Mechanical watchmaking is at the intersection of industrial and luxury goods. It has a unique and innovative way. For mechanical watchmaking, the biggest paradox is that internal demand to continue moving forward and loyalty conflicts between tradition since the past centuries. Gear train, lever escapement, balance-spring with automatic winding and a variety of display functions have been brought in between 1450 to 1800, and gradually perfect the final and stabilized in the 1960s. However, the same as with any other industry, mechanical watchmaking also need to continue to explore new ways of development, in order to avoid sudden disruptive innovations (such as the advent of battery-powered quartz movement) interrupted development.
Compared with the real industrial giants, most watchmaking brands are like dwarfs-the annual average turnover of all Swiss watchmaking brands cannot be combined with the separate Volkswagen automobiles or Dupont pharmaceuticals ) par. Innovation is expensive, especially the full range of innovative, but do not expect these will not get returns from research and development efforts. Thus, the mechanical watchmaking still draw inspiration through various channels, adjust or amend carve out their own path forward.
Ho Yakalaila carbon composite material Chronograph concept, in which case arranged in a matrix of carbon fiber homosexual
Great watchmakers of the 18th century, such as Breguet, Berthoud Graham and so on – they are usually mathematician, astronomer and locksmith, control of multiple skills, good at design timer, locks, thermometers and other measuring instruments. However, over the years, these major players in the industry, or limited to a geographic distances or lack of means of communication or to turn off Swiss Valley snow hindered, openness and communication related to survival.
Fortunately, not many contemporary mechanical watchmaking on various issues, watchmaking brand determined to break the boundaries of separate and distinct territory, looking for a development road suited to their own needs. PVD and DLC treatment process originally used in the machine tool manufacturing industry to reduce the coefficient of friction and hardening of cutting tools, reference is now used in watches production.
Richard Miller RM 27-01 watch, ultra-thin aluminum-lithium alloy splint, case with carbon nanotubes to enhance rigidity and toughness
In the 1980s, the radar will be introduced high-tech ceramic mechanical watch making, but until then it as insulation coatings are widely used in metallurgy and aerospace industries. The aerospace industry does bring many novel materials to the watchmaking industry, although those are already commonplace in other fields. Richard Miller’s application of ultra-lightweight aluminum-lithium alloys, carbon nanotubes, HYT’s super-hard macromolecules, and various carbon fiber materials all confirm this.
It should be noted that just a decade ago, watchmakers were keen to point out the differences between themselves and their colleagues in engineering, and many of them considered clocks to be unique and exclusive. Now that all obstacles and taboos have finally collapsed, the mechanical watch industry is enthusiastically open to embrace the introduction of new materials.
HYT Azo Project watch, epoxy case, lighter and stronger than titanium
Of all the new materials introduced so far, the most interesting is undoubtedly silicon, which was born out of the semiconductor field and has been widely used in the manufacture of balance springs, gears and pallet forks. The initial basic research work was performed by CSEM, an independent research laboratory in Neuchâtel, which also played an important role in the latest Genequand escapement system launched by the Vaucher movement factory. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne is also preparing a number of new research plans and projects. On the whole, the Swiss mechanical watchmaking industry really benefited from the knowledge sharing model of the world.