Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier is expanding its range of ultra-thin movements and offer of development proposals for complications and modules

The Fleurier-based mechanical watch movement maker Vaucher is launching two new designs of its flagship ultra-thin, micro-rotor caliber, the Seed VMF 5401. Contemporary or classic, VMF presents two movements based on the same architecture. The company thus extends its range with this new, attractive offer. And through its Open R & D Department, it is now setting out on a mission to share its unique know-how and creativity in the realization of yet more original modules.

By putting its customization know-how into creating movement variants for smaller brands, VMF now offers a wider choice of visually appealing combinations to better match a watch’s intended design and style.

VMF’s numerous value propositions range from exclusive development of new movements, to the implementation of different levels of customization of the same movement architecture. This means its customers can rely on the comprehensive know-how, reliable products and high-end aesthetics that are the base elements of its reputation. Through the Open R & D Department, VMF opens up the creativity and skills of its technical office and watch laboratory for the development of original and tailor-made solutions. The originality of the Open R & D offer lies in its ability to offer innovative mechanisms to meet the specific needs of its customers

Ultra-thin micro-rotor calibers

The Seed VMF 5401 caliber is an ultra-thin, 2.6mm micro-rotor. This caliber with its potential for extreme personalization figures in, for example, prestigious collections by Hermès, Parmigiani and Richard Mille.

The Seed VMF 5401/32 variant offers lines and finishes from the pure tradition of Haute Horlogerie. It is intended for classic high-end models.

The Seed VMF 5401/33 variant takes on a contemporary look through new decoration technologies, with laser relief engraving combined with geometric skeletonization. Its modernity is also expressed by the anthracite color produced by galvanic treatment.

With Open R&D, Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier (VMF) positions itself as a creative center and full partner – without parallel in the Swiss watch industry – in mechanism, movement and watch development projects.

The aim of Open R&D is to establish itself as a one-stop-shop offering complete and tailor-made solutions, from the creation of original and innovative concepts (mechanisms, movements and / or watches) to their production – all in full conformity with the rigorous reliability, quality and production criteria that have made Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier’s Haute Horlogerie movements world-famous.

Technical details

SEED VMF 5401/32: Automatic Extra-Thin Micro-Rotor 2 Or 3 Hands

Fitting diameter: 30 mm (13 ¼’’’)
Depth: 2.6 mm
Indications and functions: Hour, minute, small seconds at 6h
Type of balance: Variable inertia with gold inertia-blocks
Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 V/h)
Type of stud holder: Mobile
Type of balance-spring: Flat
Type of oscillating weight: Off-centre; Gilded tungsten micro-rotor
Oscillating weight winding direction: Single direction in anti-clockwise sense of the weight viewing from the dial side
Power reserve: 48 hours
Chronometry: Variable inertia balance; Rapid rotation barrel
Number of components: 160
Number of jewels: 29

Specific features and finishes
• Classic aesthetics
• Circular-grained plate on dial side and bridge side, fine circular-graining under balance, rhodium-plated
• Bridges with Côtes de Genève decor, rhodium-plated
• Bicolour engraving
• Bevels and apertures diamond-polished
• Ceramic ball-bearing
• Wheels circular-grained on 2 faces
• Flat-head screws, polished
• Bridges hand-bevelled with piercer
• Pivots and flanges rolled

SEED VMF 5401/33: Automatic Extra-Thin Micro-Rotor 2 Or 3 Hands

Fitting diameter: 30 mm (13 ¼’’’)
Depth: 2.6 mm
Indications and functions: Hour, minute, small seconds at 6h
Type of balance: Variable inertia with gold inertia-blocks
Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 V/h)
Type of stud holder: Mobile
Type of balance-spring: Flat
Type of oscillating weight: Off-centre; Tungsten micro-rotor
Oscillating weight winding direction: Single direction in anti-clockwise sense of the weight viewing from the dial side
Power reserve: 48 hours
Chronometry: Variable inertia balance; Rapid rotation barrel
Number of components: 160
Number of jewels: 29

Specific features and finishes
• Contemporary aesthetics
• Circular-grained plate on dial side and bridge side, fine circular-graining under balance, rhodium-plated
• Bridges sunray finish, with laser decoration sand-blasting effect, relief engravings and NAC treatment
• Bevels and apertures diamond-polished
• Ceramic ball-bearing
• Wheels circular-grained on 2 faces
• Flat-head screws, polished
• Bridges hand-bevelled with piercer
• Pivots and flanges rolled

