Frédérique Constant celebrating ten years of in-house movements in the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices in Geneva

 

 

The innovative escapement in Silicium

 

Frederique Constant Silicium-Escapement
Frederique Constant Silicium Escapement

 

The crafting of a Silicium escapement wheel requires the use of a new technology called Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE). A multiple image of the escapement is produced and projected onto a round Silicium wafer measuring 100 mm in diameter by just 0.5 mm in thickness. Typically, wafers are made in various sizes ranging from 1 inch (25.4 mm) to 11.8 inches (300 mm), and generally to a thickness of 0.5 mm. The wafers are cut from a boule of semi-conductor using a diamond saw or diamond wire; they are then polished on one or both faces. Using a single 100 mm wafer, it is possible to produce up to 250 escapement wheels. The wafer itself is composed of three different substrates, or layers of Silicium. The central substrate functions as the separation layer. After the image of the escapement wheel has been projected on the wafer, the exposed lacquered substrate is cleaned away, leaving the non-exposed parts of the wafer. Then, the non-exposed lacquered substrate is etched with plasma, down to the separation layer. The Silicium escapement is then released via isotropic etching. The pieces produced by this operation only have to be cleaned on the surface. Each wheel is completely identical and requires absolutely no balancing, centring or polishing.

Such wafers are the keys to the fabrication of the Frédérique Constant Silicium escapement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 replies on “Frédérique Constant celebrating ten years of in-house movements in the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices in Geneva”
  1. says: Steve

    Congratulations on 10 years of movement manufacturing.

    Frederique Constant is at the top of my “hit list” and is a favorite brand of mine that I do not have an example of (yet). Now that they are getting wider distribution in the USA, I hope to remedy that situation in the near future. Not that I can afford the tourbillon. 🙂

    1. says: Peter Stas

      Thank you Steve and Freddie for your comments on Frederique Constant. Alexander, thank you also again for the interview. Looking forward seeing you soon.

  2. says: Freddie Shindika

    I admire their bold entrepreneurship skills wrapped up by incredible innovations, and very motivated team work

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