您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 风尚 >> 正文

打造五万英镑手表的神秘工作室

更新时间:2018-9-30 19:15:53 来源:千亿千亿国际娱乐官网 作者:佚名

Inside a hidden studio making intricate £50,000 watches
打造五万英镑手表的神秘工作室

Down a rain-soaked alley in Birmingham’s jewellery quarter, I find a simple green door. There is no sign, no obvious marker. Just a small, brass “2”, the studio number, which is modestly affixed to the front. Hidden inside is a frankly magical little place – a watchmaker’s workshop run by Craig and Rebecca Struthers, a husband and wife team.

在伯明翰(Birmingham)珠宝区内一条被雨水渗透的小巷里,我找到一扇普通绿色的门。没有指示,也没有明显的记号,只有小小的用黄铜做的数字"2",固定在门上,是工作室的号码。隐藏在门后的是一个小小而神奇的地方——斯特拉瑟斯(Craig and Rebecca Struthers)夫妇一起经营的手表制作工作室。

Rebecca welcomes me into the largest of three rooms – a warm space filled with antique bits of furniture and bookshelves. The walls are painted dark green, a shade labelled “Dragon Song” that caught Rebecca’s eye when the duo were decorating. Archie, a young Staffordshire terrier, snoozes on his blanket. It has the feel of a Victorian study, but the old factory building housing the studio gives nothing away to the passer-by.

蕾贝卡把我迎进三个房间中最大的那间。那是一个温暖的空间,里面摆放着一些古董家具及书架。墙壁被涂成墨绿色。他们的宠物,斯塔福德郡猎犬阿奇(Archie)在毯子上打盹。此处有一种维多利亚时代书房的感觉,但是旧工厂大厦的外表不会给路人留下这种印象。

“All of our clients at the moment are pretty much word-of-mouth,” says Rebecca when I ask if this layer of mystique is intentional. “So they feel like they’ve ‘found’ us. Then they come out to our location – our workshops have very much been designed to fit in with that.”

当我问蕾贝卡他们是否有意营造这种神秘的感觉,她说。"目前,我们所有的客户都是通过口耳相传知道我们的,所以他们出现在这里时觉得终于『找到了』。我们工作坊的设计非常适合这一点。"

To many, the whole industry of watchmaking, repair and restoration may seem equally inconspicuous, perhaps even obscure. The Struthers (pronounced Struh-thers), however, are among a few who are keeping old skills and practices alive. Now, they are about to embark on the production of their first five complete watches for clients. Each watch is priced at £50,000 and to produce all five will take two years. As well as the case, dial and hands, they’ll also be making the internal movement – the system of gears and springs at the heart of any mechanical watch.

对很多人来说,整个手表制作、维修及修复的行业看起来都不起眼,甚至偏专。然而斯特拉瑟斯夫妇则是少数仍会保留传统技术和作法,让它们生生不息。现在,他们开始首次为客户订做的五块完整的手表。每一块手表价值五万英镑,完成这五块手表需时两年。除了表壳、表盘和指针外,他们也需要制作内部的机芯, 机械表的核心——齿轮和弹簧系统。

But it has taken 15 years for the Struthers to reach this point – with their fair share of ups and downs on the way. For anyone wanting to become a watchmaker in the 21st Century, there are plenty of hurdles to overcome. How, then, does one do it?

斯特拉瑟斯夫妇花了15年的时间,一路经历和分担了起伏的颠簸才取得如此成就。任何人想在21世纪成为手表制作人,会有很多难关要克服。那么,如何做到呢?

Rebecca was just 16 when she applied to study a two-year course at the School of Jewellery at Birmingham City University. Back then, she had no idea that watchmaking was a career, but students studying horology, the art of making clocks and watches, suggested it might be a good fit for her. It was around this time, in 2004, that she first met Craig. He had begun a course run by the British Horological Institute (BHI) that was also based at the School of Jewellery.

蕾贝卡只有16岁时,申请了伯明翰城市大学(Birmingham City University)珠宝学校(School of Jewellery)的两年课程。当时,她没想到手表制作竟然是事业,但学生学习钟表学,制作钟表的艺术,有人建议学钟表制作技术可能适合她。2004年,她首次遇见了克雷格。他已经开始在珠宝学校里上英国钟表制作学院(British Horological Institute)开设的课程。

A current BHI veteran and tutor, Alan Burtoft, tells me that there are just a handful of places in the UK where budding watch- and clockmakers can do this sort of course. There’s the British School of Watchmaking in Manchester and the BHI offers various programmes, including distance learning, for example. Then, there is a clock restoration course at West Dean College near Chichester and some classes offered by Epping Forest Horology Centre near London.

波托夫特(Alan Burtoft)为现任英国钟表制作学院的毕业生兼导师,他告诉我英国只有几个地方可以开设手表和时钟制作的这类课程。例如:在曼彻斯特(Manchester)有一个英国手表制作学校,英国钟表制造学院提供不同类型的课程计划,包括远距学习。在奇切斯特(Chichester)附近的西迪恩学院(West Dean College)有一个时钟修复课程,有些课程由伦敦(London)附近的埃平森林钟表技术中心(Epping Forest Horology Centre)提供。

“It’s not a very well-known or advertised trade to go into,” admits Burtoft.