SEED VMF 5400/32: Automatic Extra-Thin Micro-Rotor 2 Or 3 Hands with Date

Fitting diameter: 30 mm (13 ¼’’’)
Depth: 3 mm
Indications and functions: Hour, minute, small seconds at 6h, date in a window at 3h or 6h
Type of balance: Variable inertia with gold inertia-blocks
Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 V/h)
Type of stud holder: Mobile
Type of balance-spring: Flat
Type of oscillating weight: Off-centre; Gilded tungsten micro-rotor
Oscillating weight winding direction: Single direction in anti-clockwise sense of the weight viewing from the dial side
Power reserve: 48 hours
Chronometry: Variable inertia balance; Rapid rotation barrel
Number of components: 176
Number of jewels: 29

Specific features and finishes
• Classic aesthetics
• Circular-grained plate on dial side and bridge side, fine circular-graining under balance, rhodium-plated
• Bridges with Côtes de Genève decor, rhodium-plated
• Bicolour engravings
• Bevels and apertures diamond-polished
• Ceramic ball-bearing
• Wheels circular-grained on 2 faces
• Flat-head screws, polished
• Bridges hand-bevelled with piercer
• Pivots and flanges rolled

SEED VMF 5400/33: Automatic Extra-Thin Micro-Rotor 2 Or 3 Hands with Date

Fitting diameter: 30 mm (13 ¼’’’)
Depth: 3 mm
Indications and functions: Hour, minute, small seconds at 6h, date in a window at 3h or 6h
Type of balance: Variable inertia with gold inertia-blocks
Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 V/h)
Type of stud holder: Mobile
Type of balance-spring: Flat
Type of oscillating weight: Off-centre; Tungsten micro-rotor
Oscillating weight winding direction: Single direction in anti-clockwise sense of the weight viewing from the dial side
Power reserve: 48 hours
Chronometry: Variable inertia balance; Rapid rotation barrel
Number of components: 176
Number of jewels: 29

Specific features and finishes
• Contemporary aesthetics
• Circular-grained plate on dial side and bridge side, fine circular-graining under balance, rhodium-plated
• Bridges sunray finish, with laser decoration sand-blasting effect, relief engravings and NAC treatment
• Bevels and apertures diamond-polished
• Ceramic ball-bearing
• Wheels circular-grained on 2 faces
• Flat-head screws, polished
• Bridges hand-bevelled with piercer
• Pivots and flanges rolled

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier Unveils Seed VMF 5440, the New Extra-Thin Micro-Rotor Flying Tourbillon Movement

Switzerland based high-end mechanical movement manufacturer Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier (VMF) presents a new extra-thin tourbillon with automatic winding.

Drawing on the company’s expertise in crafting extra-thin movements, the Seed VMF 5440 is just 3.4 mm thick. Its robust and sophisticated construction incorporates all the advantages of the tried-and-tested VMF extra-thin calibers. It is wound by a micro-rotor, cleverly integrated into the movement so as to maintain its slim profile.

Deviating from previous designs, the tourbillon is purposefully located at about 7o’clock, clearly distinguishing it from existing VMF Tourbillon movements – the tourbillon of the automatic Seed VMF 3024 and extra-thin hand-wound Seed VMF 5430 are positioned at 6 and 9 o’clock respectively.

To provide an unhindered view of the mechanical ballet taking place, Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier has opted for a flying tourbillon. Mounted on a ceramic ball bearing, the tourbillon cage is made of light-weight titanium for reduced energy consumption and optimal adjustment. The upper part of the cage is made of steel. The tourbillon and cage comprise 67 components for an overall weight of just 0.27 grams.

Like all VMF movements, the Seed VMF 5440 is meticulously finished. Its bridges are laser-engraved with the motif of the gears hidden beneath their surface, showcasing Vaucher’s expertise in laser engraving, marking and machining. The movement finish can of course be adapted to the specifications of each client, offering a high-level of customisability.

The Seed VMF 5440 is available in short series and can be personalized with different options (bridges, cage, micro-rotor, finishing).

