GP Girard-Perregaux released a prototype of Constant Escapement a few years ago, which shocked many watch art connoisseurs; GP Girard-Perregaux’s five-year research and development revolutionized the technology A field of technology that has never been involved in watchmaking, it is now officially assembled in the Haute Horlogerie series, writing an important chapter in the research on the stability of escapement systems.
Girard-Perregaux named Constant Escapement Constant Escapement to pay tribute to the founder Constant Girard-Perregaux, whose name is in keeping with the technical challenge that has plagued watchmakers for centuries-constant force By coincidence, Girard Perregaux was determined to develop a constant-power escapement technology with a revolutionary concept.
Five years ago GP Girard-Perregaux published a constant-power escapement that was exciting. The extremely lightweight escapement was not only beautiful, but also had great potential for practical application. It is the ultimate precision of mechanical watches pursued by the watchmaking industry in the century. And stability, providing a new and reliable technical solution.
To understand the importance of constant-power escapement technology, first return to the basic principle of mechanical watch operation: the escapement structure regularly transmits the energy of the barrel to the drive wheel system and controls the speed of the pointer operation, just like a faucet controls water Throat output is the same.
The key to the entire power transmission process is not the escapement speed or wobble frequency, but its stability: no matter whether the wobble frequency is three or four times per second or even a thousand times, the accuracy of the travel time is ultimately tied to the wobble frequency, which can maintain stability for a long time.
Many escapement structures have appeared in the past few hundred years, and they did not become mainstream until the introduction of Swiss lever escapement technology. Most mechanical watches still use this technology today. However, the Swiss lever escapement has a disadvantage, that is, how much power is transmitted from the barrel. It can only send the same power to the balance wheel. The problem is that the power of the barrel is slowly consumed, and the stable power is precisely timed. The key is that the power decreases, and the balance of the balance wheel also decreases. As the watch lacks power, the accuracy of the travel time is difficult to maintain. This phenomenon can be said to be a mantra that troubles the watchmaker.
The principle of the constant power escapement system is that it can output stable and constant power to the balance wheel no matter how much power is transmitted from the barrel. GP Girard-Perregaux’s revolutionary technology is to add a very thin elastic silicon hairspring to the escapement system, which can store energy within a certain limit. When approaching a stable threshold, a hairspring appears. The unstable state, and the energy is sent out in real time in the form of wave vibration, and it repeatedly provides stable and average power to the balance wheel.
You can understand this process visually: Hold a business card vertically with your thumb and forefinger, apply a little pressure to bend the business card into a left-opening bracket “(), and then apply pressure to the bent side to a certain limit. The business card will snap and bend in the other direction, and it will turn into the opposite right-closed bracket ”. Try everything.
This phenomenon is called buckling, and GP Girard-Perregaux hairspring experts extended it to the concept of buckling hairspring: an elastic silicon hairspring as thin as six points and one hair plays the role of energy storage. The wheel has very little power, and when it reaches the critical point, it bends to the other side and sends the power back to the balance wheel. This process is not affected by the change of the spring power, and the same power is output to the balance wheel every time.
Most of the constant power technology in the past is the average value of the total power over a period of time, but the Girard-Perregaux technology is a real-time, constant and constant-power escapement in real time, and can be measured by laboratory test methods.
The constant power escapement of GP Girard Perregaux is a symmetrical structure, but it is not an aesthetic consideration. Instead, it can balance the power in the center of the balance wheel, so that the balance wheel can rotate completely smoothly.
Both ends of the hairspring are fixed on the frame, and the hairspring and the frame are integrally formed by a silicon crystal. This structure can accurately connect the power contact points and bend the hairspring to the other side. Although the principle is simple, it requires extremely high accuracy in practice. Without silicon crystal technology and DRIE etching technology, it would be difficult to achieve. Girard-Perregaux collaborated with Swiss Electronics and Micro-engineering Centre in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. The watchmakers and physicists on both sides went through complex calculation procedures to determine the characteristics of the hairspring and the factors affecting the bending point, and finally decided to integrate them. The forming technology makes the hairspring vibrate as if floating in the air. Except for the moment of pushing and contracting, basically no friction occurs, so that the hairspring returns the power directly to the balance wheel.
Elastic balance springs are the heart of a constant dynamic escapement system, vibrating at a frequency of 3 Hz (21,600 times per hour); however, GP Girard-Perregaux watches have conducted other studies on vibration frequencies, but the purpose is not to simply challenge higher speed swing frequencies.
