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Ebauche - what is it

Posted: February 7th 2010, 10:28am
by koimaster
French term commonly used in English-speaking countries for an incomplete watch movement which is sold as a set of loose parts, comprising the main plate, the bridges, the train, the winding and setting mechanism and the regulator.

The timing system, the escapement and the mainspring, however, are not parts of the "ébauche".

Re: Ebauche - what is it

Posted: July 12th 2020, 11:36pm
by Darksider
In watchmaking, this is the general term for the basic movement parts, such as the movement plates and bridges, and mainspring barrel. In modern watchmaking, this is a complete movement kit, minus the escapement components (which may also be supplied to the final assembler). For much of the history of watchmaking in Switzerland, a watchmaker would obtain an ébauche as well as other components, including the escapement, balance and balance spring, etc., from suppliers before finishing, assembling, and regulating the completed watch.

Today an ébauche is often contrasted with a so-called "in-house" movement although this distinction is in reality not so cut-and-dried – an ébauche, if of high quality and if finished well, can be more horologically interesting than an in-house movement, if the latter is poorly designed or finished. The word ébauche is borrowed from fine art, where it refers to the preliminary underpainting over which a finished painting is done.