Technical details
CALIBRE SEED VMF 5440
Extra-thin flying tourbillon with automatic winding
Diameter: 30.5 mm( 13.5’’’)
Height: 3.4 mm
Jewels: 33
Power reserve: 48 hours, rapid rotation barrel
Winding rotor: tungsten off-center micro-rotor mounted on ceramic ball bearings, uni-directional winding
Frequency: 21.600 vib/h 3 Hz
Tourbillon cage: 11.11 mm x 3.37 mm • 67 components • 0.27 gram
Balance variable inertia with gold inertia blocks
Balance spring flat
Stud holder mobile
Functions: hours, minutes, one-minute flying tourbillon
Parts: 200

Specific Features and Finishes
• Bottom plate circular-grained on dial side and bridge side, fine circular-graining below the wheels, rhodium-plated
• Bridges with personalized decor, rhodium-plated
• Bi-colour engraving
• Bevels, countersinks and apertures diamond-polished
• Ceramic ball-bearings
• Circular-grained wheels on 2 faces
• Flat head screws, locked
• Pivots and flanges rolled
• Balance visible on dial side
• Titanium tourbillon cage

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier Seed VMF 6710 – High-Performance Automatic Column Wheel Chronograph Movement

The Swiss manufacture specialized in the production of high-end mechanical movements on an industrial scale, Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier (VMF) adds a new caliber to its wide range of movements, unveiling a high-performance integrated column-wheel chronograph, the Seed VMF 6710.

A masterpiece of engineering and micromechanics, the caliber 6710 is the result of 6 years of development. It incorporates the best practices from existing chronographs and introduces several innovations for optimal efficiency, reliability, precision and robustness. Its design combines high-frequency, a column-wheel command, a vertical clutch and a triple return-to-zero hammer.

The Seed VMF 6710 balance wheel beats with a frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour (5 Hz) enabling it to offer chronometer-certified tenth of a second precision. The 4 adjustment blocks allow high-precision regulating. The full balance bridge with twin supports offers improved stability and shock resistance.

Although it operates at high-frequency, the caliber 6710 can store up to 65 hours of power reserve. The rapid rotation barrel is wound automatically by a 22 ct gold central rotor mounted on ceramic ball bearings. The automatic mechanism is integrated within the movement height, resulting in a compact construction measuring just under 7 mm thick.

A stand-out due to its high-end construction, the caliber 6710 features a column-wheel to command and coordinate the start and stop. The vertical-coupling of the chronograph allows for an instantaneous start, eliminating the jump of the second hands often seen with a lateral clutch when the gears mesh. The clutch is off-centered and drives the chronograph seconds and minutes. To enhance efficiency, the chronograph hours are powered directly by the barrel.

A simple, efficient and reliable solution, a one-piece reset hammer slides across the mechanism to simultaneously reset the chronograph hours, minutes and seconds, contacting the respective heart cams. Like all Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier movements, the Seed VMF 6710 chronograph is meticulously finished in the purest tradition of Haute Horlogerie. Its sophisticated design is heightened by materials of exceptional quality.

It is available in short series and can be personalized with different options. The list of additional functions includes manual winding, a large date and a split-seconds mechanism.

Technical details
CALIBRE SEED VMF 6710
Integrated column-wheel chronograph with automatic winding
Diameter: 30.00 • 13 ¼’’’
Height: 6.95 mm
Jewels: 42
Power reserve: 65 hours, rapid rotation barrel
Winding rotor: 22 ct gold central rotor mounted on ceramic ball bearings, bi-directional winding
Frequency: 36,000 vib/h 5 Hz
Balance: variable inertia with 4 inertia blocks
Balance spring: flat
Stud holder mobile
Coupling vertical clutch
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date with semi-instant jump, chronograph with center seconds, 30-minute counter, 12-hour counter. Stop seconds.
Parts 315
Certification: COSC

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier Seed VMF 5401/190 Automatic Micro-Rotor Extra-Thin Skeleton Movement 2 Hands Moon Phases

Presented in 2017, the Seed VMF 5401/190 caliber by Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier is an automatic micro-rotor extra-thin skeleton movement featuring 2 hands layout and moon phases display. This self-winding mechanical movement features 29 jewels, 48 hours of power reserve and off-centre Tungsten micro-rotor oscillating weight.

