Smartwatches are very much “in” right now, but they don’t all have to be about developing a flexible, wrist version of your smartphone. We have taken a look at several smartwatches here at Techbeat, most of them designed for easy pairing with your mobile devices.
Swimming against the current was, for instance, Vachen’s timepiece which laid emphasis on its traditional time-telling capabilities and traditional look, ahead of email and text notification features. But luxury watchmaker Urwerk is proposing a new definition for “smartwatches” with its new timepiece: the Urwerk EMC, described as a mechanical smart watch.
The smart part comes from the fact that the EMC (short for Electronic Mechanical Control) is 3designed to offer incredible accuracy in telling the time, albeit in an unconventional manner: the clocking mechanism is monitored and kept in check by an electronic mechanism. This electronic mechanism verifies the watch’s precision and alerts wearers whether the timing is off and needs adjusting.
The Urwerk EMC is also provided with a series of features designed to help it maintain accuracy once the correct time is set. Its balance wheel is made from a non magnetic and corrosion resistant nickel and copper alloy called ARCAP, which beats at 4Hz. The wheel is designed to maximize aerodynamics and therefore ensure no loss in precision.
The wheel is powered by two barrels mounted vertically on a shaft, which provides consistent power delivery for 80 hours. What’s really nice is that the EMC does not run on batteries, it uses a Maxon hand-turned generator instead.
The mechanical smart watch is also equipped with an optical sensor that can measure the balance wheel’s beat rate with high accuracy at any moment. The oscillations are there analyzed by an integrated calculator and compared to a reference rate to determine if the beats are accurate. The calculator will be able to tell how many seconds are gained or lost and displays the number so as to allow the wearer to make the necessary adjustments with the help of a screw on the back of the timepiece.
This elegant timepiece is the latest in an impressive series of watches designed by Urwerk, as the Swiss watchmaker is known for creating precision engineered pieces that require little to no assistance and maintenance. Some of the most famous models include a watch running on compressed air and even one modeled based on a tarantula.
The Urwerk EMC is still in development at the U-Research Division, but the prototype built so far is believed to be fully functional. Urwerk has not yet announced any release date or pricing details for the watch, which still needs an outer case design to match the mechanical elements.
[Images via Urwerk]