Laurent Picciotto, Chronopassion and the Hydro Mechanical Horologists (HYT) Ion Schiau, Xavier Casals and Vincent Perriard. © Stéphane de Bourgies.
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An indicator, usually made of a thin light piece of metal shaped in a variety of ways, which moves over a graduated dial or scale. Watches usually have three hands showing the hours, minutes and seconds. Early watches had only one hour hand. The English watchmaker Daniel Quare is reputed to have introduced the minute hand around 1691, although it only came into widespread use in the early 18th century. The first hands were heavy and robust as the use of glass had not yet been introduced to protect the dial. Towards the mid-18th century, slimmer, more elegant hands were designed. They were hand-made using a file or chisel, and the holes were made using a bow. Around 1764, watchmakers began cutting hands from strips of metal using a hammer and punch. Later on, around 1800, they were cut...