Tech

This Rolex is made using an ophthalmic laser

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Although traditionally As a treasure trove of analog skills and long-standing craftsmanship, today’s luxury watch industry has developed a shrewd ability to obtain high-tech innovations from sectors unrelated to the watch world.

The high potential strength of carbon fiber-realized in 1963 at the Royal Aircraft Institute, a research institution owned by the British Army, for use in jet engines-is now commonly used in high-end watches. Deep reactive ion etching developed for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) is now also used to make silicon watch parts, which have changed the watchmaking industry due to their diamagnetic properties (understandably, the continuously moving parts of metal watches hate magnets).

TAG Heuer is trying to cultivate a carbon nanotube balance spring based on a process first developed by the University of Utah. This is a tiny spiral at the core of a mechanical watch that can drive the swing of the escapement. Every time it swings, the escapement itself allows A toothed drive wheel “escapes” and advances the hands of the watch. It is said that they are not as fragile as their silicon counterparts. They are also diamagnetic, but have better shock resistance and are easy to assemble for watchmakers.

The titanium ceramic compounds found in today’s watch cases are manufactured for dental and military use. Panerai’s Carbotech materials were actually developed for brake pads.

And such examples are too numerous to list. Basically, almost any new material used for watch cases was not actually developed for watches. Watch brands are very good at finding new things and integrating them into their field.

Nevertheless, although new materials, manufacturing technologies and engineering processes have rapidly developed from the automotive and aerospace fields, eye surgery seems unlikely to be a source of technical inspiration.

However, Rolex has turned to laser technology for cataract removal this year, seeking industrialization to create unique, flawless decorations for its dials. The latest version of its classic self-winding Datejust model-this timepiece was first manufactured in 1945 to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary, with tropical palm leaves staggered across the green sunburst dial, the middle of the dial is lighter and the dial is darker. The edge of a semi-abstract way-use this process.

The palm of the hand was etched on the base of this sunburst dial using femtosecond laser technology, which was originally developed for surgical purposes in the early 1990s.

During cataract surgery, ultra-short laser pulses (femtoseconds equivalent to one-billionth of a second) are used to cut into the surface of the eye with precise geometric shapes so that the cataract material is removed. Accuracy that the surgeon’s hands cannot achieve.

Photography: Rolex
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