After a decade of research, Greubel Forsey just announced the Mechanical Nano. A groundbreaking horological advancement that might change the watchmaking world as we know it. In what they refer to as EWT —'Experimental Watch Technology'— and after ten years of secretly working on it, Greubel Forsey has finally pushed the boundaries of mechanical miniaturization and produced its first demonstration prototype in 2014. A second prototype
with a watchmaking mechanism was completed in 2016.
These prototypes paved the way into this new universe of Mechanical Nano, where watchmaking truly enters the realm of the infinitesimally small. Overcoming existing spatial and energy constraints, Greubel Forsey’s research in Mechanical Nano has led to remarkable discoveries, validated by laboratory tests that point the way to this new universe. Bringing us closer to realizing the dream of every watchmaker over the past 200 years by freeing ourselves from the limitations of space in designing watch movements.
Greubel Forsey's technology of Mechanical Nano opens up limitless horizons, thanks to these intrinsic characteristics: requiring only a reduced number of working parts, resulting in a very much smaller volume with incredibly low energy consumption. For watchmakers, the limited space inside the watch case constitutes the main technical constraint. Especially if we want to continue to maintain certain proportions for case sizes that work well with most average wrist sizes.
Through Mechanical Nano, Greubel Forsey has fundamentally rethought the watch calibre and reduced its size and power consumption by the same ratio as the watchmakers who compressed clock movements to create the wristwatch two centuries ago. Up until now, the power needed to drive a wristwatch mechanism was a limiting factor in terms of creativity and innovation. Mechanical Nano opens up a wealth of possibilities so that a power reserve of several months is no longer just wishful thinking. However, this horological advancement comes with new challenges and to face them, the watchmaking industry must master certain physical laws that have hitherto had no bearing on watchmaking.
Greubel Forsey sees unprecedented scope for creativity and unexplored mechanical applications in this new arena. Demonstrating that a watch mechanism can be powered on the energy generated by the airflow inside the movement is just the beginning. Mechanical Nano will also enable Greubel Forsey to create new complications such as the Indicateur de Fréquence.
Greubel Forsey will regularly share updates on these research developments in 2017 and
2018 with the fruits of research from the first two prototypes. Currently the brand is working on the first Mechanical Nano timepiece, which will be unveiled in the near future —hopefully at the SIHH 2017 next week.
Without a doubt, this fascinating project is a new milestone in the history of horology and lays the foundations for a new era for the whole watchmaking industry.
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