Features
Fitting diameter: 30 mm (13 ¼’’’)
Depth: 3.57 mm
Indications and functions: Hour, minute, moon phases
Type of balance: Variable inertia with gold inertia-blocks
Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 A/h)
Type of stud holder: Mobile
Type of balance spring: Flat
Type of oscillating weight: Off-centre Tungsten micro-rotor
Oscillating weight winding direction: Single direction in anti-clockwise sense of the weight viewing from the dial side
Power-reserve: 48 hours
Variable inertia balance
Rapid rotation barrel
Number of components: 179
Number of jewels: 29

Specific features and finishes
• Plate satin-finished and rhodium plated on dial side, skeleton
• Bridges satin-finished and rhodium-plated, skeleton, hand-finishing
• Bicolour engraving
• Bevels and apertures diamond-polished
• Ceramic ball-bearing
• Wheels circular-grained on 2 faces
• Flat-head screws, locked
• Pivots and flanges rolled

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier Seed VMF 5401/180 Automatic Micro-Rotor Extra-Thin Skeleton Movement, 2 Hands

Introduced in 2017, the Seed VMF 5401/180 calibre by Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier is a slender and robust mechanical self-winding skeleton caliber measuring 2.6mm thickens and equipped with micro-rotor.  Skeleton option types upon request.

Features
Fitting diameter 30 mm (13 ¼’’’)
Depth 2.6 mm
Indications and functions: Hour, minute
Type of balance: Variable inertia with gold inertia-blocks
Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 A/h)
Type of stud holder: Mobile
Type of balance spring: Flat
Type of oscillating weight: Off-centre Tungsten micro-rotor
Oscillating weight winding direction: Single direction in anti-clockwise sense of the weight viewing from the dial side
Power-reserve: 48 hours
Variable inertia balance
Rapid rotation barrel
Number of components: 160
Number of jewels: 29

Specific features and finishes
• Plate satin-finished and rhodium-plated on dial side, skeleton
• Bridges satin-finished and rhodium-plated, skeleton, hand-fnishing
• Bicolour engraving
• Bevels and apertures diamond-polished
• Ceramic ball-bearing
• Wheels circular-grained on 2 faces
• Flat-head screws, locked
• Pivots and flanges rolled

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier Expands Its Basic Movement Range with New Large Date Variants

Exhibiting at the EPHJ from 14 to 17 June, Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier presents three new variants of its basic movement range coupled with a large date. In doing so it accentuates the originality and exclusivity of its products, particularly for the flying tourbillon.

This “Large Date” mechanism uses two display discs. The first shows tens (0-1-2-3) while the second indicates units (from 0 to 9). Daily displacement of the discs is programmed mechanically to ensure that they remain perfectly synchronized at all times. Reading the date is simplicity itself, since the two appropriate numerals appear each day side by side in the extra-large aperture on the dial.

Three of the manufacture’s flagship calibres are available in this “Large Date” variant:

  • The Seed VMF 5401micro-rotor extra-thin movement,
  • The Seed VMF 3022 movement and
  • The Seed VMF 3024 Flying Tourbillon
Seed VMF 3022 movement with large date

The technical sophistication of this “Large Date”at 12 o’clock makes it very easy to read on the dial. It creates a stylish balance with the display of the small-seconds at 6 o’clock. On the Seed VMF 3024 movement, this layout is showcased to even greater effect thanks to the majestic flying tourbillon.

Seed VMF 3024 Flying Tourbillon with large date

Each of these movements incorporates a 2-position crown (position one for manual winding and position two for time-setting). Each one also has a corrector push-piece allowing rapid adjustment of the “Large Date”.

Seed VMF 5401micro-rotor extra-thin movement with large date

A manufacture devoted to high-end mechanical watch movements, VMF is a motorist par excellence. It manufactures the heart of the watch, a component which itself is comprised of several hundred parts. Vertically integrated in the watchmaking division of Parmigiani Fleurier, it controls and assures complete fabrication of the movement thanks to production tools combining innovation and tradition. VMF is majority owned by the Sandoz Family Foundation and Hermès International. A Parmigiani Fleurier manufacture, partner of Hermès and supplier of movements for prestigious watch brands, it employs 140 staff and trains 12 apprentices. Through its Vaucher Private Label entity, with its sister companies Les Artisans Boîtiers and Quadrance&Habillage, it is a strategic tool for brands wishing to gain a foothold in high-end watchmaking.

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier Seed VMF 3000 and 3002

The Seed VMF 3000 and 3002 are two self-winding mechanical watch movements manufactured by Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier.

