The Evolution Of The Parmigiani Fleurier Senfine Watch, Part 2: From Model To Movement

Pierre Genequand began working at CSEM right back in 1984, and spent quite a bit of his profession dealing with the improvement of adaptable silicon components for use in an assortment of micromechanical gadgets, going from printers to reflect mounts for satellite telescopes. In the last part of the 1990s, near the time of retirement, he turned out to be progressively inspired by how such components may be utilized in watchmaking and started a broad investigation of the standards of escapement plan. Genequand resigned in 2002, which appears to have given him the extra energy important to develop a working model on his kitchen table of what was to ultimately become the core of the Senfine watch. This video, shot in 2003, shows the model in activity – the state of what might be on the horizon. In 2004, he returned to CSEM to show his previous associates what he’d come up with.

“I realized that this task had potential even before I found out about it in detail, just on the grounds that it came from Pierre.”

– Mario El Khoury, CEO, CSEM

If there’s one piece of a watch about which watchmakers are moderate, it’s the escapement. The principal utilization of a switch escapement in a watch was most likely by Thomas Mudge, who, as per the British Museum, designed the escapement in 1754 and first utilized it in a real watch in 1770. Presently, things being what they are, this is somewhat bewildering. By far most of watches made today utilize an escapement designed (at any rate in its unique structure) 245 years prior. From that point forward there have been heap different escapements designed but the switch is the one that has truly stood the trial of, indeed, time. Indeed, even most current silicon switch escapements are indistinguishable on a fundamental level to Mudge’s unique innovation. So you may effortlessly envision that CSEM would respect Genequand’s escapement with some doubt. In any case, Pierre Genequand had been a profoundly regarded specialist and as CSEM CEO Mario El Khoury says, “I realized that this venture had potential even before I found out about it in detail, basically in light of the fact that it came from Pierre.”

Pierre Genequand’s unique full-sized model of his escapement.

The unique model is about 20x bigger than the real escapement utilized in the Senfine watch. This 20:1 model was adequate as a proof of idea, and it permitted Genequand to make a report describing all the fundamental parts of his escapement. As you can see over, the getaway wheel is driven by a falling weight (the nuts on the eyebolt toward the finish of the wire on the left) and the equilibrium is the huge circle with patterns taking up a large portion of the remainder of the model. You can likewise see the two arms of the switch, just as the getaway wheel itself.

Now, the subsequent stage is clearly to diminish the model in size until you get a working model that you can really begin messing with in a model development, yet you can’t – or rather, you shouldn’t – simply feel free to make a 1:1 model in silicon. The working of numerous components can change in sudden manners when you change scale and materials. Furthermore, also, prototyping in silicon is quite costly, so CSEM concluded that before making a 1:1 model in silicon, it would explore different avenues regarding a 5:1 model in a more manageable material: steel.

The adaptable metal beds in the 20:1 model are supplanted by silicon sharp edges in the last movement.

Work on making a 5:1 model in steel started with the advancement of what’s known as a homothety report. The word homothety is gotten from two Greek roots: homo, signifying “the equivalent” and postulation, which has a few implications relying upon setting yet here is most likely best deciphered as “position” or “plan.” The word sounds overwhelming however the thought is straightforward – a homothetic change is a device in science for changing the size of something, while at the same time protecting all the extents and rakish connections of whatever it is you’re evolving. (A pantograph is a drawing apparatus that plays out a homothetic change, for example). A large portion of the difficulties in scaling down the escapement were identified with three main points of contention: First, the beds are extremely long and meager, and are consequently inclined to flighty vibrations and changes fit as a fiddle. Second, the departure wheel teeth are incredibly fine, and they have a complex association with the beds, so the smallest imprecision in their production may make a tooth hop. At long last, the getaway wheel itself has a complex advances and in reverse movement.

The 5:1 scale model of the Genequand escapement, created at CSEM in 2006.

The communication between the metal beds and getaway wheel teeth is complex and requires high accuracy to work properly.

Many apparatuses were utilized to assess the presentation of the 5:1 model, yet quite possibly the most significant was a fast camera, which permitted CSEM’s architects to investigate the activity of the escapement all the more accurately. The video underneath, given by CSEM, shows the activity of the 20:1 model compared to that of the 5:1 model, in really extraordinary detail. This is one of those one-film is-worth-10,000-words situations.

Miniaturizing the Genequand escapement to a 5:1 model was a tedious however fundamental advance in arriving at the following stage: making a working model development in a wristwatch-accommodating size. On the off chance that you compare the 5:1 model to the last form of the escapement, you’ll see that there are some very sensational differences.

Above, the CSEM model of the Genequand escapement.

A computer delivering showing the significant components of the Genequand escapement.

Why these progressions were made, and what occurred as far as the development in the escapement as it changed from metal development to silicon, are questions we’ll be taking a gander at in additional portions of our record of how a resigned designer’s cobbled together kitchen table model got perhaps the most innovative mechanical watches ever. Stay tuned.