The Peak Selections: Timepieces - - Fan Faves -


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.

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