Behind the scenes at the Michel Herbelin watchmaking factory

behindthescenesPrecision, reliability and perfection have long been founding principles on which Michel Herbelin watches have been crafted, part of the great watchmaking tradition which has been handed down from generation to generation.

Today, each Michel Herbelin watch is made with the meticulous precision of master craftsmen in the Michel Herbelin factory in Charquemont France, combining innovative technologies and the creative spirit of French elegance.

We go behind the scenes to discover how the Michel Herbelin watch collections you have come to know and love are made, taking you on a step by step process.

 Design

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Did you know that every watch in the Michel Herbelin collection starts off as a sketch by the Michel Herbelin master designer? The watch designer hand draws each design having taken inspiration from a word or journey and transforms its essence into a sketch which provides the basis for an elegant Michel Herbelin watch.

Construction

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From here, the Michel Herbelin watch really starts to come to life. Using 3D software the design is given its shape, combining in-depth knowledge of components and technical expertise.

Assembly

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Michel Herbelin watch makers are particular about detail, and at this stage they carefully inspect each component of a watch with extreme vigilance.

Dial

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The watch assembly process starts with the dial. The dial is placed on the movement which the watchmaker examines, scrutinises and checks with care. The dial is placed delicately on the movement, always keeping the compliance procedures and technical specifications of the watch in mind.

Hands

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Watch hands are small and very delicate, so this part is fiddly work! Using a magnifying glass, each tiny hand on the movement is carefully added. Concentration is key- the slightest gust of wind or the smallest movement could easily send everything flying; extreme skill is needed here! Next, the watchmaker goes over each and every part to make sure they are precisely in the right position.

Winding Mechanism

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A winding mechanism will be specific to each model of watch, so the watchmaker cuts the mechanism specifically adapted to that model and then puts it in place. It is then inspected to see if it is working.

Inspection before encasement

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Casing is a key stage in watch assembly as accuracy is everything- the slightest speck of dust can cause great interference. Each component is therefore cleaned, scrutinised and inspected before it is placed in the case.

Casing the movement

SAV travail sur mouvement automatique  valjou 7750 décoré à la main 5

The ticking of the movement brings the mechanism to life- the movement is carefully placed in the casing ring, followed by the case middle. This is the first part added to the casing.

Casing the winding mechanism

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Casing of the movement is quickly followed by the winding mechanism which is screwed into the case middle and adjusted to fit the movement.

Casing the back

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The last part of the assembly process, the back is added to the watch, finishing off the case middle and concealing the interior parts of the mechanism.

Timekeeping

atelier vue d'ensemble depuis SAV

This part of the process checks the accuracy of the watch, truly important for any Michel Herbelin model. The watch is adjusted to be precisely on time and checks are conducted over several days on the accuracy of the hands, the date, stopwatch functions and the winding mechanism.

Inspections

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Any watch will encounter some bumps along the way with daily wear and tear. In order that each watch is reliable, each watch is put through a series of tests, including tightness tests under pressure and negative pressure from 30 to 1,000 metres depending on the model.

Bracelet

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One of the last steps after the body of the watch is ready to go is adding the watch bracelet or strap. The master watchmaker assembles the unique bracelet and the watch is ready for its finishing touches.

The Finishing Touches

After sales workshop

Last but not least, the watch is meticulously cleaned and prepared. The watch is now ready to leave the comfort of the watch workshop and reach its location wherever that may be in the world.

Michel Herbelin watches come in a wide variety of styles, but they all have one thing in common; they have all gone through rigorous testing and been designed and made with expertise, love and care.

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