Manufacturing microcomponents for the Swiss watch industry

Mimotec’s main activity in Sion is dedicated to manufacturing microcomponents for the Swiss watch industry. The company’s biggest sales are escape wheels, anchors and darts, as well as a wide variety of microcomponents such as anti-backslash gears, springs and cams.

A watch movement is made up of a variety of microcomponents, each of which fulfils a specific function. There are as many designs as there are components that make up a watch motor. It is possible to combine art and technology by customising each component at will.

The components of a watch movement vary in size. Most components fit into an area equivalent to a 1 CHF coin, while the smallest measure less than 1 mm³. The thinnest structures can be as small as 20 µm. The aspect ratio of a technical component can be up to 5 µm, and in terms of thickness, we cover a very wide range, from 50 µm to 800 µm.

This additive manufacturing technique offers a choice of hard, nickel-based stainless materials. Among these are nickel-phosphorus, which is 100% non-magnetic and is the ideal material for making components for the regulating organs of the watch; and LigaFlex™ (NiFe), which has excellent elastic properties, particularly for the functions required by jumper springs, return springs and date finger springs.

For all other components, such as gear trains, pinions, cams, discs and chronograph cores, hard nickel (Ni) is best suited.