'Tic-Tac' made in Silicon
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Silicon has been used in watch mechanisms for more than a decade, fueled by the developments in microfabrication and MEMS (Micro-Electro- Mechanical Systems) technologies. Of particular interest to the watchmaking are its unmatched manufacturing precision, its mechanical proprieties and a-magnetism. The invention of Silinvar, allowing a simple and economical way to thermally compensate silicon, opened up its use in mechanical watch hairsprings. Additionally, silicon is nowadays used in different types of components such as anchors and gears as well as, more recently, a new generation of oscillators based on flexible blade mechanisms.
Congrès International de Chronométrie, CIC 2019, Montreux (CH), September 2019, pp. 17-23.