Into The Endless Current Situation And Future Of Gossamer

From all aspects, Hairspring can be regarded as a kind of strategic movement parts. Although only 1 cm in diameter, the hairspring is the beating heart of the movement. The manufacture of the hairspring is a complicated and mysterious process. The entire Swiss watchmaking industry has always relied on one supplier, Nivarox, part of the Swatch Group … at least, until recently!

Omega Silicon Hairspring
   According to industry consensus, Christian Huygens invented the first movement with balance wheel and balance spring in 1675. Since then, the successor Xiao Ji Cao Sui, the watch’s speed regulation mechanism has changed little. The escapement pushes the balance wheel, otherwise it is constrained by the balance wheel. The flow of the vibration adjustment time of the balance wheel: each time the balance wheel swings, the gear train advances a certain distance. Its function is similar to that of a clock pendulum. The slim coiled hairspring ensures that the balance swings back and forth at a constant frequency.

Basic functions of the movement gear train

Industry Status
   For a long time, Nivarox, a subsidiary of the Swatch Group, has been a supplier of balance springs and integrated parts (escapement / speed regulation) that cannot be bypassed in the Swiss watchmaking industry. To this day, Nivarox is still the main supplier of the entire industry, because no other company can provide products with equivalent volume, quality and price. However, Nivarox’s market dominance and the difficulty of purchasing integrated parts brought about by the prosperity of the industry in the early 2000s led to the creation of alternative channels.
Manufacturing process
   Today’s hairsprings are usually made of iron-nickel alloys, such as Nivarox, whose elasticity is hardly affected by temperature. Nivarox is the abbreviation of Nicht Variabel Oxydfest (immutable, non-oxidizing). This alloy is similar to the Invar alloy (FeNi36%) invented by the Swedish Nobel Prize winner Charles Eddu Guillaume.
   If you want to make a hairspring, you must first combine high-tech industrial precision and manual work, and use ultra-precision metal lamination technology to produce a forged metal sheet. It takes several days to convert a metal wire into a fine hairspring through successive steps. Tolerances are usually less than 0.1 micron (100 nanometers), because small changes in the contour of the hairspring will affect the performance of the watch; a 1 micron difference will cause the movement of the movement to change for 30 minutes per day. It is then stretched and wound into a spiral shape.

Rolex Parachrom hairspring

   In order to be independent of the Swatch Group, Rolex was one of the earliest brands to develop fully independent hairspring manufacturing. After more than five years of research and development, the first Parachrom hairsprings were put into production in the early 2000s. Parachrom is a niobium-zirconium alloy with an oxide coating on the outside. Its name is a fusion of ‘Paramagnetic’ and ‘chrome’ (color, Greek). One of the main advantages of Parachrom hairsprings is their non-magnetic properties. In addition, they have better impact resistance than traditional ferromagnetic hairsprings.

Lange hairspring

   Although the full-scale production was later, Richemont also established its own production capacity for hairsprings. For the watchmaking giants Richemont and Rolex, this is a major issue of independence. Richemont’s hairspring production began in Lange in Germany and Jaeger-LeCoultre in Switzerland. Roger Dubuis’ integration provided another channel. Montblanc-Mervina can also make hairsprings (mainly cylindrical hairsprings for tourbillon watches), although it is not up to industrial scale. Today, Valfleurier (Group Sharing Industrial Centre) is the main movement manufacturer under Richemont. Not all Richemont movements are equipped with patented hairsprings, but the expertise and production capacity seem to be sufficient to ensure autonomy.
   Atokalpa, a subsidiary of the Santos Family Foundation Watchmaking Group, was one of the first manufacturers to formulate an independent hairspring plan in the early 21st century. Today, Atokalpa produces more than 200,000 escapement / speed control parts (including hairsprings) for Vaucher and third parties each year. Its customers also include independent watchmakers and major brands such as Tag Heuer. Atokalpa is one of the most important Nivarox alternative channels, combining industrial capabilities and expertise / flexibility to develop and manufacture small batches and complex products (Rolex and Richemont do not supply hairsprings to third parties).
   Concepto, a La Chaux-de-France-based movement supplier, also produces hairsprings. Concepto not only assembles the movement with its own hairspring, but also supplies third-party brands, while also using Nivarox hairspring. According to CEO Valérien Jaquet, the annual production of Concepto is about 100,000.

