Precious AM powder (and EOS PRECIOUS M80) supplier Cooksongold will be providing its 18K 5N Red Gold to talented watchmaker Michiel Holthinrichs to produce an exclusive gold version of his unique Ornament 1 3D printed watch model. Michiel has been among the first to experiment with 3D printing as a designer watch manufacturing tool and the results have been quite impressive.
3D printing evokes new ways of thinking, creating possibilities for new designs which are traditionally not or very difficult to realise. When the specific conditions related to power and heat remittance are sufficiently incorporated in the design it has the potential to open up whole new and interesting possibilities in terms of formal design and future mechanics within the watchmaking tradition.
With the Ornament 1 Holthinrichs Watches shows these new possibilities: while having a classic inspired overall design, the details break with conservative shapes, creating a path for the future, in which further explorations which certainly take place.
“Using a new production method means the designer has to study the technology in order to be able to create an integrated design, and the producer has to be flexible and inventive to discover and try the potentials of new applications of the technique.” Michiel Holthinrichs, founder of Holthinrichs Watches
Michiel Holthinrichs details the process of the making of the Ornament 1 through images and photos. The image above shows a rough 3D printed example of a caseback in the front. The unique aspects of both high-tech print technologies – and the hours of craftsmanship that goes into the watches to give its skeleton shape and surface treatments – clearly emerge.
The image below shows an even earlier step of the AM production process as a set of casebacks and crowns emerge the metal powder bed fusion 3D printer. Although the basic and unique shape of the pieces is complete, Many hours of work are still required to finish them.
In total every Ornament 1 takes about 60 hours to produce, this includes printing and hand finishing of the case, but also checking the movement, and making the handmade parts of the hands of the watch.
The image aboves shows the 3D printed cases of the Ornament 1 before finishing. Their supports (for power and heat remittance) are removed and they have undergone a sandblasting treatment. You can clearly see the (customizable) 3D text embedded in the case.
Now the movement fitting will be precisely tooled, just as the screw thread for the case back. After that, all parts will by selectively hand polished.
Next up: gold!