The world as we know it runs at a breakneck pace. While the global pandemic saw an initial slow down across every aspect of 'normal living', we optimistically observe that things are picking back up. The entire experience over the last 20 months has only helped demonstrate the human race's resilience – which of course, is fascinating and inspiring.

A fast-paced lifestyle naturally brings a rise in consumerism, which, looking back in time, was a notion that first took shape just before World War One.  The initial idea was that increasing the consumption of goods and services purchased in the market was a desirable goal. However, as the world began to mass-produce to cater the demand, the true meaning of beauty has become more challenging to come by. 

In a world where beautiful things are recognized and valued, our focus on speed has compromised traditional and authentic craftsmanship. Mass-produced products are often made conveniently rather than handmade, to which the object often then loses its quality in the process. 

In this blog, we draw attention to the principles of craftsmanship and what this exactly means in the world of design and luxury. 

What is craftsmanship? 

The Cambridge Dictionary defines craftsmanship as "the skill with which something was made or done". 

Passion, attention to detail, and care are all words that are closely associated with the term in focus, which ultimately addresses the premium quality that is honed and refined throughout a career with continuous practice.  

We can recognize craftsmanship through three elements: 

1. Attention to detail; 

2. Functionality and; 

3. Durability

Patek Philippe, for example, design and produce the world's finest wristwatches. The modest brand showcases understated elegance, and this all comes down to a team encompassing the very best in craftsmanship. The production of just one watch is so detailed, it's said it can take up to nine months just to make one of its most basic watches and up to (and sometimes over) two years to create some of the more elaborate timepieces.  

Patek Philippe guarantees superior quality and longevity with a promised seal of excellence, meaning the watch can be passed down through generations. The real beauty shines through the watches' movements, which can be credited to its admirable hand-finished details.  

Source: Patek Philippe

Craftsmanship isn't something that just happens. The prestigious title is credited to the amount of time dedicated to perfecting the skills and techniques of one's chosen craft. 

Traditionally, these skills are learned through apprenticeships working under a master craftsman who came before them. These days, however, becoming a master will require vocational training in the craft, including examinations to be taken. It does, however, always come back to the famous saying, "practice makes perfect".

Good design vs. great design

Good design versus great design can be referred to as a generalist approach versus an opinionated approach. But why do we refer to design? 

The design is the first stepping stone that determines the level and quality of craftsmanship for the task at hand. 

Good design can be generalized to appeal to a broader audience. This means it usually strives to resolve an immediate problem or alleviate an issue that people experience. The goal is to try and please everyone. 

Great design, however, will bring good design to the next level and take no shortcuts to deliver a significantly better product. Typical frivolous production is broken down into more meaningful, individualistic, and artisan-made designs and products. Great designers will dive deep to uncover what a client really wants and needs to create an object that elicits a more genuine connection with the consumer.  

The level of thoughtfulness and detail is, therefore, more sought-after for those who value true quality. "Takumi (匠)" is the Japanese term for "artisan", which is a fitting name for masters who uniquely blend their technical and aesthetic expertise.

Next-generation artisans at Maison Septem

At Maison Septem, we owe our exquisite functional works of art to our team of craftsmen. 

Our next-generation artisans are dedicated to honing our craft. With a range of specialist artistic techniques and meticulous skills, we can materialize visions and adorn smart devices that are bespoke to the unique individuals that we work with.  From the delicate art of gem-setting and handcrafting of leather to the decorative guilloché work involving the carving of fine grooves into a metal surface with a hand-operated machine, our craftsmen work with the greatest precision and experience for specific customization. 

Our fascination and inspiration also derive from the materials that we work with. Our access to premium leathers in a wide variety of colors, the vast number of precious metals and hi-tec materials, and exquisite collection of gems shape our belief that anything is possible. We approach every project mindfully and deliberate about every detail on the piece, which stems from the passion for what we do. 

Learn more about Maison Septem – discover more about who we are, what we value, and how we can work together to create your next bespoke smart device with unparalleled craftsmanship.