The first Lundis Bleus watches equipped with kiln-fired enamel dials have been revealed during in early 2017 and the first watches have been delivered in Switzerland and Japan in June of the same year.
What exactly is Kiln-fired enamel? It’s a several thousands years old technique of metal embellishment, where a type of glass called “enamel” is fused to a metal base. This process is usually done in a kiln between 780°C and 850°C.
Enameling is mainly done on copper, on silver, and gold. At Lundis Bleus, we use sterling silver (925/1000) for our Ref.1100-EU enamelled dials.
Enamel can be transparent, to let the texture of the metal base show through, opaque, semi-opaque or opalescent. The metal base used for enamelling can be left raw in the case of opaque enamelling, or can be decorated with engravings or stampings when working with transparent enamel (which would let the engravings show). For the Ref.1100-EU, as we are using transparent enamel, we have created a handmade texture looking like the surface of an ocean. This texture is entirely done at Lundis Bleus. Working with enamel is a long and delicate process. Whether we are talking about the preparation of the metals or the enamels, every step counts and is important. Then comes the moment where our creations must go through the oven: the step where everything can go wrong. Our dials have to go through the oven 6 times in the average.
The different steps of enamelling here at Lundis Bleus are the following:
Fabrication of the silver base plate.
Hand decoration of the surface with the “ocean surface” texture.
Pressing the central chimney
Preparation of the metal = cleaning, blank firing, acid pickling
Preparation of the enamel = grinding of enamel lumps into a fine, homogenous and very clean sand in an agate mortar.
Brush application of the wet enamel on top surface and counter-enamel of the back.
Firing of the enamel/metal in the kiln at around 830°C about 1 minute.
Grinding of the surfaces.
The process of enamel application/firing/grinding repeats itself about 6 times. In the end, the dial must be as flat as possible.
Final polishing of the enamel.
Welding of the dial’s feet.
Varnish pad printing of the index and logo
Creation of the "ocean surface" texture on a silver dial before enameling
Handmade texture before enamelling on a silver dial of the Ref.1100-EU. 45 minutes of work shortened to 1. All done at the Lundis Bleus workshop.
Posted by Lundis Bleus on Freitag, 21. Juli 2017
Shortened enameling process
Just a shortened and partial video of the enamelling process of the Lundis Bleus Ref.1100-EU. Everything is done at our workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds.Need more information? Please drop us an e-mail at email@example.com
Posted by Lundis Bleus on Samstag, 29. Juli 2017
As stated before, the process of realising a kiln-fired enamelled watch dial is very long and delicate. Our enamelled watch dial production is therefore be very limited.
Even though it is very difficult to produce such enamelled dials, the final result is so beautiful and unique that it worth each of the numerous hours spent on each one of them.
If there is an interest, it is with pleasure that we will look into the possibilities and the overall feasibility of custom, personalised projects. Do not hesitate to contact us on the subject!