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New Release: The First Nano Foudroyante EWT from Greubel Forsey

In the search for perfection: a new breakthrough in mechanical watchmaking - the first Nano Foudroyante EWT
by Dan-Andrei Kluska on December 15, 2017

For over ten years, in the Experimental Watch Technology Laboratory has been working on new technologies.  A new patent (No. 3220207 A1) has been registered for this novelty, and with this new release, Greubel Forsey introduces the Nano Foudroyante EWT. Here is a sneak peek. We will return to explore this release with further thoughts, discussions with Stephen Forsey (sheduled for SIHH) and analysis later.

The aim of the nano technology as it is applied by Greubel Forsey is to develop tiny mechanical structures which behave like regular sized ones, but as they are very very small. These nano structures thus requires very little energy and exhibits extremely low inertia. This technology was first shown by Greubel Forsey a couple of years ago. We saw a prototype of a nano escapement which can be seen to be beating, but at that time, it was not incorporated into a watch.

 

Greubel Forsey Nano Foudroyante EWT

The prototype is installed in the Art Piece and uses the magnifying glass in the second crown to provide a view of the foudroyante.

 

With this announcement of the  Nano Foudroyante EWT, Greubel Forsey moves a step forward, and incorporates a nano sized foudroyante which is directly driven by the regular sized escapement.

A foudroyant is a seconds hand which makes one revolution every second. The traditional fast beat balance running at 28,800 bph, this means that the second hands makes the revolution in 8 discrete steps. This complication is almost always a spectacle, but is notorious for being very power hungry, and depletes the power reserve very quickly. By utilizing nano technology with very small components, the system uses so little power that it becomes practically inconsequential that a foudroyant is installed.

The new technology, the Mechanical Nano applied to the foudroyant jumping seconds has a series of advantages:
• The energy used by escapement is reduced by a factor of 1,800;
• The placed occupied is 96% less compared to a conventional mechanism;
• Is protected by the patent No.: EP 3220207 A1.

 

 

One of the drawings showing the foudroyante mechanism, and the nano sized differential system to drive the foudroyante hand.

 

Unlike a regular press release, this Greubel Forsey release comprises of a couple of drawings, and photographs and a highly technical white paper. This documents an actual watch with this ultra tiny foudroyante installed at 9 o’clock and viewable through the magnifying piece through a second crown at case side at the 9 o’clock position. While still a working prototype to show proof of concept, the watch is reported to be operational and running.

 

Greubel Forsey Nano Foudroyante EWT

A new low energy foudroyant jumping seconds with mechanical Nano

 

 

We will take a closer look at the actual working prototype during our appointment with Stephen Forsey in SIHH and will return with an analysis later. There is a lot to digest in the technical paper…the document is complete with calculations and reads like a regular scientific paper presented at scientific conferences. We will need a while to digest and present the information to you.

 

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