Luxury watchmaker Urwerk has unveiled the EMC, the world’s first mechanical ‘smart’ watch movement. The EMC timepiece is a fully mechanical movement with an electronic brain that calculates precision.
The manufacture develop the EMC in their U-Research Division, Urwerk’s ‘experimental laboratory’. The challenge was to provide watch connoisseurs with not only a precision timepiece, but also the tools to assess and maintain precision. The result is the first mechanical timepiece with integrated intelligence – EMC (Electronic Mechanical Control).
“Our goal with EMC is to give the owner of the timepiece information that, until now, has been decipherable only by a watchmaker equipped with complex apparatus,” says Felix Baumgartner. “To achieve this, we thought long and hard, and then created an easily useable and readable mechanism from scratch.”
For the balance wheel Urwerk used ARCAP, an alloy with non-magnetic and anti-corrosion properties. The wheel was designed for optimal aerodynamics and minimal amplitude loss, with power generated by large double mainspring barrels mounted vertically on a single shaft. The timing adjustment screw, accessible via the caseback, enables the wearer to complete very fine adjustments to the balance rate regulator by changing the active length of the balance spring. Finally, the movement timing is monitored by an electronic optical sensor on the balance wheel which captures the precise rate of oscillation of the 4 hertz / 28,800 v/h regulator. The timing is also monitored by a 16,000,000-hertz electronic oscillator and an artificial intelligence module capable of calculating the difference between the timing rate of the movement and that of the reference oscillator. The EMC boasts an 80-hour power reserve.