Precision Engineering Paramagnetic Hairspring (with Breguet End Curve)

   Precision Engineering AG, an independent subsidiary of Henry Moser (a subsidiary of the Meilang Group), is the third largest manufacturer of hairsprings supplied to third parties, with an annual output of approximately 55,000 pieces. Founded in 2001, Precision Engineering AG is a division of Straumann SA (alloy technology dating back to the 1930s, patented by Reinhard Straumann). In 2016, Precision Engineering AG introduced a new alloy: PE500. This is a niobium-titanium alloy, which is oxygen-friendly, anti-magnetic, impact-resistant, and has adjustable advantages.
Companies capable of manufacturing (traditional) hairsprings also include:
· Festina Group, which has many watch and jewellery brands, especially the movement maker Soprod.
The group led by Miguel Rodriguez recently took over Technotime, and before the company went bankrupt, it also produced hairsprings.
· Broadway, it is understood that the brand is self-sufficient.
E2O Innovation, a sister company of Schwarz Etienne, assembles patented hairsprings for branded movements and now also supplies third-party customers.

Schwarz Etienne hairspring

Silicon hairspring
   In recent years, silicon has been revolutionizing traditional watchmaking. Abrasion-resistant, lightweight, anti-magnetic, thermally stable, and excellent elastic properties. Silicon material has excellent performance in manufacturing hairsprings. However, only a few brands can master silicon hairspring technology, which is different from other silicon parts.
   Athenaeum was the first to introduce silicon hairsprings, thanks to Sigatec (Mimotec joint venture), which specializes in silicon microdevices. Athens Watch has been developed in the field of silicon hairsprings and has accumulated unique expertise. On the other hand, Rolex, Patek Philippe and Swatch Group joined hands with the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microelectronics Technology Research (CSEM) for joint research and development. They disputed with Sigatec over a patent for silicon hairspring technology, and the parties eventually reached an agreement (although detailed terms were not disclosed in 2013).

Breguet Spiral Hairspring

   Silicon hairspring-an interesting strategic alliance that combines the three watchmaking giants of Swatch Group, Rolex and Patek Philippe through the Swiss Electronics and Microelectronics Technology Research Center (CSEM). Breguet silicon hairspring is the joint research project. Results. In addition to Breguet, other brands under the Swatch Group, such as Omega, also use silicon hairsprings. In 2006, the advanced research department of Patek Philippe launched Spiromax © hairspring. In 2014, Rolex released Syloxi © hairspring.
   The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microelectronics Technology Research (CSEM) patents will expire in 2021, at which time the technology will be released from restrictions. Of course, companies such as Atokalpa are researching and building expertise in the field of silicon hairspring manufacturing. There are also other high-tech materials that have been used in hairspring manufacturing, although production is still limited. For example, the Cartier concept watches ID-One and ID-Two are equipped with hairsprings made of Zerodur © (a high-tech glass-ceramic composite).
   At Baselworld 2017, Zenith launched the Defy El Primero 21 watch, equipped with a hairspring made of carbon-based carbon nanotube composites. Zenith’s parent company, LVMH Group, has applied for and obtained a patent for this technology (material). Under the umbrella of the LVMH Group, with the support of Jean-Claude Beaver, the way to master such movement parts is innovation. LVMH said that the group is increasing investment efforts to build facilities and develop products.

Genequand escapement and unconventional oscillator (yellow part)

‘Unconventional’ oscillator
   In addition to traditional balances and hairsprings, watchmakers also designed ‘unconventional’ oscillators. In recent years, with the development of new escapement mechanisms and the performance potential provided by silicon materials, these oscillators have been able to achieve higher vibration frequencies to improve accuracy or reduce movement energy consumption. Among them, the latest innovations replacing traditional spiral hairsprings include: TAG Heuer’s linear oscillation and chip structure (Mikrogirder watch), De Bethune’s acoustic resonator, and the flexible sheet structure of the Parmigioni Senfine concept movement … … Soon after, there is the revolutionary innovation of Zenith without balance wheel and hairspring. So stay tuned!

