As reported yesterday by Watches by SJX , Swatch Group plans to equip the entirety of its catalog with antimagnetic hairsprings. According to the announcement, there will be two types of springs. One will be silicon, which has shaped up to be the benchmark for antimagnetic hairsprings, and the other is Nivachron, a relatively new alloy developed by Swatch Group and announced last year. Nivachron will make its debut this month inside the new Swatch Sistem51.
The Antimagnetic Race
Silicon has experienced a major push within the industry, especially in the last two decades. But it’s not just about combating magnetism. Silicon is prized for a number of reasons, among them thermal stability, resistance to corrosion and wear, and lightness. Given these advantages, silicon has since expanded into other movement components like escape wheels and pallet forks.
We’ve also seen truly revolutionary developments with silicon in recent years. One in particular came in 2017, when Zenith announced the Defy Lab and its movement, the caliber ZO 342. It did away with many traditional movement components in favor of a single silicon element (etched from a silicon wafer) that essentially acts as a harmonic oscillator.