Seed VMF 3000-10 1⁄2’’’: This automatic movement is equipped with twin-barrels and from 2014 a variable inertia balance wheel. This ensures a more stable daily rate and optimum regulating. It is quickly wound. Its 101⁄2’’’ dimension, a rare size on the market, offers much scope for creativity. Minimum order quantity: 25 movements at CHF 990.- apiece.

Seed VMF 3002-1 11 ⁄2’’’: This automatic movement is equipped with twin-barrels and from 2014 a variable inertia balance wheel. This ensures a stable daily rate and facilitates regulating. It is also quickly wound. Minimum order quantity:  25 movements at CHF 990.- apiece.

The Seed VMF 3000 and 3002 calibres can be personalised by their oscillating weight. Available in quantities from 25 to 500 per year, they offer a high level of finishing and decoration.

Features
Fitting-diameter 23.3 mm (101⁄2’’’) or 25.6 mm (111⁄2’’’)
Depth 3.9 mm or 3.7 mm
Frequency 4 Hz (28,800 Bph)
Power reserve 50 hours
Chronometry Twin barrels
Variable-inertia balance from 2014

Indications and function
Hours, minutes, centre seconds or subsidiary seconds at 6 o’clock, calendar aperture at 3 o’clock

Finishing
Circular-graining on top and bottom side of main plate, rhodium-plated
Bridges with Geneva Waves, rhodium-plated, colour contrast engraving
Diamond machined chamfers and bevels
Ceramic ball bearing
Burnished pivots (cylinder and shoulder)
Circular-graining on gear-wheels (top and bottom)
Flat polished screws

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier and CSEM launch a mechanical movement with an exceptional Power-reserve of one month

The watchmaking skills of Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier (VMF) combined with the creativity of CSEM and its mastery of silicon technologies to produce an invention which drastically increases the power-reserve of the mechanical watch. Culmination of a project initiated seven years ago. Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier has drawn on all its watchmaking know-how to industrialize a revolutionary mechanism developed by CSEM to replace the traditional Swiss lever escapement. The movement is based on a very advanced technology and merits being proven on an industrial scale: the manufacture therefore plans to release the first movements within a three-year timescale.

Prototype of the movement

Structures on flexible guides are particularly suitable for providing precise, frictionless movements, without the use of lubricants and without wear. Convinced that these advantages could be usefully exploited in micro-engineering and precision watchmaking, Pierre Genequand, a physicist at CSEM, devised a new type of mechanical regulator which uses flexible structures both in the escapement and the oscillator.

The major benefit of the regulator proposed by Pierre Genequand is that it drastically reduces the energy consumption of a watch movement. The challenge of adapting such an innovation to the scale of a wristwatch was overcome by combining the excellent mechanical properties of silicon with entirely frictionless pivots mounted on flexible articulations, both in the escapement and the oscillator. In the final analysis, the owners of a watch movement powered by this regulator will need to wind their watch just once a month.

 “This is a wonderful meeting of minds with a watch industry partner that has the necessary expertise to turn our invention into an innovation, i.e. a prestigious product which meets its customers’ expectations,” said a delighted Mario El-Khoury, CEO of CSEM. “The Genequand movement adds a new invention to applied research meets luxury Product the history of mechanical watchmaking.”

Familiar with the production of mechanical movements that use a traditional escapement through the work of its sister company Atokalpa, Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier encourages the use of silicon where traditional technologies are less efficient.

P. Genequand, M. El Khoury & JD Dubois at Vaucher Decoration Workshop

In the present case, Jeandaniel Dubois concludes: “The Genequand escapement is an innovation which gives the traditional mechanical watch an exceptional power-reserve. VMF, in its capacity as a high end movement manufacturer, proves its determination to improve still further the performance of the mechanical watch. The Genequand regulator incorporated in a special movement will be marketed by our sister brand Parmigiani Fleurier for an exclusive period. The system will then become available to other clients, powering calibres specifically developed to receive  it.”

Assembling Workshop, Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier

The policy of innovation followed by the Fleurier motorist guarantees numerous benefits  to its clients, not least the ability to stand out in a world where authenticity and tradition are  of paramount importance.

In 2002, Pierre Genequand was newly retired and looking forward to realising an old dream: to apply to watchmaking a technology invented for other applications in which he had extensive experience. He now had time to pursue ideas which had come to him earlier, encouraged by progress made with silicon: the possibility of making micro-engravings on components derived from this material and of applying to watchmaking a technology hitherto developed for aerospace engineering projects.

