After the general idea for the clock has been conceived, the designer merges all the conceptual and physical elements in a drawing that becomes the ‘soul’ of the timepiece. Behind each idea there is a complex inspirational history created by feelings, people and experiences.
Once the idea has taken form, La Vallée commits its experience, passion and the most advanced technologies to achieve excellence. Each component is designed using the latest software and the ultra-accuracy of a luxury complicated watch designed for series production.
Just as a sculptor chooses the finest marble block for his creation, the La Vallée artisan employs only the noblest materials. Mother of pearl, natural rock crystal, lapis-lazuli, gold, sapphires and diamonds are among the raw materials selected for their beauty rather than their value.
The ultimate mechanical precision is accomplished not only by featuring mechanisms with the most rare, exclusive complications. This is also achieved by crafting the movement’s components in an individual way that warrants the highest levels of quality and originality.
The construction of the case starts with the milling of the frame, base and doors and ends with the precision lathe turning of the screws and the components of the columns. At La Vallée, the case is more than an enclosure for the mechanism, it is an object of beauty.
The La Vallée artistic sophistication takes form with the fine, precise work of hand engraving. In the painstaking hands of a skilled craftsman, the diamond-shaped tip of a burin engraving tool makes its fine, detailed impression on both the case and the movement components.
At this stage of the process a sculptor shapes a wax model that will be reproduced in gold, silver or another precious metal through ‘lost wax casting’. The ability of the modeler is paramount in faithfully representing the shapes created by the designer in the hand drawing.
Chiselling is the delicate art of forming shapes by shifting material. At La Vallée, the chiseller creates ad hoc tools to form intricate shapes with metal. Taking a metal body or piece of metal that has been shaped by smelting or embossing, he applies finishing touches to every minute detail.
A La Vallée goldsmith hand-finishes and polishes every detail and prepares the component for the gem setter. His task is to fastidiously prepare the space to insert gems such as sapphires, rubies or diamonds. Precious stones are used to embellish the clock and not necessarily to increase its value.
Once the manufacturing and surfaces treatment processes are carried out, the components are all hand-assembled and the expert touch of the clockmaker brings the intricate mechanisms to life. This stage marks the culmination of many months’ complex craftsmanship.
An individual handcrafted La Vallée work of art. Upholding the grand traditions of clock making, when elegant timepieces could only be found in the homes of royalty and the nobility, La Vallee’s overriding concern is always to produce a unique work of stature.