Baselworld 2014: The new Rolex Syloxi silicon hairspring

The new Rolex Syloxi hairspring

In my reports coming from Baselworld I mentioned that Rolex had introduced its proper silicon hairspring called Syloxi in a ladies model. Rolex did this very quietly with no additional information available at that time. Today I can offer you the first official information.

You might know that the silicon hairspring technology is only available to a very small group of Swiss manufacturers. They are Patek PhilippeRolex, the Swatch Group and Ulysse Nardin. After a legal dispute with the big three Ulysse Nardin now is limited in the use of a common used technology only for Ulysse Nardin; so the privately-owned brand cannot sell or give the silicon-harirspring-technology to others. Just to mention it: This is an interesting point, since I have learned that Ulysse Nardin is for sale and an official M & A was started. I have heard a sum of 600 million Swiss Francs …

Now let´s come back to Rolex.

Rolex was part of the big three paying the essential R & D necessary to finally enable the manufacturing process of high-quality silicon hairsprings that could be used in a mechanical watch. Ulysse Nardin did its own development and by the way was the first company to introduce a silicon hairspring on the market.

Rolex in the trio now is the last company to present its proper silicon hairspring. It is called Siloxy.

If you don´t want to read my entire article, these are the essentials you should know:

Rolex says: “The Syloxi hairspring’s performance is based on five patents. The first concerns the material of which it is made, a silicon and silicon oxide composite (hence the name Syloxi), whose thermo-compensating and non-magnetic properties allow the Syloxi hairspring to maintain its high precision when subjected to temperature fluctuations and magnetic fields. Rolex has also developed a patented geometry that optimizes the isochronism of the hairspring as well as its chronometric regularity. The variable pitch and thickness of the coils, optimized along the whole length of the hairspring, ensures constant development in all positions, compensating for the effects of gravity. Rolex also refined and patented the manner of fixing the ends of the hairspring to the balance staff and the balance bridge, thereby enhancing its flatness and concentricity. A flexible central part allows it to be attached to the balance staff without the need for glue. The hairspring remains perfectly perpendicular, flat and is self-centring. The Syloxi hairspring terminates in a more rigid, reinforced crescent-shaped part that allows a two-point fixation to the traversing balance bridge. These fixation points are located at opposite sides of the balance staff ensuring that the hairspring is perfectly centred, perfectly flat and free of any residual mechanical stress in its active zone. This type of fixation also allowed Rolex to optimize the beat adjustment using the Paraflex shock absorber that features a fluting for this purpose, and which is also the signature of calibres equipped with the Syloxi hairspring.”

 

You want to read more? Good!

 

So let me let me show you a first quite exclusive picture of Syloxi and then offer you on page 2 of my report the possibility to read and study the full official release about the Rolex Syloxi hairspring

 

The new Rolex Syloxi hairspring
The new Rolex Syloxi silicon hairspring

 

 

 

More from Alexander Linz

SIHH 2016: Interview with Georges Kern, CEO IWC Schaffhausen

Georges Kern is a charismatic and though-minded industry leader. The Captain of...
Read More

16 Comments

  • Will this result in enhanced performance to partially or completely obviate the need for a tourbillon?

    • In a wristwatch there is no need for a tourbillon at all. A modern wristwatch will perform as good without. The tourbillon is more an extra feature to distinguish one watch from the other, a fascinating piece of watchmaking, miniaturised and implemented in the mini mundus of such a calibre. In terms of accuracy the tourbillon will bring any spectacular extra in a wristwatch …

      • If you were completely right, how to explain Tourbillons (Even Gyrotourbilon) superformed easily simple HMS movment in the annual “Concours de Chronometry”.

        • In such a very special case there might be a difference of one or two seconds, but for an every day use, I do not see the need of a tourbillon in a wristwatch. As mentioned it is more the purpose to have something to distinguish one watch from the other and if the buyer understands his watch to admire the miniaturisation of that technology.

          • I had the pleasure several years ago to be invited to a dinner presentation of new watches by a major manufacturer. As luck had it, we wound up dinning, along with several others, at the table with the US president of the watch company. During the course of conversation, he referred to the tourbillon as the most useless complication of a modern wrist watch. A fascinating device no doubt and one that expresses haute horology, but as far as being a truly useful device, it’s days are over.

    • Would you be nice to tell us more, it is not the first time I can hear negative rumors from the use of silicium hairspring ?

      • Until today this information is just based on rumours… There is no evidence yet that the silicon hairspring technology should not work properly …

  • I must say I was more amused with TH realisation of magnetic hairspring, with coded frequency, so u cannot mess up and affect it unless u guess exact freq…

  • Great report. Looking forward to more stories on Syloxi and the tribulations over at UN…

  • Alex very interesting article. Quite a surprise about UN for sale. When Rolf Schnyder was alive he always said he wants to be on his own. The wife and the management team did a good job to maintain the company. Ludwig Oechslin still remains a consultant to the company I was told. Now with regards to the hairspring I had a long discussion in Kuala Lumpur with Rolf Schnyder when he brought out the Inovation10. There for the first time he presented his silicon hairspring. He already mentioned at that time the problems he had with some other big competitors. That he is not allowed to sell his hairspring to others must be a huge setback for them since they invested quite some money in the research and development. Rolf always said the only other company which surprised him at that time was actually JLC.

  • If this new spring Is so much better than the current ones Rolex uses, I hope In the future, Rolex will Install them In all their models.

  • Interesting news that UN is for sale. I wonder who will pick it up. When Rolf Schnyder died, they were insisting that they were not for sale. There was an article in WatchTime that said that Ludwig Oechslin would be returning to the company in 2014 – I wonder what changed.

    Also, talking of UN, they presented a new anchor escapement at Basel this year. Do you have any information on that?

    – HCE

Comments are closed.