With almost two decades of experience in the decoration of watch movements and traditional hand bevelling behind her, Nathalie Jean-Louis embellishes each component that passes through her expert hands.
With almost two decades of experience in the decoration of watch movements and traditional hand bevelling behind her, Nathalie Jean-Louis embellishes each component that passes through her expert hands. Passionate about this craft, she has opted to share it and offers courses online or in her workshop in Biel/Bienne.
Recently settled in the heart of the old town of Biel/Bienne, Nathalie Jean-Louis welcomed us into her workshop-gallery.
Since 2011, this artisan specialised in the decoration of watch movements and file-based bevelling has chosen to venture out on her own and offer her services to the biggest watch brands.
After an academic artistic career, she entered the watchmaking world in 2004 as a movement decorator for Piaget in La Côte-aux-Fées. At that time, the craft was still mainly learned in-house. Driven by a perfectionist spirit, she later developed her talents for hand-filed bevelling at Greubel Forsey in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Having acquired this professional experience, she decided to found her own subcontracting company, thus enabling her to give full expression to her inventive and independent vitality.
Her passion led her from Ticino to Grenchen, from Neuchâtel to Les Brenets, and finally to Biel/Bienne in 2021. These new places have consistently brought her the inspiration required to nature her artistic expertise.
Training in hand bevelling and watch decoration
Five years ago, Nathalie Jean-Louis decided to pass on her know-how by giving courses in hand-bevelling (also called chamfering), thus contributing to the preservation of watchmaking heritage through this art form. It is in the heart of her workshop that this passionate seeker of perfection and artistry gives her courses. In parallel, several watchmaking schools – CFH in Neuchâtel, CNIP in Val-de-Travers – have approached her to request that she teach her craft to future students. However, she prefers to do so at the workbench and in tandem with learners, a method enabling her to monitor her students’ progress closely. She has also recently taken on a fourth-year watchmaking apprentice from the Biel/Bienne Watchmaking School (BBZ CFP) who is completing his training with a course in bevelling.
Covid-19 also forced her to diversify the training she provides. Nathalie Jean-Louis now offers detailed and specific course modules online, via a dedicated website: www.formation-anglage.com.
A multifaceted artist
Nathalie Jean-Louis is a multidisciplinary artist who also devotes her talent to painting and jewellery. It is indeed her artistic spirit that led to a decision to connect the watchmaking world which she cherishes with that of art, by offering to personalise watchmaker’s magnifying loupes representing indispensable tools in the industry. Thanks to collaboration with specialised Swiss artisans, she offers unique magnifying eyepieces made by means of hydro dipping, a hydrographic printing technique that consists of dipping an object in a water bath coated with a water-soluble polymer film. During the dipping process, the ink on the film is deposited on the piece, subtly following its shape.
In 2021, she founded Watchmaking Tools Art, a label under which she markets these watchmaking magnifiers in a wide variety of colours and looks (www.watchmakingtoolsart.com). Other tools and furniture can also be personalised with the same hydro dipping technique.
Alongside these multiple facets, Nathalie Jean-Louis still has some fine projects in the pipeline, including the expansion of her Biel/Bienne workshop, which she will soon be sharing with a jeweller. She also hopes to be joined in the near future by another bevelling artisan with whom to share her ever-growing activities.
November 10, 2022