During his years in Neuchâtel, firstly as a researcher at the Swiss Foundation for Micro-Engineering Research, and from 1985 to 2002 with CSEM as a researcher and senior expert in Advanced Mechanisms, he had never been able to fulfil his ambition of developing a watch. However in the 1980s, the watch industry crisis drove the industry to technological diversification, a trend that was maintained after the establishment of CSEM in 1984. It is fortunate that in the Neuchâtel region, one of the birthplaces of watchmaking, people never really lose touch with their roots.

Pierre Genequand

Pierre Genequand therefore rose to the challenge of reducing the energy dissipation of a watch – thereby increasing its power-reserve – with the help of Flextech technologies (applying the clearance-free and frictionless properties of flexible articulations to precision mechanisms developed in the fields of fibre-optic guidance and aerospace engineering). In this problem the components most affected by friction are the escapement and the balance pivot, hence most likely to benefit from Flextech. Initial studies of the escapement led to the concept of flexible pallets in permanent contact with the toothed wheel. He then combined this escapement with a geometry in which the pivot, the return spring and the link with the pallets of the balance are all manufactured as Flextech components.

20 : 1 Scale model of Genequand System

Miniaturisation to increase the power-reserve of the mechanical watch: This phase was completed in 2004 with the construction of a 20:1 scale model which he presented to a CSEM delegation, to whom he transferred the invention shortly afterwards.

5 : 1 Scale model of Genequand System

This first mock-up was reduced to a 5:1 scale model by CSEM in 2005, together with a preliminary study for a 1:1 scale model made of silicon.

Project Team in front of Manufacture Vaucher

In 2007, the partnership between CSEM and Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier was signed. At that point, in order to achieve the 1:1 scale miniaturisation which would allow integration in a watch movement, components such as the isochronism compensator and the Wittrick had to be developed in addition to the pallets, resulting in a three-component system. In 2014, movement prototypes demonstrated how the system named in honour of Pierre Genequand worked: a new mechanical regulator offering an exceptional power reserve was born.

The Genequand System

  • 1 winding per month
  • 10 years from idea to system
  • Invented by Pierre Genequand
  • 2 partners, CSEM and Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier
  • 1team of 20 people
  • From the scale model to the system, miniaturisation by a factor of 20
  • 3 components isochronism compensator, Wittrick oscillator, pallets (on the left)
  • 86,400 vibrations per hour of the oscillator
  • 10 x 15 mm, dimensions of the system
  • 0.02 mm, strip thicknesses

Project Leaders

  • Mario El-Khoury, CEO of CSEM
  • Jean-Daniel Dubois, CEO of Vaucher Manufacture
  • Pierre Genequand, now retired from CSEM and inventor of the Genequand regulator
  • François Barrot, CSEM Project Manager 
  • Takahiro Hamaguchi, Head of Movements Development, Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier

About Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier
A manufacturer of high-end mechanical watch movements, VMF is happy to describe itself as a prestige motorist. It manufactures the heart of the watch, an assembly which itself consists of several hundred components. The vertically-integrated firm is responsible for the complete production and quality control of watch movements thanks to a production capacity which combines innovation and tradition. VMF is majority owned by the Sandoz Family Foundation and Hermès International. The manufacturing arm of Parmigiani Fleurier, a partner of Hermès and a supplier of movements to prestigious watch brands, it has a 200-strong workforce and trains 15 apprentices. Through its Vaucher Private Label entity, it is a strategic tool for brands wishing to gain access to high-end watchmaking.

About CSEM
CSEM is a private research and development institute specialising in micro-technologies, nanotechnologies, microelectronics, systems engineering, photovoltaic technology and information and communication technologies. CSEM has more than 400 highly qualified employees working at CSEM sites in Neuchâtel, Alpnach, Muttenz, Landquart and Zurich.

Under contract to the Swiss Confederation, CSEM develops innovative technology platforms through four strategic programs – Microsystems, systems, ultra-low-power integrated systems and surface engineering – corresponding to domains in which it has acquired over the years a national and international reputation. By expanding its knowledge and adapting it to the needs of industry, new products are brought to market and new ventures are created.

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier – Vaucher Private Label: Offering Independence and Openness to Talented Watchmakers and Emerging Luxury Watch Brands

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier produces movements for major brands in high-end watchmaking. The manufacture has also set up Vaucher Private Label for talented watchmakers and brands with small volume production in mind.

