Gradual wear of the stamping tools lends a certain diversity to the pieces, but the output is naturally more consistent than with the constantly varying pressure exerted by the hand of the guilloché artist.

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Numerical Control
Numerical Control

› CN… a thousand identical to one

It may be desirable on large production runs to lend the pieces a touch of originality with a guilloché finish, without seeking to make each piece unique.
One solution that Décors Guillochés has been developing is NC (Numerical Control), a technology rapidly expanding in most production processes. Its immense programming and adjustment possibilities, together with its associated production capacity, make it a highly advantageous tool for large series.

Although these are designed for quality, they obviously do not aim to have the exclusive character of a unique product entirely made by hand.

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Conclusions

The essential difference between the hand-crafting approach and more industrial methods lies in the uniqueness of the pieces. Each manual guilloché piece is different from the others and has its own individual nuances derived from the sensibility of the artist who made it, while a stamped piece is a perfect replica of countless other identical pieces.

Using the analogy of painting, a better known art form, a piece of manual guilloché work can be compared to the artist's original canvas, while a stamped piece corresponds to a reproduction of the painting. The decoration is the same, but only the original bears the traces of the artist's care.

Thus each method of decoration corresponds to specific applications, depending on its characteristics. An industrial technique will be chosen for low-end or medium quality watches, where costs have to be controlled, while manual guilloché will be preferred for high-end, complex decorations targeting a well-informed clientele or collectors seeking a unique, original object.