2014 NAWCC Ward Francillon Time Symposium

Thread: 2014 NAWCC Ward Francillon Time Symposium

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  1. #1
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    2014 NAWCC Ward Francillon Time Symposium

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    "Beauty, Precision, and Craftsmanship of French Clocks"


    Host: Chapter 60 Florida Gold Coast
    Hotel: Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Convention: Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Chair: Joe Cohen

    The history, clock types and styles, inventions, and major improvements during the following French periods will be covered. Clock types and styles followed furniture styles. Important clockmakers, movement makers, casemakers, founders, bronzers, dial makers, gilders, ébénistes, and other associated disciplines will be discussed. As a bonus, a new searchable Excel database of almost 1,000 artisans in the aforementioned disciplines will be given to attendees.

    If you are a member of the NAWCC, a researcher, an appraiser, an auctioneer, an antique dealer, an art historian, or a museum professional, this symposium offers you a unique opportunity to gain in-depth insight into the history and details of the French clock industry. In addition to the maker database, attendees will receive a compilation of the information presented by each speaker. An outstanding exhibit of French clock types and styles from each period will enhance this fascinating topic.


    The Florida Gold Coast Chapter of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC) will host the 2014 Ward Francillon Time Symposium October 16 - October 18 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, at the Marriott Hotels and Resorts.

    The theme is “Beauty, Precision, and Craftsmanship of French Clocks” and will feature an exhibit of French Clocks by type and style from each period from French Louis XIII through Art Deco.

    Clock types and styles actually followed the furniture styles that were popular at the time. Topics will include historical information, the major or important clockmakers, movement makers, casemakers, founders, bronzers, dial makers, gilders, ebenistes, and other associated disciplines. Nearly 1,000 artisans have been entered into a searchable excel database by name, date, and discipline. Those who attend the Symposium will receive a disc containing this information.

    For members of the NAWCC, researchers, appraisers, auctioneers, art historians, and museum professionals this Symposium will offer a unique opportunity to gain in-depth insight into the history and details of the French clock history. Attendees also will receive a compilation of the information presented by each speaker.

    Philip Poniz, keynote speaker, will kick off Thursday evening with the James Arthur Lecture, “The Little Known Side of Breguet.” Poniz will highlight little-known episodes from Breguet’s personal life, surprising facts from his professional life, and fake Breguet watches that might, in fact, not be fakes! Friday morning Poniz will share information about seventeenth century French horology, including the important features and improvements during this relatively undeveloped period of French clocks and watches.

    Philip is a mathematician and well-known antiquarian horological expert who handled the majority of the most important watches and clocks that came onto the market at Sotheby’s, Antiquorum and Patrizzi & Co.

    He is currently a partner and lead expert at WatchInvest, Inc. and is also owner of European Watch & Casemakers, Ltd, a company that specializes in restoring mechanisms in ultra-complicated watches and clocks. Philip also owns and manages the largest electronic horological library in the world with more than 8 million files.

    Leading experts who also will speak are Greg Perry, Jonathan Snellenburg, Steve Thompson, Tom Targett, Colleen Boyle, and J. C. Cohen. The Antiquarian Horological Society will be present a program on Friday night, which may also be of interest to attendees and the public.

    “This year’s Symposium marks the first time in over 20 years that the history of French clocks will be covered in a Symposium or any educational program,” explains Symposium Chair J. C. Cohen. “Those who attend the Symposium will gain a keen perception of the craftsmanship and beauty that encompassed the making of these clocks throughout French clock making history.”

    The public is invited to view this extraordinary exhibit of French clocks on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.


    If preregistered by September 19, attendance for the three-day Symposium is just $150; however single day passes are available as well. Registration information is available below.

    Click here to download the 2014 Symposium registration form in PDF format

    Click here to register for the 2014 Symposium online


    Last edited by Markus Harris; August 8th, 2014 at 20:45.

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Painting enameled watch cases

    The Symposium is in full swing and Philip Poniz is wowing us with his presentations. The man is a boundless source of knowledge!

