High-end mechanical luxury watches, like the ones produced in Switzerland, are small engineering wonders. Up to several hundred individual parts make up a mechanical movement. Some do not only tell time, but contain up to several other mechanical complications such as an eternal calendar or a minute repeater – a mechanical device that will indicate the present time in different sounds. The components within the movements of mechanical watches have to perform reliably in a very limited space. Therefore, some of these tiny parts, such as the coil spring or the escapement wheel, are coated using PVD thin-film coatings from Oerlikon Balzers. This reduces friction and maintenance cycles. Coatings are also applied for decorative purposes, for instance to the watch cases or the bracelets. Thanks to these coatings, the parts obtain a very distinctive coloring. Different combinations of coating materials produce different colors, such as golden yellow, silver gray, copper or deep black.
Tiny parts from mechanical watches are treated in the coating system RS 50 from Oerlikon Balzers.