watch parts

The world?s first watch, in which diamond parts are incorporated into the movement, was introduced into the market at the Basel World 2005 (31.03.05-07.04.05). Ulysse Nardin, the Swiss manufacturer of exclusive and innovative timepieces, utilized diamond toothed wheels in the escapement of their wrist watch Freak 28?800V/h ?Diamond heart?. Two diamond toothed wheels, together with several additional diamond pieces, work at the centre of the escapement. The watch is a 7-day Carrousel Tourbillon, without hands, and without a dial or a crown. It has an amazingly novel patented escapement: Ulysse Dual Escapement which does not require lubrication.

chematic illustration of the functional principle. The movement is integrated within the hand of the watch
Source: Ulysse Nardin

After several years of joint development, GFD is now successful in the production of reliable, ultra precise micro mechanical diamond parts.

 

The advantages of our diamond technology for these special types of application are obvious:

  • Negligible wear of the diamond components (since diamond is the hardest of all known materials)
  • Very low frictional loss between the diamond parts (since diamond has a very low friction coefficient)
  • Very high shape strength at low side wall dimensions (since diamond has a high mechanical strength)
  • Significant reduction of thermal effects on the accuracy of the watch. (since diamond has a very low thermal expansion coefficient)
  • Reduced contamination tendency of the diamond parts (since diamond is chemically inert)
  • Very low inertia of the parts (since diamond has a low density combined with high mechanical strength)

In addition to the escapement toothed wheels, further parts have been fabricated with diamond. This yields a complete diamond ?driven? level within the movement. The basic function of this diamond escapement is shown in the following picture:

 

Diamond toothed wheel next to a human hair - Courtesy of Ulysse Nardin, Le Locle, Switzerland
Freak 28'800 V/h ?diamond heart? - Courtesy of Ulysse Nardin, Le Locle, Switzerland

GFD also develops other sophisticated diamond products in cooperation with partners. As an example, the first diamond hair spiral spring is shown below.

 

Diamond spiral spring - Courtesy of Ulysse Nardin, Le Locle, Switzerland