The Naked Watchmaker project is one of the coolest websites about watches, watchmaking and the people of the world of horology available. The website transpires, besides extremely valuable information, a lot of passion. I salute Peter Speake-Marin for his project and I will try to present you my favourite parts of it.
If the last time I present you how fun the world of watches can be – the Pioneers Chronicles, this time I talk about something very serious, but with the same lavel of coolness. The Naked Watchmaker (even the name is cool) was born from the wish to share the beauty of watchmaking to all. To share the deepest and most unknown details of the watches and their world. And, the cherry on the top of the cake is the People column. But more about it later.
The Naked Watchmaker
When I found out, a while ago, that Peter is “leaving” the world of watches, I was somehow sad. I mean, such a great guy with such a talent to be wasted. But I was so wrong… Peter left his usual projects to fulfil a dream – the Naked Watchmaker. So if you still wonder why, there is an entire section dedicated to “WHY?” this project. Read it, is more interesting than one might think.
Deconstructions – crazy rich information about watches we might never find otherwise
Under Decons page we are assaulted by six categories, ranging from vintage pieces to amazing modern mechanics. The deconstructions are well documented and reveal original views of the movements and constituent components. It is an important fact that one has the occasion to study in details parts and pieces that are, usually, only visible to the watchmakers. It is the perfect opportunity to learn more about watches’ construction, finishes and, as a consequence, the real value of them.
It was hard for me to choose only one favourite from the Decons. So I picked up one piece from each category:
- Pocket watches: Jules Jurgensen
- Independent watchmakers: MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual
- Established brands: Blancpain Villeret Complete calendar 8 days
- Just movements: Schwarz Etienne
- Mechanical marvels: Antique Tools
- Vintage wristwatches: Jaeger Le-Coultre Triple Date
The choices are personal, based on my preferences and on the first visual impact. We can discuss that in comments.
People – we think often about watches, but almost never about the people behind them
My personal favourite part of the Naked Watchmaker project is the People page. Peter asked a fixed set of question to several people, watch industry persona. From watchmakers to journalists, the stories are powerful. Some might even learn something from these interviews. The most important lesson in all: “Never give up!”
Never give up! – a message than can be encountered in many of the interviews
I will not reveal my favourite interview. It’s too personal, once… Second, all of them must be read – valuable lessons in life. But you can share in the comments which one is your favourite. Maybe I will share also mine.
Art Gallery – beautiful images, free to admire as long as you want
The Art page is amazing. The page is dedicated to Guy LUCAS de PESLOUAN – an exceptional artist and photographer. The Galleries presented on the Naked Watchmaker Website are a rare occasion to see extraordinary photographs signed by the Parisian artist. For me, a great opportunity to learn about light and composition.
Making – maybe the best encyclopedia of watchmaking available free online
Some others write books, expensive ones, with this kind of information. But on the Naked Watchmakers Making page, you might find all the information you need, without spending one dime. It’s simply amazing the amount of information available, well written and documented with pictures.
The material below illustrating the development and manufacture of movements is non-exhaustive. It helps to explain part of the complexity of the process as well as some of the people behind it. Each movement manufacture has variations on the same themes which change in relation to quantities and product positioning. The movements developed below are targeted to the top level of industrial movement manufacturing. – Page description
Videos – if an image worth a thousand words, imagine what a video can…
The Video page is valuable not by the number of videos, but by the information contained. Besides the explained deconstruction done in collaboration with the Watches TV, there is one particular video: Incredible Historic Tools Collection for Watchmaking – a must see for anyone in love with fine mechanics.
The last but not least words
In the Links section, there are presented some of the links important for every watch lover – for museums, forums and for watchmaking schools. The museum page list is a must see for the hard-core passionate. I visited some of them, I will return, again and again, with every occasion.
The Shop page offers digital and printed publications. Some of the digital issues are free. The printed books selection, with levels from beginners to advanced, can be ordered at fair prices. One might find some better prices elsewhere, but you have to dig up a lot and, sometimes, the search engines are useless for some of the titles.
All the images are taken from The Naked Watchmaker Website. Thank you!