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The only manufacturer of Czech PRIM wristwatches

ELTON hodinářská is the only domestic manufacturer of PRIM mechanical wristwatches. It is only in Nové Město nad Metují that you find the complete production of wristwatches, including movements, in the Czech Republic. We regularly provide our customers and those interested in watchmaking with an insight into the operation of our factory as part of our annual Open Day. You can also take a small tour of our operations on our website.

The mechanical watches in our highest model series - PRIM Manufacture 1949 - have a movement of our own design. This movement consists of approximately 140 parts, of which more than 90% are produced directly on-site. Using a demanding machining method that guarantees exceptional quality, we produce cases for all our watches, including the PRIM Automatic and PRIM model series with mechanical and Swiss quartz movements.

 

Mechanical movement

The movement or calibre is the heart of every watch. It decides not only how long, but also how well the watch operates. We manufacture each of the more than 130 parts of our mechanical movements with extreme care and attention to detail. We currently produce 8 types of watch movements of our own design.

The production of the movement base on a specialised CNC milling centre takes more than 2 hours. The semi-product machined from the steel rod is pressed to reduce the risk of cracking. There are more that 100 holes in the base. The machined bases are decorated with a special cut specific to our PRIM watches and are subsequently coated.

The smallest parts of the watch movement are barely visible to the naked eye. You can see them only when you use a magnifying glass, with some details only recognisable under a microscope. Each of these miniature pieces goes through a careful inspection process, whereby all dimensions must be accurate up to a thousandth of a millimetre. The diameter of the smallest machined piece is 0.08 mm.

Cases

All cases are manufactured directly on site using a time and technologically demanding method of machining, which enables us to adapt the shape, size or material to the customer's wishes. We can work with a variety of materials, from special stainless steel through precious metals and damask steel to titanium.

The final adjustments to the case - brushing, polishing - are carried out manually. The care we show ensures that every PRIM watch becomes a real gem on the wrists of our customers. We make the best stainless steel polishing paste ourselves according to an old recipe that dates back to the time when the first PRIM wristwatch was created.

Casebacks can be personalised or customised with a inscription according to the customer's wishes - name, dedication, motto, logo, etc. The crown can be also decorated, for example with a monogram or a logo. The most demanding technique is engraving, whereby the modification of one caseback can take up to 4 hours.

Dials and hands

We can produce dials of various types and colours. We produce dials with embossed indices, printed, smooth or with indices covered with luminous material. Embossed indices are punched into brass or alpaca sheet metal, then milled using a diamond, thereby creating gold-coloured (brass) or silver-coloured (alpaca) indices. Another interesting technique we use is pad printing, which has been used for the production of dials since the 18th century, when the first printed dials for pocket watches and later wristwatches were created in Switzerland.

Covering the hands with luminescent material is a really precise job that demands high levels of accuracy. For example, the metallic blue colour of the hands and other components is not done by painting, but by heating carbon steel to the required number of degrees.

 

Watch assembly

All manufactured components are transformed into wristwatches by the hands of our experienced watchmakers. Completing a mechanical watch takes an experienced watchmaker a whole shift. During the work on a new watch and especially after its completion, it is necessary to perform a number of measurements, tests and trials. This takes about two weeks. Only then can the watch be handed over to the customer or to the store.

For example, the water resistance of a watch is measured in a pressure chamber. Overpressure is created in the chamber, followed by decompression, during which the deflection of the glass is measured. If deflection occurs, the encapsulation is water resistant because the watch maintains atmospheric pressure. If there is no deflection, it means that the pressure in the chamber and in the watch has equalised. It is therefore necessary to reseal the watch and test the water resistance again.

When checking the power reserve, the watch is fully wound and left to rest until the movement stops; it is worth noting that our mechanical in-house movements achieve a power reserve in the range of 48-52 hours.