Industry news: Ulysse Nardin has acquired the enamel dial manufacturer Donzé Cadrans ...

Sep 07, 2011,06:53 AM

Unfortunately, I do not have the full press release yet, but I was informed that UN has acquired its long time supplier of cloisonné dials, the company founded by the enamel craftsman Francis Donzé. Originally, he was employed by Zenith, and responsible for the enamel dials of the brand; mostly of pocket watches. This was not an uncommon profession back then, when most of the larger pocket watch dials were made from enamel. Additionally, Zenith still produced mantel clocks with enamel dials.

The quartz crisis, however, saw him "pinkslipped" by his employer, as so many other employees in the Swiss watch industry. Yet he decided to make his own business; luckily so, since he was mainly responsible for the salvation of the art of making enamel dials. His daughter Francine and his son-in-law Michel Vermot took over the helm in the 1980s and achieved a degree of perfection in cloisonné dial enameling that surpasses even the art's heyday in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Ulysse Nardin owed a good part of its reputation of uniqueness and perfection to the dials made by the couple Vermot-Donzé. To get an impression of the artistry, please have a look at the concise pictorial reference of all UN enamel timepieces, here in our gallery section:

This depiction of one of the most recent works, the "H.M.S. Caesar",and the new "Dragon" shall illustrate the perfection achieved:

Now that the couple decided to retire, it was their goal to secure the small company's future. So it was a logical decision to transfer it to its major customer, Ulysse Nardin; a company that is based so firmly on the art of enameling that it can guarantee for the enamel dial production's importance in the time to come.

This message has been edited by Marcus Hanke on 2011-09-07 06:54:07

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I learnt something today.

 By: amanico : September 7th, 2011-06:57
I didn't know who made / makes these superb enamel dials for U.N. This work of Art always fascinated me. Thanks for posting these news, Marcus, and can't wait to see what U.N will offer. Best, Nicolas.


 By: flamenco : September 7th, 2011-17:50
Something new for me and very useful information ! Likewise, I am very much looking forward future offerings An enamel dial has eluded my collection for some time, and its a timely reminder to start looking ! Thanks for sharing this information!

Unfortunately, the satement did not reveal more information ...

 By: Marcus Hanke : September 11th, 2011-01:24
... especially on the staff working there, and its ability to take over the work of the Vermot couple. this is a border area between craftsmanship and art. While it is possible to learn the method of making enamel dials, there is still a difference wether...