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Largest wrist watch manufacturer have found that silicon is the most common element in nature after oxygen, equivalent to 28% of the earth's crust composition. It belongs to crystals or non-metals. Its density is equivalent to 1/3 of steel. It has high hardness and resistance. Magnetic and highly resistant to corrosion, it is lighter and stronger than metal materials such as steel.
In fact, this kind of material has been widely used in computer chips, but it is not so easy for timepiece manufacturers to use silicon components to make clock components. The main difficulty is to determine the heat coefficient, so that the movement can be stable under any circumstances. Time rate.
However, the benefits are obvious. Using silicon to make the pallet fork, the escape wheel and the hairspring ensure that they operate smoothly without lubrication.
From the hairspring alone, silicon can produce a specially shaped hairspring while reducing weight, thereby improving the isochronal error of the watch.
The movement of the balance wheel is a harmonious movement, and the role of the balance spring is to maintain the inertia moment and the swing period of the balance wheel when swinging, and to form a vibration period with the balance wheel to obtain a certain vibration period to achieve accurate timing.
The basic requirements for hairsprings in watchmaking technology are:
1. Has a stable elastic characteristic;
2. Less elasticity hysteresis;
3. Smaller temperature coefficient ( Thermoelastic coefficient);
4. Good anti-magnetic performance and corrosion resistance;
5. The pitch is equal;
6. The center of the hairspring should be as close as possible to the geometric center.
Due to the constraints of technology and manufacturing technology, the early iron-based alloy hairsprings were mostly made of iron or other alloys. In addition to being susceptible to rust and magnetization, the lower the coefficient of elasticity also increased the power consumption of the spring.
Therefore, the energy storage time of early watches is hard to exceed 40 hours. In 1933, a hairspring made of a special alloy smelted with nickel, chromium and iron was born.
In addition to its good diamagnetic resistance (but not anti-magnetic), it has excellent resistance to temperature difference. Even in extremely high temperature difference environment, the mechanical timepiece using this hairspring is not sensitive to temperature.
After entering the 21st century, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Athens and other major brands and the Swatch Group have begun to develop a new generation of hairspring, and they are all based on silicon crystal.
For example, the silicon hairspring of Athens is etched into a shape of a hairspring by etching the entire piece of silicon material in an integrated manner;
Patek Philippe's silicon hairspring and hairspring are all formed in one. In 2006, spriomax hairspring was introduced, and an innovative end "curve" was designed, which significantly thickened the outer end of the balance spring and promoted the balance of the balance spring. It is regularly balanced and contracted toward the same center throughout the vibration plane.
Although the production process of watch manufacturers and the shape of the processed silicon hairspring are not the same, it has anti-magnetic, anti-vibration and anti-corrosion properties.
The eclipse, perfect shape and excellent resistance to temperature difference, meets all the basic requirements of the gossamer process technology, and the effect has also been confirmed.