We visited the manufacture at Plans-Le-Ouates. All watch production are made here, including jewelry watches. 180 people work at the Manufacture. Movements are made by ETA and Blancpain.
No photography in the manufacture.
We began in the Joaillerie Department. This is where the jewelers work with microscopes. Each station is equipped with a torch and a vacuum to collect the dust. Three jewelers work in the department to produce almost all the jewelry used in HW watches. They work with gold and platinum, including the mountings for the diamonds and gemstones. The mountings are made by shaping and welding wires in platinum for high jewelry pieces and welded first with a laser and then with a torch. When the mountings are then shaped, each is polished.
The mountings are then joined together to make the whole bracelet. Stones are also recut the stones in this department. This is only for fine tuning the gemstones.
We next went to the Settings Department where the gems are set into the work done by the Joaillerie Department.
We saw a gemset bezel being made. The base is in gold and made by a CNC machine with the holding points made with high precision. They polish the bezel and the gems are set into the bezel. Care is made to ensure the stones are level, otherwise the stone may break. The metal prongs and holders are bent by a mini pneumatic hammer to hold the stones. And the bent claws and holders are polished. All the work is done by hand. The stones are set so that they as close as possible to each other, but never touching.
For invisible settings, small holes are made on the stones where the prongs are attached.