As material science progresses, the watch industry finds itself flush with ever more ways to disrupt the conventional norms of finishing and coating surfaces, many of which have persisted in traditional watchmaking for centuries. Joshua Munchow takes a look at some of this disruption and evolution, which recently culminated in the use of Vantablack.
It turns out gem-setting is a lot more difficult than many appreciate. Diamond-setting watches requires the expertise and craftsmanship of about half a dozen highly skilled craftsmen, each a master of their craft, as highlighted here by Martin Green.
Blockchain may have its place; cryptocurrency remains a subject for debate. One thing is for sure: the watch industry is testing the marketability and benefits of both. Chris Malburg explains how each provides both risk and reward to five industry players.
The tiny, delicate, nearly impossible-to-create hairspring is the one of the biggest advances for modern scientific technology there is. Joshua Munchow takes a dive into the muscle of the beating heart of most mechanical watches: the hairspring.
Humans have long had a fascination with the depths of the ocean, striving to go ever deeper, ever further, and ever faster by pushing the limits of the human body, technology, and advancing modern science. But like all things, we are often faced with limits. And the helium escape valve was invented to push one of those limits as watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains.
In the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, expert institutions were founded to test and certify the quality of the wristwatch’s precision. The most important and famous one today is Switzerland’s C.O.S.C., but as Sabine Zwettler reports, there are others including Omega’s Master Chronometer certificate.
General everyday contact with magnets isn’t going to cause your beloved wristwatch any real harm, but overdoses of magnetism may still present a problem, causing erratic timing and even stoppage altogether as watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains. What to do when this happens?
Hairsprings are miniscule. Generally no more than one centimeter in overall diameter when coiled, they are roughly 50 microns thick and 150 microns wide. Tiny they may be, but insignificant they are not. In fact, they are so significant that Rolex refers to them as “the guardians of time.” But what do silicon hairsprings bring to the table? Watchmaker Ashton Tracy explains why he went from skeptic to fan.
The ambitious task of Qualité Fleurier, which was the first qualitative horological certification for finished watches, is to unite several tests within one single certification. Elizabeth Doerr explains how and why that’s done.
Patented inventions are present in every aspect of human life. Electric lighting glows in our rooms due to patents held by Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan; plastic is omnipresent thanks to patents registered by Leo Baekeland; and even ballpoint pens would not be on every desk if Laszlo Biro hadn’t patented them. Elizabeth Doerr takes a look at patents in the watch industry, including the most famous of all: Abraham-Louis Breguet’s patent for the tourbillon.