Under the Loupe/Geneva Stripes

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Geneva Stripes


The Geneva Stripes finish, also known as Côtes de Genève, is characterized by a series of arc-grained bars etched lightly onto a highly polished surface, creating a wave-like effect. This particular finish, which is purely for aesthetic purposes, is generally reserved only for the embellishment of high-grade movements.

Creating Geneva Stripes

In order to create Geneva stripes of admirable quality, it is necessary to first achieve a perfectly flat, black polish on the surface to which the striped effect is to be applied.

Once a perfect black polish has been achieved, the component to be finished is fixed to a milling table (or similar) that is mobile across two axes (which we will refer to as 'x' and 'y').

To begin applying the Geneva stripes, a dowel of boxwood, impregnated with a polishing paste, is turned on its center above the component and is brought down, lightly, into contact with the polished surface. While remaining fixed on its x-axis, the table on which the component is fixed is then slowly moved along on the y-axis (starting at one end of the component and finishing at the opposite end). The boxwood dowel is kept in contact with the component with consistent pressure through the entire length of this pass.

Following the first pass with the boxwood dowel, the dowel is lifted and the component is then moved along its x-axis according to the width desired for each Geneva stripe. The process of moving along the y-axis with the dowel in contact with the component's surface is then repeated, and so forth, until the entire surface of the component has been striped.