From clock towers to wristwatches, the history of clock- and watch-making over the past four centuries chronicles the ever-increasing miniaturisation of existing mechanisms.
Greubel Forsey’s EWT Laboratory toiled away secretly for ten years, pushing the boundaries of mechanical miniaturisation until it produced its first demonstration prototype in 2014. A second prototype with a watchmaking mechanism was completed in 2016. These prototypes paved the way into the new universe of Mechanical Nano, where watchmaking truly enters the realm of the infinitesimally small.
Greubel Forsey’s research in Mechanical Nano has led to remarkable discoveries, validated by laboratory tests that point the way to this new universe. They bring closer to realising the dream of every watchmaker over the past two hundred years - to free ourselves from the limitations of space. The Mechanical Nano technology 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 watchcase constitutes the main technical constraint. Through Mechanical Nano, the brand 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.
This discipline presents with many new challenges - and to face them, we must master physical laws that have hitherto had no bearing on watchmaking. Greubel Forsey sees unprecedented scope for creativity and unexplored mechanical applications in this terra incognita. It has been demonstrated, for example, that a watch mechanism can be powered solely on the energy generated by the airflow inside the movement.
Greubel Forsey will regularly share updates on these research developments in 2017 and 2018 with, notably, the fruits of research from the first two prototypes. The brand is now working on the first Mechanical Nano timepiece, which will be unveiled in the near future.
February 09, 2017