Transmission of horological art know-how

Hervé Schlüchter’s particular savoir-faire comes from the transmission of an horological heritage through an exceptional human venture.

“I appreciate this idea from an old buddhist saying: 'When the student is ready, the Master will appear' and positive things usually happen when you keep a positive mindset."

Hervé Schlüchter

A once-in-a-lifetime human venture

The adventure starts with two watchmakers, Hervé Schlüchter and Philippe Dufour, who, above a deeply rooted passion for a magical craft, are bound to each other through values they hold dear. Hard work and humility are the cornerstones of this particular bound from which results a unique know-how, forged along decades of experiences.

Those shared values convinced Philippe Dufour to take Hervé on as his apprentice and guide him in the teaching and mastery of this savoir-faire.

Picture of Hervé Schlüchter working in Villa Jolimont's old workshop
Closeup view of Philippe Dufour examining the Cu29 timepiece
Picture of Philippe Dufour transmitting traditional watchmaking skills to Hervé Schlüchter

“Respect of People, Respect of Things and the Love of a work well done, these are the values transmitted to me by Philippe Dufour."

Hervé Schlüchter

A demanding apprenticeship

Pretend to realize timepieces according to traditional horological arts’ strictest traditions, dear to Philippe Dufour, requires hard work, a deep personal investment but also a great dose of humility and an ability to question oneself.

It entails the lucidity of knowing that no matter how many years of experience one has, one cannot be omniscient and therefore, there will always be something to learn. Those moments of sharing also quench the thirst for learning, deeply anchored in Philippe and Hervé.

“Any work worthy to be done, deserves to be well done.”

Philippe Dufour

This particular bound is an immense honor for Hervé and reveals itself to be an invaluable gift for the Alchemists. Everything else is part of history…

The importance of preserving a horological heritage

The strength of an independent watchmaker is to be able to focus on different aspects, compared to a well-established group, and to give even more importance to the human aspect, uniting a team of people guided by the same objective of nurturing traditional skills. This objective materializes in the way the timepieces are imagined as well as about the experience lived everyday by the Alchemists’ team.

The Alchemists are strongly guided by the goal of humbly contributing to the preservation of a horological heritage, belonging to Haute Horlogerie‘s history, as well as perpetuating its know-how and teachings through their timepieces. This will is deeply anchored in their vocation, provoking moments of invaluable human interactions but also representing a real challenge for the watchmakers.

“The more time you invest in the finishing of a part, the more your self-confidence is tested. The slightest mistake can cost several days of work."

Louis-Bernard Farine, Alchemists Watchmaker

The transmission of know-how to future generations

Honored by this particular bound with Philippe Dufour, Hervé Schlüchter is also invested by a new responsibility: passing down these traditional horological skills to the next generation of watchmakers, and it begins in the Alchemists’ workshop.

The Alchemists’ watchmakers are humbly working everyday to the preservation of this heritage. The skill level and passion required from each watchmakers of the Alchemists is particularly high. Only a small few of craftsmen in Switzerland are still able to hand finish and assemble each of his creations by him- or herself.

There is no finishing workshop at the Alchemists. The watchmaker receives the kit for each timepiece as a “blank”, meaning non-finished, and must do the hand-finishing him- or herself, as done back in the glory days of fine watchmaking and which very few traditional Maisons still know how to do nowadays.

Each creation of the Alchemists will be the child of a single individual watchmaker, from its assembly and adjusting to its most detailed hand finishing.

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