波托夫承认"这不是一个很知名广为人知的行业"。

Rebecca found this out fairly quickly when she tried to find horology courses that weren’t based at Birmingham City University. “They were just like, ‘No, you can’t do horology here’,” she remembers.

蕾贝卡很快就意识到了这一点,她在伯明翰城市大学里找不到钟表制作课程,她记得大学里的职员说:"没办法,你不能在这学钟表制造"。

She trained in various crafts useful to her trade, however – from diamond grading to silversmithing. And she says she was able to “tailor” a history of art and design masters to suit a horology theme in order to take her studies further. After that, she completed a PhD in horology as well.

但是她也学习了很多对她的生意能派上用场的技术,由分钻石等级到打造银器。她说为了更进一步地学习,她能够配合钟表的主题去"量身订做"一套美术与设计的历史。之后,她还完成了钟表制造的博士学位。

Craig came to his studies a little later, having already worked for a spell in government IT – which he freely says he “absolutely hated”.

克雷格学习得稍微晚一些,此前他在政府信息部门工作过一段时间,对那份工作"非常讨厌"。

“I was ready to do anything,” he adds.

他补充"我那时已经准备离职去做任何事情。"

While both were learning, they were also able to work in related fields. Struthers’ first job in the watch industry was in a jewellers in Birmingham.

他俩学习时,也可以在相关行业里工作。斯特拉瑟斯夫妇的第一份手表行业的工作是在伯明翰一家珠宝店。

“It was a really good opportunity to start seeing how people buy watches,” she recalls.

她回想起那份工作时说"那是一个开始观察人们如何选购手表的好机会"。

As for a full-blown watch-making project, however, that didn’t come until 2013 when the pair won the Lonmin Design Innovation Award for their pendant watch, named “Stella”, crafted in platinum. They were already repairing and restoring watches by this point, but making a completely original case and dial of their own was a huge challenge. After submitting their design, they only had 10 weeks to pull it off. “It was this mad moment,” remembers Rebecca.

完整的手表制作项目,是他们用铂金制作的名为"Stella"的吊坠挂表在2013年获得隆敏设计创新奖(Lonmin Design Innovation Award)才开始的。那时候他们已经在从事修理和修复手表的工作了,但要他们自己完整地制作出原创的表壳和表盘,仍是一项艰巨的挑战。递交了他们的设计之后,他们只有十个星期去完成制作。"真是疯狂的时刻,"蕾贝卡说。

Nearly five years later, this gradual build-up of experience and know-how is beginning to pay off. The five clients who have signed up to buy their first five watches made from scratch have agreed to pay half the cost of each in advance ­– £25,000.

五年后,这些慢慢累积的经验和技术开始慢慢有了成果。有五位客户签约向他们订购了五块手表,而且都同意每人先支付一半的订金:25,000英镑。

“We’re aware it’s quite a big ask, we’ve got some incredibly loyal and supportive clients,” says Rebecca.

"这样的要求很高,但是客户忠心的支持我们。"蕾贝卡说。

Investment allows them to plan for this special project, but it also enables them to employ an apprentice – an enthusiastic 19-year-old named Heather Fisher, who is currently studying for her degree in horology.

有了资金,除了可以让他们实施这项特别的计划,他们还能够雇用一位学徒,一位个性热情,目前在学习钟表制造学位课程的19岁女孩,费雪(Heather Fisher)。

Her A-levels were art, textiles and computing – “not really related to it so much”, she tells me. But now that she’s learning how to service watches, by taking them apart, cleaning and fixing any broken parts inside, she seems to have found her vocation.

她的高考选读科目是美术、纺织和计算机科学。"与钟表制作关联不大",她告诉我。但是,她现在从拆卸、清洁和维修表内损坏的零件开始,学习如何保养手表,她似乎发现了自己的才能。

 “I like more practical stuff; being hands-on,” she says. “It’s quite satisfying as well when you finally get it ticking,” she adds with a laugh. “That’s the best part isn’t it?”

"我比较喜欢实际的东西,可以亲身实践"她说。"当表针开始走动了,你会有很大的满足感。"她带着爽朗的笑声说:"这就是最好的,对吧?"

Fisher points out that apprenticeships are hard to come by – her classmates generally have had to contact jewellers or watch restorers directly to ask if they can take them on. The Struthers themselves seem to have used as many avenues as possible to improve their knowledge of the craft.

费雪指出学徒工作很难得到,她的同学一般都需要直接联系珠宝商或是手表修复工人,询问是否可以在他们手下当学徒。斯特拉瑟斯夫妇似乎用了很多途径,尽可能提高手艺。

That resourcefulness is, in fact, evident in almost everything they do. Craig eagerly shows me around his workshop, where drawers are stuffed with tools he has found on Ebay or at scale modellers’ fairs. “These two tools were rescued from the floor of someone’s shed,” he says, pointing to two electrical lathes. Some of his tools are practically antiques themselves – dating back to the late 19th Century.

