With the extremely strong design, it is impossible to perfectly express the design intent without the top-level materials matching it. If the design emphasizes the shape, then the material shows the texture. The quality of the product ultimately determines the quality of the product. When it comes to materials, Ferrari and Hublot are undoubtedly the most powerful speakers. The former is no matter how expensive the material is and how complicated the manufacturing process is, even if it has a little bit of performance As soon as it improves, Ferrari will not hesitate to use it on its own models. The latter can be said to be more pursued in the use of materials than the former. Hublot’s philosophy is that no matter what materials can be produced on the earth or can be produced on the earth, as long as it can help express the design intent and can be displayed Hublot, with Hublot’s unique core concept, immediately used it. Of course, this does not exclude that Hubble will use materials other than Earth in the future.
In addition to metal, there is a material that must be mentioned is carbon fiber (Carbon fiber), not only F1, including other top racing cars and super sports cars, have all used carbon fiber as the body material. The biggest advantage of this material is that it is extremely light. At the same volume, it weighs one-fifth that of steel, but its strength is five times that of steel. Now even the brake discs of Ferrari have been upgraded to carbon-ceramic brake discs, which are lightweight while ensuring high temperature resistance. At present, carbon fiber also has its upgraded version, a material called CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics) carbon fiber reinforced plastic material, this material has higher strength than ordinary carbon fiber, so it can be used for car body structural support components, now this This material has been used in key parts of F1 cars.
Although Hublot currently does not use as many materials as Ferrari, from the point of view of materials, Hublot is much more luxurious than Ferrari. Once the Big Bang series was launched in 2005, Hublot used the courage of all the materials in the universe to express the core idea of ’art of fusion’. Although the materials currently used are only limited to the earth, if the use of extra-galactic galaxy The material is not impossible, from the original natural rubber and various precious metals with various textures such as ribs and smoothness, to rare diamonds and colorful gems, to Kevlar fiber, carbon fiber, ceramics, titanium gold, and Until now, the king gold, magic gold and magic red ceramic materials have been independently developed by Hublot factory. Along the way, Hublot changed its watchmaking materials from the tradition of industrial production materials, and became the first to develop new materials by the watchmaking industry, and then widely used in other industries. Let’s take a look at some of Hublot’s achievements in watchmaking materials in recent years.
Among the many top watchmaking brands, it can be said that there are not many brands that can produce their own movements, but brands with their own material factories can be described as rare. And precisely Hublot has its own carbon fiber manufacturing plant. Carbon fiber materials are now widely used in Hublot Big Bang Ferrari series and other product series. Two years ago, Hublot set up a carbon fiber professional team. Each member of the team not only knew carbon fiber well, but also knew about every aspect of watch manufacturing and the characteristics of all its parts. Therefore, the carbon fiber material is not only independently designed, developed and manufactured by Hublot, but also uses similar manufacturing standards to the carbon fiber used in F1 racing and aerospace.
The Hubei carbon fiber dimension forging process uses the multilayer principle to forge carbon fiber components: this process requires the stacked multilayer carbon fibers (up to 12 layers) to be pressed into a mold and placed in a polymerization furnace. The carbon fiber produced by this principle does not generate air bubbles, so the material has excellent uniformity and also has higher mechanical strength. The internal processing of carbon fiber is done by a special CNC machine tool with five spindles, and all parts of the watch case and movement are continuously tested during the entire processing process. For example, each watch undergoes three waterproof tests during assembly.
Of course, in addition to the excitement of the material, the most exciting thing is the watch itself, because the watch industry has always been able to introduce carbon fiber watch watches. Due to the special physical and chemical properties of carbon fibers, their connection to each other cannot be welded, and only glue can be used for bonding. Over time, problems will occur at the connection parts, so the life of carbon fiber products The problem remains unsolved. This is why the fine watchmaking industry goes further with this material. Although carbon watches have been introduced as case materials before, they are all produced in very small quantities and remain at the conceptual level. But today IWC carbon fiber watches can finally be seen on the market. Although the red and yellow scale models are only limited to 100 each, this is also a remarkable achievement. Here we explain in detail the production process of this watch!
