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The World’s First Wristwatch Employing Silicon Machinery

The World’s First Wristwatch Employing Silicon Machinery
In June, SilMach announced the launch of the world's first wristwatch based on silicon machinery, "The Time Changer." (Courtesy of Silmach)

French deep tech company SilMach is working on the industrialization of Hybrid MEMS, electromechanical systems that are fundamental for the miniaturization of advanced industrial metrology. 

In June, SilMach announced the launch of the world’s first wristwatch based on silicon machinery, “The Time Changer.” The watch aims to set the stage for new nanotechnology applications in watchmaking. For the company, the project was the perfect way to highlight its Hybrid MEMS technology, a special flavor of electromechanical systems that use extremely low energy to perform a wide range of automation-enabling tasks.

In an interview with DirectIndustry, SilMach CEO Pierre-François Louvigné explained :

“Hybrid MEMS combine silicon MEMS components with high-precision watchmaking-type micromechanical techniques. The marriage between silicon components and other watchmaking micromechanical components is unparalleled worldwide”. 

The Hybrid MEMS family includes PowerMems and ChronoMEMS. PowerMEMS are micromotors solutions built around a monolithic silicon actuator that drives a silicon wheel, requiring a low-energy input and leveraging electrostatic attraction effects. Louvigne adds:

“These are the first stepper micromotors intended for microelectronics. They are designed to be soldered directly onto electronic boards using the Surface-Mount Technology method. They are ultra-flat, insensitive to magnetic fields, consume little energy, and operate without lubricants. By offering a mechanical function as an electronic component, PowerMEMS open up a new capability path for designers and engineers”. 

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