When it comes to mechanical watches, most consumers will know Swiss watch brands. As synonymous with “luxury watches”, Swiss watches have a long history in the watchmaking industry, with superb watchmaking craftsmanship, and they are well-known in the global market. But few people know that more than 80% of watches and clocks in the world are produced in China. As a major watch producing country, the popularity of Chinese watches is far less than Switzerland and Japan. On the one hand, due to the lack of independent research and development of complex mechanical technology, watch movements have been monopolized by Switzerland and Japan for a long time, and most watch parts can only be imported. On the other hand, the innovation system of traditional Chinese watch brands is not mature yet, and the product styles are mostly the same. People’s aesthetics has been upgraded, but there are few mechanical watches that meet their personality and needs.
In such a difficult condition, “Chinese watch” is not highly evaluated in the minds of many people. “Made in China” has been labeled as “cheap” and “poor quality.” However, with the development of the manufacturing industry, more and more brands with “Made in China” factors have also produced luxury products, such as mobile phone brands Xiaomi, Huawei, and OnePlus. Faced with Apple’s absolute advantage, Chinese-made mobile phones insist on making efforts on differentiation and innovation. Chinese companies gain the market share by design concept innovation and midstream manufacturing technology and gradually increase consumer acceptance of Chinese brands.
In fact, Chinese watch brands are also constantly working hard to get rid of stereotypes in recent years. However, in the fierce competition of watch brands, it’s not easy for a young Chinese watch brand to stand out. The thing they need to think about most is: How to achieve disruptive innovation and breakthroughs in existing technologies and products on the market? If you don’t break through, you won’t succeed. The Chinese mechanical watch brand AGELOCER has been thinking about this problem.
AGELOCER was established in 2013. From the beginning of its establishment, it has invested a lot of money and effort, insisted on original design and independent research and development of the movement, and strived to be unique among mechanical watches. AGELOCER’s goal is to be an innovative Chinese new-generation mechanical watch brand. Since its establishment, AGELOCER has gradually broken through technical barriers through unremitting efforts in the field of mechanical watches, more and more people have come to know this brand.
Breakthrough in watchmaking ability: independent research and development of the movement
The types of mechanical watch movements include Universal movements and self-produced movements. The universal movements are produced by the movement manufacturer, such as the famous ETA movement. Many well-known watch brands will purchase universal movements, and modify them according to their own design needs. The self-produced movement is completely designed, developed and produced by the brand itself. At present, only a very small number of brands in the world have the ability to produce their own movements, because if a brand wants to invent a new movement, it will inevitably require a lot of manpower, financial resources and material resources. The research and development time will be very long, and the requirements for watchmaking technology are also very high.
Undoubtedly, independent research and development of the movement is a ” hard but thankless” thing for young brands, but AGELOCER has chosen to invest heavily in technology research and development from the beginning, and has the ability to develop its own movement. The movement is the heart of a mechanical watch. The value of independent research and development of the movement will ultimately be reflected in the process from design to production. AGELOCER strictly supervises the quality of products, because quality is the foundation of the brand image. AGELOCER has always focused on the development of mechanical watchmaking technology, committed to breaking through existing watchmaking concepts and technologies, and presenting China’s new generation of mechanical watches with an innovative core.
In 2013, AGELOCER’s first self-developed small calendar movement, Cal.A3350, faced to the public. This is a square automatic mechanical movement with a power reserve of 40 hours. In 2014, the calendar three-hand movement CAL.A4610 was launched. Same year, AGELOCER achieved a technological breakthrough. The power reserve of the new-generation movement was as long as 80 hours, which was twice of the ordinary movement. After that, the kinetic energy reserve of all movements are more than 80 hours. On this basis, AGELOCER continues to create pioneering and original movements. Representative movements include CAL.A9001 flying tourbillon movement, CAL.A4710 classically carved movement and CAL.A4910 modern skeleton movement.
CAL.A9001 flying tourbillon movement
The quality of the movement is mainly determined by the accuracy of the time, the degree of polishing, and the durability and beauty of the balance spring and balance wheel. In terms of time accuracy, the energy of the winder is released more slowly and evenly, which can improve the stability and accuracy of the watch. The new generation of AGELOCER movement will control the daily error within ±15 seconds, which is far lower than the international standard ±30 seconds for mechanical watches. The AGELOCER movements are composed of hundreds of hand-finished parts, and the watchmaker will polish each movement very finely. The movement is processed by satin polishing, Geneva pattern polishing, fish scale polishing, edge chamfering and polishing, and bronzing lettering. It is equipped with synthetic ruby bearings and quenched and polished blue steel screws. Observing the details of the movement carefully, you can see the brand’s pursuit of exquisite quality.
Breakthrough in dial structure: 2.4 mm thickness hides 4 layers of complex mechanical hollow structure
AGELOCER’s design concept is “redefine mechanical watches”. In order to break through the conventional design and point out a new direction of integration for traditional watches, it is necessary to change the regulation of traditional watchmaking and constantly break through the technological boundaries. The dial of the AGELOCER Big Bang series subverts the traditional flat and monotonous design and adopts a three-dimensional mechanical dial with a multi-level overlapping design.
In order to accommodate the 4-layer hollow structure of the dial and the interleaved design of the hands in the 2.4mm thickness ultra-thin space, the designer has repeatedly tested and adjusted. And finally controlled the thickness, height and pointer interval of each layer of the dial. In order to prevent the 16.5mm ultra-long minute hand from scratching the dial, the resistance generated by friction will affect the accuracy of the watch. The Big Bang series must strictly control the error within 0.35 degrees during the needle installation process, which requires a very high standard of manufacturing technology and assembler .
This unique design concept makes the Big Bang series watch stand out from nearly 10,000 entries from all over the world. It has won the silver award of the 2020 London Design Awards, the silver award of the 2021 Berlin Design Awards, and the silver award of the 2021A’ DESIGN Award, Italy A Design Award, which represents that the AGELOCER design concept has been recognized by the international design community.
Breakthrough in hollowing technology: the ultimate hollowing design on both sides
The hollow design is a way of expressing aesthetics and function. Its technical difficulty is to remove the extra metal parts of the splint except the skeleton without affecting the performance of the watch. How to beautifully show the aesthetic feeling of the movement from the inside to the outside, and achieve a balance between beauty and function, requires watchmakers to be proficient in watchmaking craftsmanship, and a lot of detailed analysis and consideration are invested in the early stage.
Skeleton technology is a major feature of AGELOCER mechanical watches. Many series under the brand adopt different hollow designs. The most representative watch is the AGELOCER flying tourbillon watch. When AGELOCER innovatively removes the traditional dial, it also cuts the movement parts with a hollow process to create a light visual beauty and achieve clear and transparent multiple changes. It uses a double-sided extremely hollow structure and a 32mm panoramic back view. The open design fully displays the movement structure, which allowing the wearer to observe the flying tourbillon. The interweaving of steel bones and light and shadow creates a more three-dimensional spatial dimension, giving the watch a purer mechanical beauty as a whole.
If Chinese watches want to rise, they must improve their own technology and quality, and continue to satisfy the needs of consumers. As an emerging domestic brand, AGELOCER is very cautious and stable, and has not rushed for quick success, but has continuously invested heavily in technical research and development in the field of mechanical watches. From design and drawing, plate making, accessory production, manual assembly, and testing, They are pursuing perfection at every step, just to create luxury Chinese watch movements.