createch ag | Gaswerkstrasse 92 | 4900 Langenthal | Schweiz | +41 62 919 41 21 |

Hard materials embellish timepieces

When conventional micro-machining techniques reach their limits, lasers can solve the problem

Extremely hard materials such as ceramics, carbide, sapphire or diamond are characterised by wear resistance, corrosion resistance and high resistance to aggressive media and high temperatures. Picosecond or femtosecond lasers also allow such materials to be machined as required.

For some time now watch manufactures have increasingly been working with hard, brittle and transparent materials. They use high-quality ceramics to manufacture the bodies, straps or bezels. Transparent, crystalline or technical ceramics such as sapphire glass are used not only in watches but also in smart phones, tablets and other electronic devices.

Whilst conventional micro-machining techniques with tools soon reach their limits, ultra-short pulse laser machining is ideally well suited to machining extremely hard transparent  and brittle materials. Variable contours which can hardly be shaped using conventional tools and often require intensive reworking can be machined to high process reliability using picosecond and femtosecond lasers. Cold machining and sophisticated process control can achieve interesting results that are both beautiful and cost-effective. This innovative laser machining is characterised by its high precision, long-term stability and wear resistance.

Ultra-short pulse laser machining permits the manufacture of complex geometries and ensures maximum precision.