Watch-making has always been a subtle blend of engineering and art, so it’s no surprise that makers have a had a stab at it using 3D printers.
Swiss engineer Christoph Laimer has set the quality bar with his new timepiece – the Christoph Laimer Tourbillon – a 3D printed creation with a functioning tourbillon.
This project started with Laimer acquiring a 3D printer in 2013, which he promptly used to create custom LEGO gears for his children. This lead, naturally, to creating several mechanisms and then a working wall clock.
The next step was to one-up himself, and do something more complicated. That came in the form of the tourbillon – a gear work system that helps average out positional mistakes to get a more accurate time. Now outdated and more of a novelty, it’s still included in some high end watches to show off the skill of the creator. To illustrate the point, the mechanism is visible through the watch face so the user can see just how complex their timepiece is.
Laimer’s version mimics this, as the plastic pieces whir inside.
Do you want one? If you have the skill and resources to do so, you can make your own. Head over to the Thingiverse where you’ll find all the files to do so as well as instructions on how to use them. Surprisingly, the total build is only 51 separate prints as well as a handful of pins, screws and washers.
If that’s too much work, Laimer is selling finished version from his site. There are four colour combinations to choose from and your name will be printed behind the face.
Included in your odd purchase is also a winding key, a stand, some replacements parts and a certificate of authenticity. Also included: a chain. If you’re thinking of suing this as a pocket watch, however, they’ll need to be deep. This watch is 10 centimetres in diameter and looks more akin to Iron Man’s Arc Reactor than your great grandfather’s chronometer.
As with all luxury items: price is available on request.[Source – Make: , Image – Christoph Laimer]