    A tidbit from the presentations so far: In the 1600s the French perfected the art of painting on enamel. As I understood it, the process starts with an enamel base, usually a white. Upon this are layered various colors, one at a time. The colors consist of oxide pigments ground to a fine powder and mixed usually with rainwater. Each specific color is applied by dotting the powder for that color onto the base. Brush strokes like found with oils is not an option. After every color, the piece is fired and the powder melts onto the base. Once melted into a coat on the base, it is fairly resistant to melting in subsequent firings for additional colors. Thus a layering of colors can be built onto the base.

    Much of the product of these French painters was for watch cases. For the first time the watch started with a case and a movement was found to fit it. Movement makers from all over the world would buy these cases to build their watches. It was quite a profitable business and certain painters became famous just like oil on canvas painters.

    Some of the examples Philip showed were clearly major works of art.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Painting enameled watch cases

    What a wonderful time! Going into the Symposium all I knew about French clocks was from what I gleaned from Antiques Roadshow! LOL A major gap in my horological knowledge has been backfilled

    The French started making clocks as a major industry in the 1600s. France was a center of the arts for the next several hundred years and their clocks were a major contribution in this form. French clocks of this era can be viewed as extensions of the furniture arts. But they were a form that allowed artists such as metal workers and sculptures to show their skills. The finishes and forms were innovative. A large number of vendors made their living providing first the elite then the masses with art that told time.

    The artisans had no trouble sourcing movements of both time and time and strike (chimes) from several ebauche suppliers. Several had long business lives supplying the trade. The trade was a thriving business where in a large number to tradesmen were employed and a lot of people made a lot of money.

    The political turmoil of France, monarchies dying and forming, revolutions, emperors, the rise of the business and middle classes all changed what was fashionable and the clocks of each period reflect these changes. Classical nudes, gods and goddesses appear periodically as well as moment pieces such as those associated with the Egyptian discoveries post-Napoleon.

    These clocks were not usually the product of individuals but rather full shops that were 'houses' that prided themselves on the quality of their product. The artistic quality of French clocks is almost unequaled in horology.

    I am sorry I am not posting pictures. The new owners of WatchUSeek are asserting that they have full ownership of all posts and pictures as part of their standard terms and conditions. The matter is being pursued but in the meantime I will not post anything that might be snagged and sold to the highest bidder with no profit coming to the original owner. Sorry. The matter is out of my hands. (The old WatchUSeek only claimed a non-revokable bailment - essentially the right to display on the forum - but did not claim they owned the posts and pictures.)
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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  5. #4
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: Painting enameled watch cases

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    The Symposium is in full swing and Philip Poniz is wowing us with his presentations. The man is a boundless source of knowledge!

    A tidbit from the presentations so far: In the 1600s the French perfected the art of painting on enamel. As I understood it, the process starts with an enamel base, usually a white. Upon this are layered various colors, one at a time. The colors consist of oxide pigments ground to a fine powder and mixed usually with rainwater. Each specific color is applied by dotting the powder for that color onto the base. Brush strokes like found with oils is not an option. After every color, the piece is fired and the powder melts onto the base. Once melted into a coat on the base, it is fairly resistant to melting in subsequent firings for additional colors. Thus a layering of colors can be built onto the base.

    Much of the product of these French painters was for watch cases. For the first time the watch started with a case and a movement was found to fit it. Movement makers from all over the world would buy these cases to build their watches. It was quite a profitable business and certain painters became famous just like oil on canvas painters.

    Some of the examples Philip showed were clearly major works of art.
    Yes, I have stated previously on WUS Philip Poniz is a genius, an expert and a gentleman. I have been ridiculed for the fact i determine him and a very few others as experts.
    But only people who have met and worked with the likes of Philip, can understand what an expert in Horology is. For certain Philip is one of them.


    Everything he explains about enamel dials is correct (not porcelain)
    I wish I was there!!

    Enjoy, a true expert, someone with 35+ years knowledge!
    Last edited by HOROLOGIST007; October 20th, 2014 at 05:36.
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
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