Watch designer Timex has partnered with SilMach, French pioneer in micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) to create the first MEMS powered watch.
The timepieces will utilise MEMS watch motors (boxes) and will be the first brand to use the patented MEMS nanotechnology. The new PowerMEMS Movement will replace older magnetic technology which currently exists in quartz analogue watches.
Timex and SilMach unveiled the partnership at the Le Bourget air show in Paris on 22 June. The first collection of the new venture is set to be released in 2019.
PowerMEMS motors are expected to replace the Lavat magnets currently in analogue watches by reversing the traditional usage of passive MEMS to translate an electrical signal into micro mechanical motion.
The companies hope that new technology will “create endless possibilities in design and function.” The watches powered by MEMS are expected to have longer battery life and fewer components, meaning less complexity, lower costs and “superior quality.” The expectation is that this will lead to more flexibility and creativity in watch design.
Silmach and Timex will co-design and co-own the PowerMEMS motor boxes.
Tobias Reiss-Schmidt, TIMEX group president and CEO, said: “Thanks to our partnership with SilMach, Timex has succeeded in developing yet again a first in the watch industry. Together with SilMach we are disrupting the industry and setting the stage for nanotechnology.
“With this development, we are taking revolutionary steps that will dramatically enhance design and function in watchmaking in ways that were previously not thought possible.”
Patrice Minotti, SilMach CEO, added: “The strategic alliance with TIMEX brings SilMach a century-old expertise in watchmaking and complementary know-how essential to create PowerMEMS solutions tailored for the watch industry.”