Clé De Cartier A Timepiece Feast

Cartier has always spared no effort in creating and inheriting classics. The watchmakers at the Cartier Watchmaking Workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland are never satisfied with creating surprises, but are accustomed to creating a feast of shocking timepieces. After 8 years of exploration, the new Clé de Cartier series watches not only show masterly charm in craftsmanship and aesthetics, but also have unsurpassed in the new series lineup. Once they are available, they will invite a timepiece feast .

Following BALLON BLEU, a miracle
   Cartier’s watchmaking strength has always been beyond doubt. At the Geneva International Watch and Jewelry Salon every year, Cartier can always launch hundreds of powerful works, including the continuation of the classic series and the birth of new series. Karma is insurmountable creativity. More importantly, there is need to create. Only through the performance of the Ballon Bleu blue balloon series, we can see that people love Cartier watches.
   In 2007, 19 Ballon Bleu blue balloon series were launched. After 8 years, the Ballon Bleu blue balloon series has launched more than 150 watches, whether it is a high-level complex watch in the field of professional technology, a beautiful master craftsmanship watch, or a luxurious high-end watch Jewelry watches, Ballon Bleu series have always maintained people’s unwavering enthusiasm for it, which is a miracle created by Cartier.

   Today, the new Clé de Cartier series will be launched in July 24. This lineup is better than the Ballon Bleu series that was launched in 2007, and it is much better than the Ballon Bleu series. It has to be expected that this will be another watchmaking miracle created by Cartier after Ballon Bleu.
Looking forward, lifting the mystery
   Not only that, the new Clé de Cartier series did not make its full debut in July, but gradually unveiled the mystery. From the early stage to the comprehensive media appreciation in July, 24 basic watches with calendars were newly unveiled. The Clé de Cartier series has occupied the media headlines in the watchmaking industry. It’s just that these 24 watches are all made of gold, which made the watchmates call out: ‘How come they are all made of gold, they are really not close to the people and can only be discouraged.’

   However, just as watch friends are still boasting about these 24 gold watches, Cartier will make a sound again in time: 8 Clé de Cartier watches will be launched in September. Three of them are K gold and stainless steel watches, and have never even taken the path of people, ‘only the latest 888 yuan can be booked in K gold and stainless steel models.’ This move greatly comforted a group of watch fans Passion. However, looking forward to it, surprises will not end.

   For high-end watchers and collectors of watches, at the Asian Watch Fair in September, the Clé de Cartier series will launch five more advanced complications, including the pre-heated Clé de Cartier Flying Tourbillon watch. . This is a truly powerful watch, not only preeminent in function, but also extremely luxurious in design, the platinum case is set with diamonds, and the Clé crown with the brightest point is also wrapped with diamonds, which is pleasing to the eye. For those high-end players, this is an irresistible temptation.
Men’s watch, simple and extraordinary
   Simplicity is an advanced art, with the least expression and the most simple expression. Men who admire simplicity naturally exude calm power and self-confidence. They fully understand that the essence of life lies in balance, clarity, and restraint. There is no need to prove anything, and they understand the inherent nature of beautiful things. The new Clé de Cartier men’s watch is simple in shape, simple in lines and simple in operation. It expresses the new realm of men’s simplicity with a new sense.

Women’s watch, elegant
   As ‘the emperor’s jeweler, the jeweler’s emperor’, Cartier has always regretted the preference for women. No matter in the field of fine jewelry or fine watchmaking, Cartier always gives women the best favor. The new Clé de Cartier series is no exception this time, 20 elegant timepieces are only for women.

   The new Clé de Cartier women’s watch series is more bold and high-profile in design style, especially in color and diamond setting. In the past design, Cartier women’s watch has always been more low-key brown, young pink, even if there are red styles are few; diamond inlaid also shows restraint. The new Clé de Cartier women’s watch completely broke the old attitude. In terms of color, many watches boldly use a high-profile piece of red. In terms of diamond decoration, a number of bezel-set diamonds, case-set diamonds, and even dial-paved haute jewellery watches have also been introduced. In terms of size, There are as many as 10 models in sizes of 40 mm and above. Clé de Cartier women’s watch is creating a new elegance for women with a new look.
Movement, new power set sail
   The Clé de Cartier series not only has a new experience in the senses, but also a new technical innovation in the internal power. The Clé de Cartier series of watches are available in 31 mm, 35 mm and 40 mm models. The 40 and 35 mm models are equipped with 1847MC automatic movements; the 31 mm versions are equipped with general automatic mechanical movements. The Clé de Cartier floating tourbillon watch, which will be launched in September, is equipped with a 9452 MC workshop refined manual winding mechanical movement equipped with a floating tourbillon. What high-performance movements Cartier will assemble in this promising new series in the future is even more exciting.

