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Time to Move: This week is Swatch Week!
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Live from Time to Move: Blancpain T0 and T1 production

by Peter Chong on May 14, 2019

We started at the manufacture which formerly housed the F. Piguet movement manufacture.

The Swatch Group does not allow photography inside the manufacture, so no live photographs of the machines.

We started at the beginning with the raw materials storage. Brass, maillechort are stored as rolls. Blancpain makes 100% of all components and tools in-house. The tools are stamped with dies.

Next we moved to the base movement components manufacture. The room is filled with multi axis CNC machines. The machines have 18 or 36 spindles. Some are hermatically sealed and others are operated by one operator. These make the brass components.

Next are the turning machines. Here all the turning operations are done. Including the rotors. Gold and platinum is used. A 15g gold disc before turning results in an oscillating weight of about 2g.

After machining, the components are washed, with several baths. Blancpain even have their own water treatment plant below the building to ensure optimal water quality.

Next we went to the pre-assembly and assembly of the components into movements. These are sent to another location where the components are finished.

Pre-assembly is the assembly of the small components into operational units like the plates, and the assembly of the barrels and preparing the additional plates like calendars, moonphase etc. Electric screwdrivers ensure the torque applied is repeatable and accurate.

Then assembly, the wheels, pinions, levers are put together. The libre san joux tolerances are apples automatically by a special machine.

The escapement is fitted in the final assembly process, including adjusting the pallet jewels. Next the regulation and adjustment is performed and the movement. Hands and dials and complications are added and certified.

After this the movements go to casing or third party manufacturers using the movement.

Regards,
Peter Chong
Live from Le Sentier.

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