事实上,从他们工作中可以明显感觉到智慧无处不在。克雷格热心地带我参观他的工作室,那里的抽屉都塞满了他在Ebay或是模具展览会上找到的工具。"这两个工具就是我在某人棚屋的地上抢救回来的,"他指着两台电动车床说。他的一些工具实际上也是古董,可以追溯到19世纪末。

He flicks open a drawer in his workbench and points to a compartment with what looks like about 40 files. Each one produces a finish of varying roughness on metal. There are boxes of components, tools for picking watches apart, and widgets for drilling or bevelling holes. He jiggles a box with tiny rings made of gemstones that supply the coloured “jewel holes” on the outside surface of watch movements. These are often visible via transparent panels on the back of the case.

他轻轻打开工作台的一个抽屉,指着一个看上去装了40个锉刀的隔格。每一个都生产出不同粗糙度的金属完成品。那里还有几盒用来分离手表的零件、工具,以及用来钻孔或倒角孔的小工具。他摇晃着一个由宝石制成的小圆环盒子,这个盒子是提供机芯表面上的彩色"宝石孔"。它们通常透过表壳背面的透明嵌板清晰可见。

“Occasionally I might break a jewel, not often,” he says. “It can be a nuisance because they’re not readily available – especially certain sizes, so you have to be really careful.”

"偶尔我也可能弄破一个宝石,但不常发生,"他说。"发生这种事很麻烦,因为这些宝石不是随时有货,尤其是特定的尺寸,所以必须非常小心。"

He’s even met an Austrian engraver via Instagram who will work on their series of five watches over the next two years. The Struthers have designed a William Morris-style, curled leaf pattern to decorate one side of the movement.

他甚至通过Instagram遇到了一位奥地利雕刻师,这位雕刻师会在未来两年参与他们那五块系列手表工作。斯特拉瑟斯夫妇已设计了一种威廉·莫瑞斯(William Morris)风格,卷曲叶纹的图案来装饰机芯的一面。

Alan Burtoft at the BHI has seen his fair share of students seek out apprenticeships or entry-level jobs at servicing centres in the UK and further afield. Despite the relative obscurity of the trade these days, there are still jobs to be had, he says.

在英国钟表制造学院的波托夫特看过他的学生在英国和国外服务中心寻找学徒或初级工作。尽管这些工作机会相对隐密,但还是有工作可以做的,他说。

“There’s quite a demand for skilled watchmakers and clock-making,” he explains.

"对熟练的钟表制作还是有需求的。"他解释道。

“People say that watchmaking skills are a dying art – to a certain extent they are, but there are still people making watches by hand.”

"有人说制作手表的技术是一门即将消失的艺术,在某种程度上是对的,但仍有人用手工制作手表。"

He thinks the vast majority of students he’s taught have found employment that makes use of the skills they’ve learned.

他觉得大部分他教过的学生已经找到了学以致用的工作。

One of the most straightforward routes into the industry, he says, is to do a horology course of some kind and then gain a few years of experience at a servicing centres, perhaps one run by a large Swiss brand. That provides additional experience without much business risk. Trying to kick off your own watchmaking outfit immediately is trickier, given the additional complexities of running your own business, he says.

他说,其中一个最直接进入这一行的门路,就是去上手表制作课程,然后去一个由瑞士大品牌经营的服务中心吸取几年经验。这样可以得到额外经验而无需承受生意上的风险。试图立即建立自己的钟表制作团队则比较困难,因为你要处理经营生意上面的复杂事务。

Rebecca Struthers points out that vintage or antique watch restoration – something she and her husband do regularly – is a good way to begin learning skills that could one day make you a watchmaker in your own right.

蕾贝卡·斯特拉瑟斯指出,如果你希望有一天自己成为一个钟表制作家,那么修复中古表是学习技术的好开始,她和丈夫也经常从事修复工作。

“If you can make any part for someone else’s watch, you can do it for your own,” she says.

"假如你可以为别人的手表做任何部件,那你也可以自创。"她说。

Before anything else, though, it seems you have to discover – no matter your age – that you are fascinated by the intricacy of watchmaking. Looking around the Struthers’ smoky-green studio, I see ancient tools peppered on little shelves here and there, and a library of watchmaking books stashed on the shelves. It’s hard not to be sucked in yourself.

虽然,在做任何事之前,不管多大年龄,你都需要先培养对错综复杂的手表制作而感到着迷的兴趣。环视斯特拉瑟斯夫妇的墨绿色工作室,我看到周围有很多古老工具的小架子,书架上存放着大量的手表制作书籍。真的很难不被吸引。

“全文请访问千亿千亿国际娱乐官网,本文发表于千亿千亿国际娱乐官网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅千亿千亿国际娱乐官网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表
博评网