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Beaubleu collection Union journal de bord de la production aiguilles rondes

Step 4 in the production of the Union Collection: our Beaubleu round needles

Production continues. After the dials, then the cases, and the bracelets, we now come to the manufacture of round hands, signature of Maison Beaubleu. In the style of a watch, the hands are small but very important elements. In fact, they are a real driving force in our identity, the punctuation point in the appearance of our watches.

We are used to writing this series of articles to you in the form of a logbook, for the manufacture of round needles, we will instead explain the different steps to you according to the different treatments that the needles will undergo.

It all starts with simple strips of rolled steel with a thickness ranging from 0.1 mm to 0.3 m, the width varies depending on the type of needle. Then, we make the pilot holes which will allow the needle to be positioned when passing through the different machines. All these operations are carried out on the strip itself, from cutting to the different steel treatments up to color or SuperLuminova treatment.

Considering the fineness of the parts and the hazards of production in general, not all the needles will be usable. Indeed, they must correspond to our quality standards such as their dimension to within 0.001 mm, with zero deformation and a color treatment without dust, scratches or bubbles.

Before carrying out the different treatments of the steel strips, we divide them into several batches, each corresponding to a different color treatment: spray paint for matte colors, SuperLuminova treatment, PVD treatment and treatment for the needles. blued.

The matte colors of round needles

Concerning the treatment to obtain the matte colors on our round needles, we apply several layers of spray paint with a drying time between each coat applied. The difficulty here is to obtain the thinnest possible thickness and perfectly smooth layers, so as not to cause friction when assembling the watch later.

Each wrong move results in the permanent loss of the prize. So before each pass, we carry out a test to ensure quality.

Beaubleu round hands that shine thanks to the SuperLuminova treatment

First of all, what is a SuperLuminova needle? This is a hand that lights up in the dark thanks to the light stored previously, which allows you to read the time in all circumstances. So the question that will come to your mind now: how do we make the hands luminescent? Nothing could be simpler (or not, because we have the same risks as for the application of colored paint), you must apply a product resembling a paste (non-radioactive of course) on the metal plate. You must be very careful not to waste product, because it has a much higher cost than other treatments, due to its rarity.

PVD treatment

For PVD treatment, it involves directly tinting the material in depth by immersing the parts in a bath. Thus, we obtain a lasting effect and a color identical to the case for the Olympe and Audace.

Blued hands, a special technique requiring meticulous watchmaking know-how

The process of bluing steel needles is different from the process of applying color. Batches of around ten needles are heated for a few minutes in very precise ovens. Heating them to a certain temperature allows the formation of an oxide film.

If you want to know more, head to an article that we devoted some time ago to this coloring technique.

Cutting and finishing

After stamping, the round Beaubleu needles are finally isolated from the strip and handled individually using tweezers.

However, cutting is not the final step, quite the contrary. A succession of steps follow to give the final shape of our needles. They are interspersed with washing and polishing sessions to eliminate impurities.

Finally, before being added to the watch, the circular hands are carefully checked, whether it is size, shape or colors, they must be impeccable so as not to interact with other elements of the watch. dial.

The challenge here is to have both perfectly flat needles that are light enough, for lift reasons, but strong enough not to bend and risk touching the other needles.

This concludes the penultimate part of our logbook, then we will proceed to assembly. The Miyota 9015 movement, decorated with the “Beaubleu” logo, will be added and then we will carry out all the necessary tests and verifications. All that will be missing is the final touch, the bracelets and their folding clasp, a new feature that brings comfort, elegance and security to the Union Collection!