Seminar: Hervé Munz
“Artisanal Electronics: Digital Repair Cultures” was a mini-conference we held at July 6.
The Anthropologist Hervé Munz (Department of Geography, University of Geneva) gave an account on his recent exploration of the link between luxury and in the Swiss watch repair industry in Hong Kong. Repairing Swiss watch means both ‘Rhabillage’ activities including repairing and restoring the functionality of the watch but is also a huge service industry. Since the beginning of the 1900 century the success of the Swiss watch industry is linked to its repositioning into the luxury area by adding values around heritage and transmission rather than by increasing the amount of production. These values precisely materialise in the maintenance and repair activities.Looking at the Swiss watch making school in Hong Kong he provided an account of what it means for people to train according to the Swiss standards considering that the transmission of skills is an issue of appropriation, meaning the transformation of these skills.