Looking Back On 10 Years Of Ulysse Nardin’s Pioneering InnoVision Technology | Quill & Pad

Looking Back On 10 Years Of Ulysse Nardin’s Pioneering InnoVision Technology | Quill & Pad

As the tenth anniversary of the InnoVision draws near, presently is an incredible chance to investigate at Ulysse Nardin’s pioneering innovations as they prompted the formation of the idea reproduction watch reviews presented in 2007.

Though it may appear to be behind the times that a 163-year-old company celebrated for its marine chronometers would be the one to begin an upset in mechanical watchmaking, that is exactly what Ulysse Nardin did by driving the quest for the ideal materials and progressed geometery to help in cutting grease and improving imitation watch reviews efficiency.

The first Ulysse Nardin Freak (2001)

This started with the Freak, a reproduction watch reviews that broke each show in watchmaking history.

Ticking inside the first Freak of 2001 was another escapement called the Dual Direct Escapement, the business’ first effective guarantee of oil free guideline. The wheels of this escapement were made of silicon since they couldn’t be machined utilizing conventional processes.

A short three years after the fact, Ulysse Nardin was at that point trying different things with polycrystalline precious stone components, another industry first, presenting an equilibrium spring made of the material in the 2003’s Sonata.

Two years from that point forward, an overhauled rendition of the Freak called Freak 28,800 V/h was introduced at Baselworld 2005; it ran on an as good as ever form of the Dual Direct escapement called the Dual Ulysse.

Ulysse Nardin Freak DIAMonSIL with jewel covered silicon escapement and “hands” from 2007

Diamond miniature components were additionally to be found in a variant of this equivalent reproduction watch reviews called the Freak Diamond Heart. These components were fabricated by Diamaze Microtechnology SA , a joint endeavor between Ulysse Nardin, Sigatec, and the GfD Institute (a maker of jewel components for devices and the clinical business). This current company’s raison d’être was to make precious stone covered silicon and “develop” manufactured jewel as maybe best showed in 2007’s Freak DIAMonSil.

Ulysse Nardin’s InnoVision from 2007 was an idea reproduction watch reviews intended to grandstand Sigatec’s combined LIGA/silicon technology

And while the period of this new material started for most specialists with the approach of the Freak back in 2001, a ground breaking copy watch reviews most specialists concur capacities as something of a research center on the wrist, it was the 2007 appearance of a Freak variety considered InnoVision that genuinely proclaimed the eventual fate of what watchmaking could be.


But before I head into what made this imitation watch reviews instrumental in Ulysse Nardin’s specialized movement, I’d prefer to survey the ten key innovations spearheaded by the Le Locle-based brand that were instrumental in the InnoVision.

Silicon (silicium in French and Latin) is a component that has been utilized in other innovative ventures for quite a long time. It is the eighth most common component known to man by mass and the second most plentiful component on earth after oxygen, making up 25.7 percent of the world’s crust.

First distinguished in 1787 by Antoine Lavoisier, today silicon can be found in glass, concretes, and pottery – however the biggest use of metallurgical-grade silicon, addressing something like 55% of the world’s utilization, is found in the production of aluminum-silicon composites to deliver cast parts commonly used in the auto industry.

Silicon escape wheel wafer made by Sigatec for Ulysse Nardin

As an unadulterated silicon wafer, is utilized for hardware and other cutting edge applications, presently including watchmaking.

Silicon initially made a sprinkle in the copy watch reviews industry on account of CSEM (Center Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique S.A), a privately owned business mutually claimed by the Swatch Group, Rolex, Patek Philippe, the Richemont Group, and the Federation of the Swiss imitation watch reviewss Industry (FH).

CSEM, which at the time imparted an exploration lab to the Institute for Microtechnology of the University of Neuchâtel, a non-commercial provider, has been working with silicon since 1992 with the plan of offering its plans to copy watch reviews brands willing to support research.

This is the very establishment that Ulysse Nardin initially commissioned to help in assembling the main copy watch reviews components coming about because of the company’s examination. Notwithstanding, it was Ulysse Nardin’s proceeded with investigation of the LIGA interaction, which was made generally open by Mimotec from 1998, that put the company’s broad examination into genuine motion.

Mimotec’s items not just empowered Ulysse Nardin to have totally smooth, contact free parts in nickel and nickel-phosphorus composites that were ideal for prototyping, yet additionally joined Ulysse Nardin in the journey for additional investigation into silicon. In 2006, the two companies went into a joint dare to investigate the combination of LIGA and silicon.

A close glance at the tourbillon and escapement of the Ulysse Nardin Anchor Tourbillon

The zenith of this joint endeavor was the Ulysse Anchor Escapement of 2015, a watch demonstrating that the verifiable anchor escapement could be made suitable for wristwatches thanks to new advances. For full subtleties on this reproduction watch reviews see The Ulysse Anchor Tourbillon By Ulysse Nardin .

Using silicon for watchmaking has numerous focal points, among them adaptability, sturdiness, hardness, versatility, exactness, low thickness, and no requirement for grease. LIGA offers a large number of the equivalent advantages.