   It is the new 1847MC that Cartier has independently developed that attracts much attention. ‘1847’ is not accidentally acquired, but represents the year of brand creation. However, it can be named after the brand’s founding year, which shows that Cartier values ​​this movement. This self-winding 1847 MC calibre has a diameter of 25.6 mm. The movement adopts the same design principles as the case: simplicity and generosity, focusing on efficiency. The movement is equipped with a fast barrel, which greatly improves the stability of the travel time. The two-way automatic winding mechanism uses a specially designed lever system, which is particularly sturdy and durable. The movement is decorated with Geneva ripples (Vagues de Genève), with a semi-instantaneous date display and a 42-hour power reserve.

   The Clé de Cartier floating tourbillon watch, which will be launched in September, is equipped with a 9452 MC manual winding movement equipped with a floating tourbillon. The movement has a diameter of 24.9 millimeters and a thickness of 4.5 millimeters. There are 142 parts in the movement, each of which has been carefully modified. The bridge is chamfered and brushed on the sides to meet the strict standards of the ‘Poinçon de Genève’ (Geneva Mark). The balance has a vibration frequency of 21,600 times per hour and a power reserve of about 50 hours.

   A ‘key’ opens a door to time and invites you to a feast of timepieces.

Recommendation Of The Year Of The Dragon Dragon Lucky Watch

In an instant we are about to usher in the Chinese traditional festival ‘Spring Festival’. In 2012, according to Chinese customs, it is the year of the dragon. The dragon symbolizes power and status in China. So many people plan to have a baby dragon in the year of the dragon, hoping to be auspicious, so do you also want to buy a watch with the zodiac sign in the year of the dragon? If you wear your watch every day, good luck will always be with you.

Glashütte Tourbillon Year Limited
 In order to meet the upcoming Dragon Year, Germany’s top watch factory Glashütte has specially produced 8 top-rated Mason Tourbillon Dragon Year limited edition watches. Each watch is equipped with ceramic discs made by Mason Porcelain Factory and uses pure gold powder. The exquisite dragon-shaped pattern was hand-painted. After high temperature treatment, the color stability and aesthetics of the pigment were ensured, and the agate pen was used to process the golden dragon, making it more vivid and dazzling.

Blancpain China Dragon Caro Russell Limited Edition
 Blancpain launched its own ultra-complex movement ‘Carrousel’ in 2008, which completely overturned the embarrassing situation of the traditional tourbillon in the past. Carrousel can also be coaxial, and it can also be changed from one minute to one. In order to commemorate this milestone, Carloso became the only watch in the Palace Museum, and this time the Chinese dragon of Blancpain used Carloso movement, with a carved dragon pattern on the back, 43.5 mm Dial diameter, 100-hour power reserve, limited to 50 pieces worldwide.

Piaget Emperador Watch
 If you don’t like the shape of the previous two round dials, this square Piaget Emperador watch may meet your needs, with an 18K rose gold case, a 24.6 mm diameter, and a custom version of 18K rose gold dragons. The dial is shaped with 85 diamonds and the back of the watch is engraved with the Chinese ‘Dragon’ text. Equipped with Piaget 534P self-winding mechanical movement. Power reserve is about 40 hours.

Athens CLASSICO Enamel Golden Dragon Watch
 Compared with the previous models, this Athens CLASSICO gold-filled enamel watch is more prominent in color matching, giving a gorgeous feeling. It uses the process of color-filled enamel to bring the golden dragon to life. The colors required are all refined from various metal oxides. The case is 18K gold. It uses the UN-815 automatic winding movement. It has a 42-hour power reserve and is limited to 30 pieces worldwide.

 Finally, on behalf of all the staff of the Watch House, I wish you all a Happy New Year. I wish you all a good luck in the Year of the Dragon, a happy family, a spirit of dragon and horse, and peace. Thank you for your continued support and trust in the Watch House. Our Watch House will bring you more exciting content in the new year.