The two escapement wheels are quite different from the escapement wheels of the lever escapement system. The escapement wheel with a frequency of 3 Hz has three teeth and the escapement wheel with a frequency of 4 Hz has four teeth. The movement has multiple days of power and the dial has The linear power reserve display can show the efficiency of the escapement system for a long time; the movement power is provided by two parallel barrels, which includes a new patented design: the barrel cover and the pawl are integrally formed to make the best use of it. Movement space; each winding drum has two winding springs; in addition, Girard-Perregaux has applied for registration of two patents, including the hairspring technology published in 2008, and the other one for the first time in the flexible system ) With limit stops.
Although the balance spring and escape wheel are most ideally made of silicon, the final escapement wheel is made of other materials; the main body of the brass movement is treated with black PVD coating to add a sense of time; the modified structure of the movement has both a three-dimensional effect and See the excellent tradition of Girard Perregaux, for example, near the dial, the brand’s classic three bridge plywood is arranged in a new layout, and the back of the movement has two arrow-shaped plywood.
Girard-Perregaux designed this escapement to take into account future maintenance factors. The entire escapement structure is a module that can be handled by a designated watchmaker.
The first constant-power escapement
The case design with the revolutionary constant-power escapement is ingenious and perfectly demonstrates the value of this innovative technology.
Girard Perregaux Haute Horlogerie The first constant-power escapement watch, combining cutting-edge technological achievements and time-honored design, and strictly adhere to the brand’s traditional design style; white gold case diameter 48 mm, curved ring Beautiful.
The dial layout emphasizes the structure of the butterfly wing frame of the constant power escapement system and the structure of the elastic hairspring. The hour dial is moved to the 12 o’clock position, with two spring drums on the left and right, and a linear power reserve display at 9 o’clock.
Below the dial is the stage where the constant-power escapement is unveiled, swinging at a frequency of 21,600 times (3 Hz) per hour, and the new arrangement of Girard-Perregaux classic three bridge splints can be seen through anti-glare crystal glass.
The thickness of the manual-winding movement is less than 8 mm, the case thickness is 14.63 mm, and the crystal glass back is set with 6 screws. You can see the three-dimensional movement structure and decorative beauty. It is equipped with a hand-stitched crocodile leather watch. Belts and discounts; belonging to Haute Horlogerie.
Girard-Perregaux Constant Power Escapement
Polished white gold case
Diameter: 48.00 mm
Bezel: Frosted Bezel
Table mirror: curved anti-glare crystal glass
Crown: White gold crown with GP logo
Dial: Silver-toned dial with rhodium-plated details
Pointer: Crown Princess
Case back: Crystal glass with 6 screws, hand carved
Water resistance: 30 meters
Girard-Perregaux Movement MVT-009100-0007 manual winding movement
Movement diameter: 17 1/2 legal minutes
Swing frequency: 21,600 times per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: about 7 days
Functions: hours, minutes, central seconds, linear power reserve display
Strap: Black alligator strap, discount
GP Girard Perregaux constant power escapement technology highlights
Revolutionary concept, aiming to solve the constant power technology challenge that the watchmaking industry strives to surpass, with the new escapement system construction and design, to create a breakthrough level of precise time (including three patented technologies)
Unprecedented precision performance: not limited by the constant decrease of the power of the traditional mechanical clockwork drum, outputting stable and constant power to the balance wheel, so that the swing amplitude and accuracy remain highly stable.
Cutting-edge materials and innovative technology: The elastic silicon hairspring is only 14 microns thick, which is one-sixth of a human hair.
Innovative dual spring barrel technology (patent pending), the total length of the mainspring reaches 3 meters, providing a long power reserve and a linear power reserve display
Innovative watch design inspired by the traditional design of Girard Perregaux
Girard Perregaux: Changing the Tick of Time
The electronic instrument is used to record and analyze the ticking sound produced when the two gems of the Swiss escapement collide with the steel teeth of the escape wheel.
But for the revolutionary constant-power escapement system, the traditional electronic instrument is useless, and its accuracy must be transmitted through the laser camera.
The wonderful sound of the constant power escapement marks a new milestone in modern watchmaking technology.
CSEM: Innovation Partner
CSEM, Centre Suisse d ‘Electronique et de Microtechnique (Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology) provides its partners with integrated technology and manufacturing solutions based on its cutting-edge technology standards; CSEM technology and GP Girard-Perregaux’s top watchmaking processes and experience It is a perfect combination, and is the best partner for Girard-Perregaux to develop highly accurate, three-dimensional miniature silicon parts.
Silicon materials are lightweight, antimagnetic, extremely low coefficient of friction, no lubrication, high elasticity, and no material fatigue. These unique material characteristics are best suited for the constant power escapement of Girard-Perregaux watches. compared to. DRIE etching technology can produce silicon parts with extremely complicated shapes, and the size is extremely accurate, providing designers with greater design flexibility.