Sigatec is a commercial provider basically applying the direct LIGA measure with the expansion of DRIE (profound responsive particle drawing) to silicon. Components made with this interaction are level, yet can be created on two levels and in an assortment of curiously gleaming colors.

But to comprehend this cycle, we need to initially comprehend what LIGA is – and where Sigatec came from.

A LIGA wafer at the Karlsruhe, Germany KIT/IMT organization made with the assistance of X-beam light

The word LIGA is a German abbreviation representing lithography (Lithografie), galvanic (Galvanisierung), and plastic embellishment (Abformung).

The lithographic interaction is likely one that is more natural to the layman as an imaginative medium utilized for replicating, printing, and moving something, for example, text or workmanship onto a smooth surface. The advanced photographic litho measure is utilized, for instance, on layaway cards.

LIGA utilizes light for adjustment, and its establishing research organization –   IMT/KIT in Karlsruhe, Germany (the commercial arm was as of late privatized to become Microworks ) – utilizes an extravagant X-beam light.

Used to produce miniature components for watchmaking and different enterprises, LIGA components start existence with a X-beam cover containing exact computer-created states of the parts to be fabricated. The X-beam light “uncovered” the primary data onto a layer of polymer. At that point a dissolvable is presented, giving up the non-lighted plastic as the essential structure.

Ulysse Nardin escape wheels in LIGA nickel-phosphorus from the main form of the Freak

The galvanic piece of the abbreviation can be better portrayed as electroforming, which “grows” a component in a plating shower particle by iota until it arrives at the ideal thickness.

The spaces created by the expulsion of the illuminated plastic material are then loaded up with an electroformed metal. Because of its thickness, the assortment of metals and amalgams is to some degree limited, with a primary spotlight on nickel, copper, gold, nickel-cobalt, nickel-phosphorus, and nickel-iron.

Today, LIGA is utilized to make miniature components for some ventures, however for metal imitation watch reviews component creation the embellishment step isn’t utilized. LIGA, or direct LIGA, as the abbreviated interaction is known, is ideal for making horological miniature components of high quality.

In unmistakable difference to wire sparkle disintegration innovation, LIGA components are amazing without fail and require no wrapping up. There are no burrs, since they are not cut, and in this manner don’t should be managed or polished.

A LIGA wafer at Mimotec made with the assistance of bright light

The first commercial firm to utilize the LIGA cycle for expanded imitation watch reviews industry intentions was Mimotec , established by Dr. Hubert Lorenz and Nicolas Fahrni in 1998. Lorenz’s thought was noteworthy for watchmaking: utilizing a formula for a SU-8-based photograph delicate epoxy created by IBM, he imagined a significantly more financially savvy arrangement of direct LIGA. Mimotec additionally utilizes a more affordable bright light hotspot for the openness interaction rather than X-beam light, making it more suitable as an answer for reproduction watch reviews companies.

Mimotec’s initial phase in the direct LIGA creation measure is to plan the photograph cover, which at that point goes through bright lithography to deliver wafers with the parts’ negative in SU-8 epoxy. At that point follows the electroplating step: the SU-8 and wafer are broken up, giving up the ideal miniature components, which are ground to get the specific thickness wanted. The last advance comprises just review and quality control; no completing is necessary.

DRIE and silicon

Producing a silicon wafer at Sigatec

Sigatec is a joint endeavor company among Mimotec and Ulysse Nardin made to outfit a significant part of a similar straightforwardness in assembling effectively being used on LIGA miniature parts to apply them to silicon. The silicon interaction created isn’t excessively horribly unique aside from the materials utilized and heat applied.

DRIE (profound responsive particle drawing) is a plasma carving measure assaulting the wafer presently made of silicon rather than polymer and electroformed metal, following the layouts of the figures provided by a slim chromium veil and at the same time ensuring the dividers of the miniature components.

After having gotten a photograph safe layer and UV radiation, the wafers are oxidized in a broiler at 1,100°C for six to seven hours.

An luminous silicon escape wheel at Sigatec

At this point simultaneously, the wafer can likewise take on an ideal tone by adding a fume to the oxidation. These tones – which are truly obvious on Ulysse Nardin’s InnoVision development – luminously gleam and sparkle. At that point the parts are artificially delivered from the wafer, after which they go through visual quality control.

InnoVision 2007

Back during the 2000s, these seemed like semi advanced innovations. Today, in 2016, we underestimate these advances with the goal that they are scarcely discussed any longer. I now and then puzzle over whether it is on the grounds that the reproduction watch reviews scholars du jour utilize less space to specify them out of the blue or on the off chance that it is that the watch-intrigued public is less keen on finding out about them any longer. Something to consider and talk about, at any rate.

Ulysse Nardin’s InnoVision exhibited various creative components including smooth silicon heading that can be produced straightforwardly as one piece along with silicon connects that are effortlessly added to plates made of different materials, wiping out the requirement for gem course and lubrication.

