Home General Why Silicon? Why Not?

Why Silicon? Why Not?

651
3

 

ulysse-nardin-freak

When it comes to watchmaking, innovation has taken different forms.  Sure, there have been some format or design changes, and new complications have appeared (for more on those, check out our Historical Horology series).  One of the more recent innovations has come in the use of new and exciting materials.  One such of these materials is silicon.

Ulysse_Nardin_Portrait_sortie_640_360_s_c1_center_center

Now, depending on the brand, you might not actually see the word “silicon” showing up, because they’ll opt for the French term (which, yes, is more impressive sounding) of “silicium”.  Silicon made it’s first debut in the Ulysse Nardin Freak (pictured up top).  Why did they decide to try this material out?  For a few reasons, actually:

  • Silicon is simultaneously hard and light
  • Silicon does not respond to changes in the environment like temperature or magnetism
  • Silicon parts require little (or no) lubrication

Ulysse-Nardin-Silicium-Sonata-3-2

With just those three bullets, you can see why this material makes sense in certain areas of the watch movement – such as, say, the escapement, where you really don’t want those environmental variables (or friction) throwing things off.  While the Freak was not exactly well-received for this material usage, the intervening decade has shown it to be of value – and many manufacturers make use of it.

Ulysse-Nardin-Sonata-Silicium

If you’d like to read more on this material (as well as an interview with Ulysse Nardin CEO Patrik Hoffmann), check out this article over on Forbes by our pal Ariel Adams.

All images courtesy of Forbes

Thank you for reading this WristWatchReview post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

WristWatchReview is one of the few remaining truly independent watch news outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent watch sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis. We don't play the games the other sites play and we've paid for it when it comes to ad revenue.

We would love for you to support us on Patreon and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The WWR Team

3 COMMENTS

Leave a Reply to pkansa Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.