Silicium Classical Watches
Silicium is truly revolutionising traditional watches. At the heart of a mechanical watch is the delicate hairspring, balance-wheel, escapement-wheel and pallet mechanism; in simple terms, these are the elements of the watch that count each second and ensure accuracy. Traditionally, like the rest of a watch’s power train, they are made of metal. This means that they need lubrication, are impaired by magnetism, shock, heat and cold, and wear out.
Silicium solves these problems. Frederique Constant is using a technique known as deep reactive-ion etching, to shape silicum wafers into escapement wheels, pallets, and plateaus. Silicium is lighter, harder and stronger than metal. Etched into tiny skeletal structures that would be impossible to form with metal, it becomes the featherweight heart of a mechanism that can run at a far higher accuracy. The silicium parts are virtually frictionless, so need no lubrication, and are immune to most external forces. And when bonded with a carbon coating, silicium’s only real drawback, brittleness, can also be overcome.