Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S03 ep7 : Eva Leube, Leube Watches, [Australia]
Interview with Eva Leube
Eva Leube had a vision of a timepiece curving elegantly around her wrist like a piece of jewellery, bearing a beautiful movement arcing gracefully with the contours of its case. Taking four long years to develop and create, 'Ari' is the hard-won realisation of Eva’s dream; a watch consummately presenting the inordinately complex as simple and uncluttered… and stunningly beautiful.
My mother wanted to be a watchmaker when she was young but maybe it wasn’t women’s
profession back then I don’t know, anyway it was her idea we went to see a watchmaker and then
in the end I like what I saw and I chose that profession for myself and I never regretted it.
I started my apprenticeship when I was 16. Five years on I did my Masters in L…
The little micro cosmos (?) of the movement always fascinated me. What I had to learn was
patience in the beginning. When a movement didn’t work you had to logically look for the flaw in
it, not put it in the big … or against the wall.
First I studied watchmaking and then I did repairs for many years. I worked in Australia, South
Africa, Switzerland and each new company you learn a lot more. So that was a very good base to
In the modern watches everything is more or less adjusted if a watch isn’t running then it might be
a little bit dirty or you have a worn part. In restorations you often get handmade watches where not
everything fits perfectly together. Over the years you get a solid understanding of watch
mechanisms of all kinds and that helps you later on tremendously. It amazes me how they could
build watches back then with an oil lamp maybe.
My last repair job was with Rolex in Sydney but then in 2004 I ran a marathon and after finishing
that I started looking for what I really wanted to do.
When you work for a company like Rolex it’s all written in stone how you proceed with repairing
a watch. When you actually make a whole movement and you make every single small
component, that’s a completely different ball game you have to make a movement work.
You work long hours but you don’t notice. That’s the difference between a repair job and making
watches by hand if I can work day or night whenever I want to.
So this watch was always the watch in the back of my head so when I moved back to Australia in
2007 I started on this one. I wanted a watch that sits on the wrist nicely, I wanted it to be large to
have a large movement to show the customer the beauty of the movement, but I also wanted it to
be comfortable on the wrist.
Once the movement is curved you lose a lot of space because the wheels are still flared also with
my movement I turned a couple of components upside down just for decorative reasons. I wanted
to see the balance and also the, all the r… wheel and crown wheel which is normally facing the
other way around in a normal movement. So I wanted everything to be visible.
The construction of that movement is based on an old pocket watch movement that I had at home
so that’s where I took the dimensions for the drawings but I used very few parts, for instance I used
the balance but I took off the regulator and instead put regulating screws into the balance to have a
free sprung balance, also the direction of the escape wheel changed, the pallet fork had to be the
other way around as well, so I had to make these parts as well which is very tricky.
I used very few components of that pocket watch. Maybe the jewels and the glasses of the watch
have been cut in Switzerland by a company there, the leather bracelets are hand made in Germany
but all the rest came to life in my workshop at home.
With the number one there is a bit of guessing involved as well because to build a prototype it took
me four years now but you can’t charge anybody for that, that was that’s just part of your life. You
try to estimate how long it will take you to reproduce that movement, the glasses will be in
sapphire, the case and some movement parts will be in precuios metal, you have to take all that
into account and calculate a price there.
There are moments where you’re not sure if it possible to ever finish that watch but it’s lying here
now in BASA and I’m very happy and I want to build it again.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Eva Leube, Leube Watches, Australia