Just as in other areas of life, the effect of developing technology is evident in watchmaking as well. The results of the producers’ long R&D work come forward as solutions to many obstacles in the world of watchmaking industry. We focused on three most important obstacles and three watches to change the course of traditional watchmaking with the solutions they offer.
One of the most important virtues of mankind is the desire to reach perfection. Many objects that make our daily life easier or safer for us today, are the results of this desire.
“When ever-evolving technology meets the know-how of the brands’, it becomes inevitable to witness astonishing ideas and designs.”
If we look at the industrial part of this business, we see better what the desire to reach perfection can make people do. Your steering-assist car, the unmanned aerial vehicles you see around and even your smartphone that you read these lines through are random samples for that fact.
If we go back to the watches, it is possible to talk about the paradigm-shifting innovation again in industrial terms. The waterproof watches that looked more like a joke 100 years ago operates flawlessly at the deepest point of the world, Mariana Trench (about 11,000m deep!). Or today you can get an automatic Swiss watch that can offer a power reserve of 80 hours under CHF 1,000,00. With today’s technology, it is possible to show more examples but there are three particular obstacles that I would like to underline today; accuracy, service intervals and shock protection. And three watches that feature extra ordinary and fascinating solutions to those problems.
One of the titles that have never lost their popularity since the emergence of watchmaking is undoubtedly the accuracy . This concept, which is the starting point for many discoveries from significant complications like Tourbillon to affordable and reliable solutions like Quartz movements, is still at the top of the issues that manufacturers are most concerned with. Zenith Defy Lab is the model that gets into our list with the solution it brings to the accuracy problem.
The model, which belongs to the Defy Collection from legendary product groups of the famous brand, features a single-piece oscillator produced from "Monocrystalline Silicon" material that takes the place of conventional balance wheel system which consists of approximately 30 pieces. The model, which reduces the amount of daily deviation to an assertive value of +/- 0,3 seconds, also owns the title of "world’s most accurate mechanical watch”.
Every mechanical device designed by man, no matter how long the interval is, absolutely needs to be serviced at a certain point. Just like the service required for an automobile engine that runs at 8000rpm, a mechanical watch that beats at 28.800vph also requires a service. While the companies are trying to extend this service with various solutions they have developed, the answer that changes the game comes from the famous Italian origin watchmaker Officine Panerai.
The model is powered by the Caliber P.3001 / C which has 4 jewels only. Manual winding movement can work in its brand new performance without any lubrication for exactly 50 years thanks to the parts made of tantalum-based ceramic alloy such as bridges, barrels, escapement and even the main plate.
Shock-resistance problem exists since watches have become portable devices. With the introduction of pocket watches and the widespread use of wrist watches, shock-protection has become one of the most important titles of the industry. Though the problem is largely solved d with practical solutions such as Incabloc, the fact that extraordinary situations require extraordinary solutions remains unchanged. The leading model for this comes from the innovative brand Richard Mille which redefines extraordinary in terms of watchmaking.
The model’s movement is designed to withstand up to 5000G impacts thank to its unique suspension system featuring 10 pulleys and mesh wires. The 19 jewels and 3Hz Tourbillon movement is mounted in the case with four tensioners and equipped with titanium bridges.
We do not know where this technology developing at an unprecedented pace will take us, but it is worth remembering that many of the features that have already become standard for us today cannot even be imagined at the past.