The first thing I want to explain is that any shape of carbon fiber products we see now is made of carbon cloth. Made, so you will see a very unique pattern, its single fiber is five times thinner than human hair. In addition, the Young’s modulus (physical quantity that describes the solid material’s resistance to deformation) of carbon fiber is twice that of Kevlar fiber, which is specially made of bullet-proof vests, and is resistant to corrosion.
The second step is to soak in the epoxy resin. The purpose of this is to give the fiber chemical activity through gas-phase or liquid-phase oxidation, increase the affinity for the resin, so as to prevent fiber damage and improve the affinity with the resin matrix. And sexual effects.
In the third part, the fiberboard impregnated with epoxy resin is molded in a mold, baked at high temperature and pressure, and then resin hardened.
The fourth part begins to enter the shaping stage. The previously hardened carbon fiber embryos are milled into the engineer’s appearance by CNC (CNC machine tools). CNC is the current popular precision product processing method. The biggest advantage of this method is that it is integrally formed and The precision processing avoids the trouble caused by bonding, but because the carbon fiber itself is extremely hard, you must be extremely careful when milling, and if it is lost, it will be completely scrapped. As for how IWC did it, the director of their R & D department did not tell I.
The last step is of course assembly. We see that the case of this watch is assembled by three carbon fiber components, such as the bezel, case and back cover, by screws. This means that IWC will mill 3 different shapes of carbon fiber. Components, processing difficulty can be imagined. In addition, we need to pay attention to one detail. The notes under the table clearly write titanium alloy. What does this mean? We know that carbon fibers are not waterproof only through physical fixing, so carbon fibers cannot directly contact sapphire crystal glass, and there must be a medium in the middle to connect them. This medium is a titanium alloy. We make a bold assumption here. Every screw mouth should have the existence of titanium metal. If this idea is established, we really cannot but admire the superb skills and good intentions of IWC!
To say that the most special among carbon fibers is Richard Mille. The brand pioneered the application of NTPT (thin-layer composite technology) carbon fiber materials in the manufacture of watches and clocks. After months of careful research and development, it finally launched the first NTPT carbon fiber material Case. The NTPT carbon fiber material was originally developed for the manufacture of racing yacht sails, and soon became a material not to be missed in sailing. This material significantly optimizes the endurance and lightness of yacht sails, and has become a necessary material for racing boats around the world. NTPT carbon fiber material has become the benchmark for composite materials. In the past two seasons, it has been used to make the frame of Formula One racing cars. It has also entered the hall of the aviation industry because it is used in the future solar aircraft Solar Impulse No. 2 fuselage. .
NTPT (thin layer composite technology) carbon fiber material is special, unique visual effects. NTPT (thin layer composite technology) carbon fiber has a unique visual effect due to its regular wavy pattern. It consists of multiple layers of parallel filaments, which are separated from carbon fibers. These thin layers, no more than 30 microns thick, are first immersed in a resin and woven using a special machine, with a 45 ° angle between the layers. After heating to 120 ° at a pressure of 6 bar, the NTPT carbon fiber material can be sent to Richard Mille’s watch case factory in Proart for processing by CNC machines. Compared with composite materials that have been considered to have excellent physical properties, NTPT carbon fiber materials have 25% better fracture stress and 200% better microcracks. The RM 35-01 case is water-resistant to 50 meters with two butyl acrylic O-rings. Assembled with 12 grade 5 titanium alloy spline screws and 316L stainless steel washers.
Compared with composite materials that have been considered to have excellent physical properties, NTPT carbon fiber materials have 25% better rupture stresses and 200% better microcracks. The NTPT material completely protects the RMAC1 movement. The RMAC1 movement features a large date window at 12 o’clock, a month display at 4 o’clock, and a flyback timing function. The movement is made of titanium and has a dual barrel mechanism. It is wound by a variable geometry automatic disc with a power reserve of up to 55 hours. The new RM 011 Carbon NTPT watch brings innovative and cutting-edge technical solutions to the world of modern watchmaking.