Fake watches: Recently, the biggest news in the watch world, the patent protection of silicon hairspring will expire on November 25, 2022. In the past, only Ulysse Nardin, Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Swatch Group brands could use silicon hairsprings, and other brands could not use them due to patent protection. Now, the patent has expired and all brands can use silicon balance springs.
It seems that a collective refitting of Swiss fake watches with “silicon hairsprings” is coming soon, but things seem to be not that simple.
Why did only Ulysse Nardin, Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Swatch Group brands use silicon hairsprings in the past?
Because the silicon hairspring was successfully developed and patented by Ulysse Nardin, Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Swatch Group in 2002.
The thing is, more than 20 years ago, Ulysse Nardin fake was the first brand in the watch world to start research and development of silicon technology. But during the research and development process, Ulysse Nardin discovered a problem. The silicon material is more sensitive to temperature, which led to the fact that the silicon material at that time could not be used as a hairspring. Because of temperature changes, if it affects the hairspring, the watch will be inaccurate, which is definitely not acceptable.
In order to solve this problem, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Swatch Group, CSEM, the Swiss electronics and microtechnology center, all participated in the research together with Ulysse Nardin. In the end, the silicon hairspring was oxidized, and an oxide layer was added to the surface of the silicon hairspring, which solved the problem that the silicon hairspring was sensitive to temperature. The perfect silicon hairspring was successfully developed, and the European patent EP1422436B1 was applied for. The patent protection period is 20 years, from 2002 to 2022, until November 25, which has now expired.
Silicon hairspring has 3 major advantages:
1. Silicon hairspring, accurate travel time. Because the silicon hairspring is etched on the silicon disc and formed integrally. Hairspring curves with thickness changes and perfect geometric shapes can be made, which is conducive to the operating center of gravity of the silicon hairspring and is always located at the center of the hairspring. Significantly improve the travel time accuracy of the watch. This is something that traditional alloy hairsprings cannot do.
2. Silicon hairspring, not affected by temperature. As mentioned earlier, the oxide layer on the surface of the silicon hairspring prevents the silicon hairspring from being affected by temperature changes. Precise operation is maintained under various temperature conditions. Traditional alloy hairsprings are more or less affected by temperature.
3. Silicon hairspring, antimagnetic. Silicon is not magnetized, which is a huge advantage.
However, the conventional iron-nickel alloy hairspring contains a small amount of iron, so its antimagnetic ability is relatively limited.
Subsequently, Ulysse Nardin began to use silicon hairsprings; Patek Philippe began to use silicon hairsprings in 2006; Swatch Group started to use silicon hairsprings in 2006, led by Breguet, and has been fully popularized to Tissot, Mido, Longines, Omega , Blancpain, Glashütte Original and other brands under the Swatch Group; Rolex began to use silicon hairsprings in 2014, mainly for women’s Swiss Fake Watches. gossamer.
Silicon balance springs are so good that everyone wants to use them, but they are also protected by patents. During this period, only the Richemont Group recklessly wanted to bypass patent protection and forcibly used silicon hairsprings. On the Baume & Mercier fake watches under the Richemont Group, the Twinspir silicon hairspring developed by the Richemont Group was released. As a result, they were sued by Ulysse Nardin, Patek Philippe, Rolex and the Swatch Group. Richemont had to stop using silicon hairsprings. This is why Richemont Group brands (IWC, Panerai, Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, etc.) and LVMH Group brands (Hublot, Zenith, TAG Heuer, etc.) did not use silicon hairsprings before.
Silicon hairspring, can now “everyone can use”?
Yes, in theory, “everyone can use”, but in practice, new problems will arise.
The new problem is that although the original silicon hairspring patent expired, between 2002 and 2022, Ulysse Nardin, Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Swatch Group applied for many new silicon hairspring patents. Including the process, the geometric shape of the silicon hairspring, the way the silicon hairspring is connected, etc. These new patents have formed a series of “barriers”. It seems that Richemont Group and LVMH Group can “everyone can use” silicon hairsprings, but in fact there are still “dangers” everywhere. If you are not careful, you will fall into a new “danger”, and you will be sued because of the new patent.
Therefore, the LVMH Group, led by TAG Heuer, has been developing a new type of “carbon hairspring” (carbon composite hairspring); Audemars Piguet and the Swatch Group have jointly developed the Nivachron titanium alloy hairspring (Swatch Group is using silicon hairsprings) At the same time, it also began to use Nivachron titanium hairspring), which opened up a new track outside of silicon hairsprings.
But it is undeniable that the expiration of the original silicon hairspring patent will inevitably allow famous watch groups, famous watch brands, and famous watch parts suppliers with research and development capabilities to join in the research and development of silicon hairsprings. Although there are many difficulties, there will definitely be more and more famous best replica watches using silicon hairsprings.