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Barrelhand, the first 3D-printed Movement Bridge

By Barrelhand

Industry: Commercial Technology: Direct Metal Laser Sintering Material: Binder Jetting (ExOne) Stainless Steel Machine: Materialise 3D printer
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Barrelhand, the first 3D-printed Movement Bridge

Timeless Innovation: 3D-printed Watches with Precision and Style.



                        

Description

Barrelhand’s Project 1 stands out for its innovative approach to watchmaking, merging traditional Swiss craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology. At its core, Project 1 uses a Swiss-made Eternal Caliber 3901M base movement, a manually wound mechanism renowned for its high-torque output and robust construction. Operating at 4Hz with a power reserve of approximately 50 hours, this movement is integral to powering the watch's unique time-indication module, which has been meticulously refined by Barrelhand over the years. One of the most compelling aspects of the Project 1 watch is its limited edition release, with only 10 pieces available. These initial models feature components crafted from 3D-printed metal, a relative innovation in the watchmaking industry. This technique allows designers to create intricate parts that would be prohibitively expensive or impossible to produce through traditional machining and milling methods. The ability to render such complex components positions 3D metal printing as a promising technology for the future of luxury timepiece creation. In addition, the most important feature of the watch is the world's first 3D-printed movement bridge. It makes up the gear trains of mechanical watches and is often considered the most difficult to produce due to its incredibly tight tolerances. The case of the Project 1 watch is crafted from CNC-machined titanium, both in its natural form and with DLC coating, complemented by steel parts. Measuring approximately 44mm wide at its broadest point and 53mm lug-to-lug, the watch has a thickness of about 15mm. A distinctive feature is the small lever used to pop up the large crown. The Project 1 movement showcases a clever adaptation of existing mechanical display principles, resulting in a modern and distinctly American timepiece. While heavily influenced by Swiss expertise, the Barrelhand Project 1 was entirely designed in California and incorporates as many American-made parts as feasible.

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