On the occasion of GMT Magazine’s 20th anniversary (and WorldTempus’s upcoming 20th anniversary in 2021), we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book.
The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with delivery aimed just in time for the holiday season.
Use the code WT2020 at checkout get 10% off your first order! Here’s is an exclusive excerpt from our section “Who’s who”, where we name the 80 industry players, from CEOs to Creative Directors to retailers and independent watchmakers, who have indelibly shaped the last two decades of watches, written by those in the industry who perhaps know them best. For more information, visit www.the-watch-book.com
Since the mid-1990s, independent enamellist Anita Porchet has been a proud gatekeeper for the traditional craft over the last two decades, garnering numerous prizes for her work in enamelling and miniature painting on behalf of some of the most prestigious watch brands in the industry.
True mastery in enamel takes decades to master and is done so under watchful tutelage; as Porchet once said, “Enamel requires patience—you need a certain mindset to accept that after firing a dial 15 times, all that work can be ruined.”
Anita Porchet © Edouard Haegi
Small in stature and soft-spoken, Porchet does not boast, instead allowing her work and attention to detail to speak for themselves. She began enamelling métiers d’artdials for Patek Philippe, and soon thereafter, other brands came knocking. Porchet created a miniature replica of Marc Chagall’s frescoes in the Garnier Opera House in Paris for a one-of-a-kind model by Vacheron Constantin in 2010, crafted Hermès’ Cape Cod Rocabar inspired by the brand’s silk scarves in 2011, and even painted Chanel’s Mademoiselle Privé 2013 unique piece inspired by coromandel screens. Brands like Piaget and Fabergé soon followed suit as demand steady grew for her meticulous work based on a variety of enamelling techniques. Patek Philippe continued to collaborate with her on numerous one-off models, including several Dome clocks presented during their exhibition held in New York in 2017, “The Watch Art Grand Exhibition.”
Anita Porchet © Edouard Haegi
Increased demand led to more recognition: the Gaïa Prize for Craftmanship from the International Museum of Horology in 2015; “Hommage au Talent” from the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie in 2015; the Special Jury Prize from the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève; as well as Switzerland’s “Prix du patrimoine culturel immatériel” for Canton Vaud in 2017. And yet, despite the accolades, attention and a handful of offers from brands, Porchet remains independent, working in her atelier near Lausanne, Switzerland, with three other artisans she is training. For her, it remains crucially important to keep this art alive, passing on her wisdom to the next generation of artisans just as it was passed on to her.