Watchmaking Has Become a Haven for Traditional Artisan Crafts

Watchmaking is a de facto preserve for global handicrafts.

Visiting the russian town of Vyatka in 1837, Alexander Nikolaevich Romanov was seized by the urge to buy a pocket watch. The timepiece he coveted was expensive—nearly twice the cost of a watch cased in gold—though that did not concern the future czar. What really caught his attention was that the watch was locally made, completely carved out of wood. 

The maker was a man named Semyon Ivanovitch Bronnikov, a carpenter who taught himself …

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