Frederique Constant introduces an oscillator made of monocrystalline silicon into the structure of the movement. This groundbreaking oscillator is beating at a 40 Hz frequency (288,000 vibrations per hour).
The escapement anchor is integrated into the flexible oscillator system and it meshes with the escapement wheel located into the oscillator. Designed in such vibrating element replaces the traditional sets of escapement and balance.
Monolithic design enabled a substantial reduction in size of oscillating element while keeping all the functions. The silicon oscillator vibrated by flexible arms measures 9.8mm in diameter and 0.3mm in thickness. The dimensions of such a component cannot be compared to the size of any traditional watch balance. The oscillator is fitted with adjustment weights, just like those used on a traditional free-sprung balance. It can be easily fine-tune the frequency by turning these two weights. The distinguishing features of this type of oscillator are its low amplitude within the range of +/- 6 degrees (compared to traditional balances, where it is about 300 degrees), and its high operating frequency 40 Hz.
Efficiency of the regulator manages to deliver a substantial 80-hour power reserve.
The monolithic oscillator is not the first concept of this kind flexible oscillator in the watchmaking industry, however Frederique Constant's solution incorporates several innovations in relation to competitors like Oscillator Zenith Defy LAB: smaller size, higher frequency, and longer power reserve.
The monolithic oscillator was used for the first time in the limited collection of Frederique Constant Slimline Monolithic Manufacture watches on a very affordable price level, still unavailable for similar solutions (about 21 500 PLN for the stainless steel watch).
Notifier: Maciej Kopyto
Other records: Timeline of Watchmaking Innovations