Le coin des chroniqueurs
 06.12.2019, 18:30

Living in Nyon: Watch Making – Clever and Complicated

Catherine Nelson Pollard, la blogueuse de Living in Nyon.

Chronique La blogueuse de Living in Nyon partage ses réflexions sur les montres.

If you walk through the long corridors of Geneva airport on the way to board a flight to the UK, you pass lots of advertising boards, most of them promoting watches. From gorgeous elegant wristwatches, chunky masculine watches to extravagant bling, there are all sorts of timepieces on offer.

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There are watches with an altimeter, that can tell you the height you are at or ones with a depth meter for divers in the sea, watches that tell you the current phase of the moon; watches that let you know what time it is on the other side of the world; a watch to time your laps and one that times your nap (I made that bit up). Of course, there are watches that simply just tell you the time.

These adverts at the airport really remind one of how important the watch industry is to Switzerland. I must admit I knew very little bit about this market when I first moved here. It also took me a while to get used to all the terminology. The technical words in French around watches: interventions and revolutions, tachymeters and tourbillons, were not part of my normal vocabulary. To hear about “complications” in a watch not only sounded strange to the English ear but also a bit, well, complicated. But it’s not something to get wound up about.

«To hear about “complications” in a watch not only sounded strange to the English ear but also a bit, well, complicated.»

Since then, I’ve visited the Patek Philippe museum in Geneva and I am hoping to visit a watch manufacturer in the not too distant future. I was recently in a lovely jeweller’s shop in Nyon and there I learnt all about the craftsmanship and artistry that goes into making a watch. Apparently there is a “Dictionnaire professionnel illustré de l’horlogerie” comprising 1,300 pages with thousands of different watch making terms. It would be quite time consuming to get through that.

On a personal level I have stuck to the same old watch for many years, mainly because it has clear and visible second hands. These are very useful for broadcasting when I am recording interviews. The watch is old, the strap is falling apart, but I love it. One day if I save up enough francs and centimes, I might buy a new one. After all, I am in the right country and the right place to do this. I am just waiting for the right time.

Catherine Nelson Pollard, blogeuse

Le blog de Living in Nyon

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