An ultra light high performance mechanical watch made with graphene was unveiled yesterday in Geneva at the Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie.
Professor Robert Young, Professor of Polymer Science and Technology from the University of Manchester said: “The striking watch has been precisely designed and inspired by the wishbone suspension structure of a McLaren-Honda Formula 1 car. Combining the design and materials the casing of the watch has withstood tremendous shock damage and survived unscathed in tests.”
This is a key step forward into the development of more widespread applications of graphene, officials at the University of Manchester said.
The University of Manchester collaborated with the watch-making brand Richard Mille and McLaren F1 to create world’s lightest mechanical chronograph by pairing leading graphene research with precision engineering.
Prof. Young said of the collaboration, “The project with McLaren and Richard Mille involved an investigation into the possibility of incorporating graphene into components in composite watches to enhance performance with the view of saving weight.”
Graphene, first isolated in 2004 by Nobel-winning scientists at the university, is the world’s first two-dimensional material at just an atom thick, and is expected to revolutionize the automotive and aerospace industries as well as flexible, bendable mobile phones and tablets and next-generation energy storage.
The RM 50-03 watch was made using a unique composite incorporating graphene to manufacture a strong but lightweight new case to house the delicate watch mechanism. The graphene composite known as Graph TPT weighs less than previous similar materials used in watch-making.
The strap of the watch had also been improved by the addition of grapheme material. The rubber of the strap was also injected with graphene which has shown to improve its mechanical properties and its resistance to wear.
Overall, the watch weights just 40 grams and is extremely durable.