Engineers have developed an ultralight mechanical watch made with graphene composite.
Unveiled at the in Geneva at Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie on 16 January, the watch was made in collaboration between the University of Manchester, watchmaking brand Richard Mille and McLaren F1. The watch weighs 40gm and is extremely durable, the engineers claim.
The RM 50-03, termed as "world's lightest mechanical chronography", has been made using a composite of graphene for a lightweight but strong case for the watch mechanism. The graphene composite used is known as Graph TPT, which weighs less than the previous materials used in the watches.
The strap of RM 50-03 watch also uses the graphene composite. The rubber of the strap was injected with graphene, which improves the mechanical properties and resistance of the watch.
While offering an insight into the benefit of using graphene, Robert Young, Graphene business director and professor from the University of Manchester said, "We have shown that the incorporation of graphene into the watch case can have major implications for improved performance of the component in service and also enable further weight reduction in future designs."
"We evaluated the effect of including graphene in both the watch case and strap. We helped in the fabrication of the different components and analysed their microstructures using x-ray computed tomography and Raman spectroscopy, along with a detailed evaluation of their mechanical properties.
"We have shown that the incorporation of graphene into the watch case can have major implications for improved performance of the component in service and also enable further weight reduction in future designs," Young said.
The watch design has been inspired by the wishbone suspension structure of a McLaren-Honda Formula 1 car. The engineers noted the watch survived tremendous shock damage.