For 20 years, EPHJ has been bringing together professionals from the high-precision sector in particular watchmaking – but also jewellery, micro-technologies and medical. As such it is an excellent opportunity to take the pulse of the watch industry, from a different perspective. And most of the time, watch brands get all the credit for coming up with new products, new concepts or specific know-how, while suppliers who work behind the scenes get none of the accolades. Without these behind-the-scenes players, many innovations would never find their way into the marketplace. To give credit where credit is due, here are some of the innovations that caught our attention when visiting the EPHJ 2023 fair.
MPS – OSCREW
MPS is specialized in developing and producing watchmaking parts, in particular, ball bearings or watch bearings. The company was awarded the innovation prize at EPHJ 2023 with Oscrew, a new system for attaching oscillating weights to the bearings.
There are different ways to fix the bearing on the oscillating weight: crimping offers a clean appearance but is not removable and does not allow for replacement. Locking blades offer interchangeability but unfortunately have a more complex look. Using a nut is an aesthetic, removable and reliable solution but requires more volume for its integration. It allows to create rotors with a clean design, removable and without additional components. The Oscrew oscillating weight has a threaded centre diameter that allows it to be screwed directly onto the outer ring of the bearing. The resulting aesthetic is clean and it can be disassembled.
More info: https://www.mpsag.com
AI to design watches
With the current trend for neo-vintage and countless renditions of past models, the watch industry is probably not going through one of its most creative periods… What if AI could help? Well, we are probably not there yet, but some solutions are being proposed to do so. Among these is Watch512 whose AI and algorithm allow you to generate watch images taking into account 512 different criteria and could be used to help design new watches.
More info: https://www.watch512.com/
NFC technology into a sapphire crystal
The solution is not per se new as we have seen it first with Awake watches but STISS markers encrusted into the sapphire crystal are truly interesting. This non-intrusive ID GLASS technology works with an NFC tag coiled around two crystals. Providing a link between the physical and the digital world, it guarantees the watch traceability and countless applications that can be associated with it: authentication, service history, services, commercial, marketing perspectives… and even payment solutions!
More info: https://stiss.ch/
Designed by Xavier Rousset and derived from the Swiss lever escapement, the Mono’Axe regulator is a compact escapement/oscillator system where the balance wheel and escape wheel are mounted on the same axis. The system uses a ceramic ball bearing for the escape wheel while ensuring that the balance shaft can be coaxially mounted.
For more info, you can contact Xavier Rousset.