PARMIGIANI FLEURIER SENFINE (2015)
WHAT IT IS:
As far as concept watches go, the Senfine is right on the bleeding edge of watchmaking advancements, with its name referring to both the watch itself and the movement within it. Although it is still under development, the watch is already capable of a stunning 70-day power reserve using a single, regular barrel, thanks to its proprietary Genequand escapement, named after its inventor Pierre Genequand, a retired Geneva-based scientist.
The Genequand escapement is part of an overall package making up the Senfine’s regulator, which is a total departure from the regular Swiss lever/balance wheel system. Built in layers, with each layer rendered as a silicon monobloc, the entire regulator has minimal pivot points to reduce the frictional loss of energy. In addition, this regulator’s design exploits silicon’s flexible nature to store and release energy, and to lock and unlock the escape wheel, thus further reducing friction within the system.
The Senfine’s regulator whirls along at 16Hz, four times faster than that of a typical watch; on the other hand, its balance oscillates just 16 degrees, instead of a regular balance wheel’s 300 degrees. In short, the Senfine’s regulator and escapement are complete revamps of centuries-old timekeeping mechanisms, and it will be interesting to see how they evolve, as issues – such as sensitivity to temperature changes – are ironed out.