Sophie Colin
Focus | 9 juin

Tudor : from design to production
Collected statements between the designer and the engineer, in the Tudor’s watches creation backstage.

 © DR
« In my design, the notion of industry is necessarily present. A design is successful when it has an industrial vision of manufacturing.» « We work together every day, we are in a perpetual discussion. » Ander Ugarte and Eric Pirson are respectively designer and chief of production at Tudor. The watch manufacturing is based on this dialogue, this back and forth game between one’s drawing and one’s technical realization. « I improved the stature… Take a look at this horn aesthetic… Do you think that bezel is feasible? » are part of their daily exchanges.
 © DR

Everything moves faster in this proximity where the workshop is a laboratory which lets intuition run freely. «We get around in an intuitive way. We are looking for something, then a door opens, and we discover a universe that we can exploit in another way by going further  », Ander Ugarte explains.

« We introduce elements, historical codes of the establishment and, like a recipe, we have to find the right balance between the object itself, the brand and its story. And that is the Tudor style. The fact, for instance, of putting a red piece on a model’s hand can change everything. »

His inspiration, Ander Ugarte finds it in everything that is happening in society, in architecture, art or even automobile: «I try to transmit a mix of all of that through a contemporary watch.» It is in that search for modernity that design and production express their collaboration with the highest intensity.
A design is successful when it has an industrial vision of manufacturing. » Ander Ugarte, designer for Tudor
 © DR

The new Heritage Black Bay Bronze is a good illustration of that. The designer wanted to adapt this historical model for bronze. « There are many bronzes, all different. Which one should we choose, which one fits us, which one passes the tests? », Ander Ugarte explains. Eric Pirson continues : « The establishment never made bronze so we were starting from scratch. Ander had an additional constraint: we wanted a patina watch, which lives. But that did not correspond to Tudor’s DNA, to the typical reliability of the brand’s offer. So we worked on an alloy giving a patina and where some of the risks linked to reliability and durability are annihilated. » Ander Ugarte adds : « “This project required a lot (three year) of work. We chose a material which we subjected to very advanced tests. We wanted a homogenous patina, not one that would look dirty or stained. It was a very important technical argument and, once we found the good potential alloy, there was all the industrial process.»

« We do not do just two pieces, they are not limited sets. So we must be able to produce an important number. » The stake is indeed the transition between design and production: « Creating beautiful things and repeating them. Today, the technical challenge is mastered, the industrial challenge is to increase the production capacity.»
In the same way, the fabric bracelets manufacturing became very technical and the two men are consulting each other: « The weavings are complex, they mix tradition and technology and use hundred-year-old professions. The crossroad between industrial universes is interesting: the pure watch manufacturing and the weaving. » Ander Ugarte points out. Eric Pirson takes over: « We launch aesthetic researches by changing the threads, the potential is incalculable. » They only ask to blossom in this team work where voices mingle and answer each other.
 © DR

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Crédits photo : DR
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