A close-up delivering of the 2007 Ulysse Nardin InnoVision

InnoVision’s escapement scaffold could be fabricated in two unique variants: in strong silicon or in a combination of the LIGA and DRIE advancements. The strong silicon connect benefits exceptionally from the exactness of the creation interaction, permitting the development creator outrageous opportunity since the individual in question could plan course nearer to the edge of the scaffold than would typically be the situation since there no real gems were included. The exactness of their situating was multiple times as precise as that of a regular ruby bearing.

Ulysse Nardin additionally presented a built up silicon connect in the development combining LIGA with DRIE by utilizing both Mimotec and Sigatec innovation. Ulysse Nardin’s specialized chief Pierre Gygax clarified its common sense at that point, “The bi-material scaffold performs incredibly well. This selective cycle is exact, with the silicon ensuring low grinding and the LIGA nickel giving mechanical toughness.”

Gygax, who was instrumental to the brand’s specialized climb, resigned in 2015. Peruse more about him in Ulysse Nardin’s R-Evolutionary Pierry Gygax .

Silicon balance springs by Sigatec for Ulysse Nardin

One of silicon’s enormous favorable circumstances is that it is flexible. Ulysse Nardin misused this trademark by building up a stun security bearing straightforwardly on the equilibrium wheel shaft that turns in the focal point of a versatile, twisting formed silicon disk.

In a stun circumstance, the plate changes shape, disfiguring as important to assimilate the stun, promptly getting back to its unique position a while later. This equivalent versatility is utilized in the silicon balance spring situated under the inventive stun absorber.

In 2007, as exhibited by InnoVision, another measurement to the DRIE interaction was that two-level components could be made utilizing it. Accordingly, Ulysse Nardin combined the plug and security pin of the Dual Ulysse escapement. Like the bed arrangement of the Swiss switch escapement, this rendition of the Dual Ulysse Escapement incorporated a security pin entirely adjusted to the parts around it. What’s more, it is accurately this component that regularly raised a ruckus if resiliences were off.

An radiant staggered roller and pin made at Sigatec for the Ulysse Nardin InnoVision

Thanks to the two-level carving cycle of DRIE that Sigatec made, these two components can be produced together. At the end of the day: what used to be a subgroup is currently a solitary component requiring neither gathering nor wrapping up. The equivalent is valid for the escape haggle pinion just as the roller (level) and drive pin, which were single components before the InnoVision.

InnoVision 2007: the 10 specialized innovations

The 10 inventive components of Ulysse Nardin’s InnoVision explained

Here is a reasonable visual posting of the ten specialized developments remembered for 2007’s InnoVision.

1. A non-greased up spring barrel with 96 metal rollers in silicon

2. The Dual Ulysse Escapement, produced completely in silicon, needs no lubrication.

3. The metal base plate is fitted with oil free silicon heading, which means there is no requirement for oil recesses.

4. The development fashioner has more opportunity in planning a strong silicon escapement connect – whose plan is obviously exclusive to Ulysse Nardin – since considering gem position is no longer necessary.

5. On account of combined utilization of LIGA and DRIE silicon, Sigatec, Mimotec, and Ulysse Nardin had the option to create a two-material extension. The upside of this is the capacity to exploit the best components of the two materials bringing about low erosion and mechanical grit.

6. The flexibility of silicon considers a safeguard bearing coordinated into the equilibrium wheel shaft, which turns in a silicon plate. The flexibility of the circle permits the essential deformity when stuns emerge, after which it gets back to its unique shape immediately.

7. Ulysse Nardin’s radiant silicon balance spring.

8. A genuinely imaginative symptom of the Sigatec DRIE silicon measure is that two-level parts can be produced. This roller (level) and motivation pin combination is a prime example.

9. The plug and security pin of the Dual Ulysse Escapement can be made as one unit, requiring no get together and no finishing.

10. The escape haggle as a unit because of the double level DRIE measure. It also requires no gathering and no finishing.

Ulysse Nardin’s reformist heading was initiated by previous CEO and proprietor, Rolf Schnyder, who died in 2011. It was forever his vision to guarantee that his image’s specialized future depended on reasonable advances and the best associations. Consequently, it is simply fitting to end this think back on the InnoVision with something he said to me in 2007.

“Without an uncertainty, our industry will proceed to advance, and likely in totally different ways, yet it appears to be essential to us to remember new materials and advances for our idea that guarantee enhancements or preferences,” he clarified the significant defense of these cycles and materials.

The Ulysse Nardin Freak rendition made to pay tribute to perished CEO Rolf Schnyder on the event of his 75th birthday celebration in 2010

His objective – and that of Pierre Gygax and even Ludwig Oechslin , another significant teammate in the Ulysse Nardin universe – was to make oil a relic of times gone by and creation more exact and simple.

“We are of the assessment that mechanical watchmaking is something living,” Schnyder proceeded. “Maybe Ulysse Nardin, in some unobtrusive way, has added to another aggregate creative mind to which there is no boundary.”