Some eleven months after its launch by the Fleurier movement manufacturer, Vaucher Private Label confirms that it is meeting a real need on the part of brands seeking to break into or consolidate their position in high-end watchmaking. With a minimum order quantity of just 25 and short delivery times, the Val-de-Travers manufacture supplies movements to watchmakers who, without its services, would struggle to flourish in the current watchmaking environment.

The Vaucher Private Label new business unit  has confirmed that it answers a real need on the part of small volume companies wishing to break into or consolidate their position in high end watchmaking. The Fleurier Manufacturer supplies upwards of 25 movements which are available in a matter of weeks. Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier caters for watchmakers who would find it difficult to flourish in the current watchmaking environment if such a supplier did not exist.

It is a fact that watchmaking groups seek self-sufficiency by assuring vertical integration of their watch movements. With Vaucher Private Label, the Fleurier movement manufacturer fosters the dynamism needed to rekindle and develop a fertile breeding ground of watch designers. Since its launch, around thirty have called on its services, not only for movements but also for cases and dials. This year, Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier has largely met its objectives; while the level of interest generated means it will have no difficulty fulfilling its longer term business plan.

The division into groups of the watch market made Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier decide to provide greater access to its products through Vaucher Private Label. Already independent and vertically integrated – one of its sister companies is none other than atokalpa, an expert in gear-wheel and oscillator technology – industrialised and highly focused on the personalisation of its calibres, it was strongly placed with its skills centre to respond to the creative aspirations of talented watchmakers.

Marketed under the symbolic “Seed” name, movements available through Vaucher Private Label differ from other Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier products only by their personalisation, the high-end level of finishing being the same as that of the main product range.

Vaucher Private Label Movements
Vaucher movements are rare and exclusive. Thanks to total control over their supply chain, the manufacture guarantees that each part is Swiss made. Vaucher Private Label movements are the manifestations of Swiss watchmaking tradition and are the pure expression of valuable know-how. Designed for customisation, they combine quality, elegance and accurate chronometry. These movements are made up of more than 200 components that are finished to a high standard. Moreover, they represent the essence of tradition and watchmaking know-how and have been built to stand the test of time. Vaucher Private Label guarantees a long term parts supply, global customer services and movement after-sales service.

New Calibres
Thanks to a new industrial and artisanal structure, Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier (VMF) offers more competitive prices to its partners. Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier (VMF) stands out by its movement manufacturing process.

The Fleurier movement supplier is a shining example among watchmaking manufactures. CEO Jean-Daniel Dubois attributes its standing to the way in which it reconciles high-end watchmaking criteria with industrial processes, ensuring the repeatability of components, uniform quality, and lower production costs. An approach that gives the VMF product range its underlying quality, aesthetic appeal and competitiveness.

In the context of the manufacture, industrialization is synonymous with improved quality and reliability. By implementing processes which optimize the value added to the caliber– each movement is finished and decorated by hand by its artisans – the perceived aesthetic value remains intact, reflecting the qualityof craftsmanship that characterizes VMF movements from their initial conception. Orchestrated by proven methods, man and machine work together in the pursuit of excellence: latest-generation CNC machining and pre-assembly stations, presses, stamps, piercers, tweezers and gravers are among the tools of today and yesterday mastered by experts. Accordingly, the manufacture’s products will remain high-end, at a price more accessible to brands.

With this in mind, VMF will be presenting two new products in its private label assortment: a self winding flying tourbillon, the Seed VMF 3024, one of the thinnest in the world; and a development of its extra-thin micro-rotor, the Seed VMF 5401, whose performance is optimized by a variable inertia balance developed and produced by atokalpa, together with new automatic functions.

Customer Service and Guarantee
Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier provides a two year cover for movement overhaul including external parts. In case of faults covered by the guarantee, VMF will repair or replace, at its own discretion and free of charge, all parts and/or will correct any improper repairs identified as such by its after sales department. The guarantee does not cover normal wear and tear or damage caused by accident or lack of proper care. The guarantee becomes null and void in the event of repairs carried out by persons not affiliated to VMF’s after sales department.

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier is equipped with modern workshops and qualified personnel to repair service and restore movements and external parts. We thus ensure the high level of service that our clients deserve. Technical information is kept up to date and supplies of spare parts are always available (in compliance with the guarantee). Furthermore, the qualified team benefits from regular training so as to maintain and improve the level of service provided for the customers.

About Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier SA
Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier SA first opened its doors in January 2003. It marked the division of Parmigiani Mesure et Art du Temps (founded by Michel Parmigiani in 1990) into two sister companies: The Parmigiani Fleurier brand and the manufacture. This clearly separated its watch production activities from the promotional activity of the Parmigiani Fleurier brand. With headquarters in Fleurier, VMF specialises in the “High-end” and “Prestige” market segments and creates high-quality movements. Its creation also signals a commitment to pursuing the private label activity that Parmigiani Mesure et Art du Temps began some time ago. It brings together the business areas of R&D, CNC machining of main plates, bridges and certain watch components, mechanics, pre-assembly, assembly, casing, plate and bridge decoration, including hand-chamfering of all components, galvanoplasty, not to mention training in a workshop dedicated solely to apprenticeships in the watchmaking/repairing field. The new VMF site in Fleurier covers 6700 m2.

The watchmaking companies of the Sandoz Family Foundation include 50 fields of expertise:

  • atokalpa SA, in Alle, gear-wheels and oscillators,140 employees
  • Elwin SA, in Belprahon, precision turning, 20 employees
  • Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier: high-end mechanical movements and kits, 200 employees
  • Quadrance et Habillage, La Chaux-de-Fonds, traditional dials. 20 employees
  • Les Artisans Boîtiers, La Chaux-de-Fonds, high-end watch cases, 40 employees

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier SEED VMF 5401 Extra-Thin Self-winding Movement

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier introduces a small masterpiece of complexity with a height of barely 2.6 mm, born of its tradition and its artisanal-industrial manufacturing process :the Seed VMF 5401self-winding, extra-thin from a height of 2.6 mm.

A development of the VMF 5301 movement, it retains the latter’s robustness and slenderness to which it adds new automatic functions enabling it to be wound and recharged as quickly as a conventional self-winding calibre. Specially optimized for the Seed VMF 5401 by the company atokalpa, the variable-inertia balance ensures optimal isochronism. Designed to incorporate additional mechanisms, it exists in a version with calendar – the Seed VMF 5400.

The perfection of this high-end movement associates your brand with an ideal aesthetic – uncommon finishing, such as bridges chamfered the traditional way using a piercer – its beauty showcased by the presence of your maker’s mark on its micro-rotor. The minimum order is for 25 movements at a unit price of 1,490 CHF.

Features
Fitting-diameter 30 mm (131⁄4’’’)
Height 2.6 mm or 3 mm(with calendar)
Frequency 3 Hz (21,600 Bph)
Power reserve 42 hours
Chronometry Variable-inertia balance with inertia-blocks

Indications and functions
Hours, minutes, small-seconds at 6 o’clock, date in an aperture at 3 o’clock or 6 o’clock

Finishing
Circular-graining on top and bottom side of main plate, fine circular-graining under the balance, rhodium-plated
Bridges with Geneva Waves, rhodium-plated
Colour-contrast engraving
Diamond machined chamfers and bevels
Ceramic ball bearing
Circular-graining on gear-wheels (top and bottom)
Flat polished screws
Chamfered bridges (traditional method)

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier Seed VMF 3024 Flying Tourbillon Automatic Movement

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier unveils the latest product born of its tradition and its artisanal-industrial manufacturing process: the Seed VMF 3024 with a self-winding flying tourbillon, 60-seconds. With a frequency of 4 Hz, it beats 28,800 times per hour in a titanium cage. Accurate and lightweight, it also stands out by its slenderness – a height of just 4 mm.

Tourbillon, twin barrels in series and a variable inertia balance underpin this calibre’s isochronism. The perfection of this high-end movement associates your brand with an ideal aesthetic – uncommon finishing, such as bridges chamfered the traditional way using a piercer – its beauty showcased by the complete personalization of the gold oscillating weight. The minimum order is for 10 movements at a unit price of 8,000 CHF.

Features
Calibre: Seed VMF3024 Self-winding Flying tourbillon 12 ¼’’
Fitting-diameter 28 mm (12 1 ⁄4 ’’’)
Height 3.95 mm
Frequency 4 Hz (28,800 Bph)
Power reserve: 45 hours
Chronometry: Variable-inertia balance with inertia-blocks

Indications and functions
Hours, minutes, flying tourbillion, 60-seconds at 6 o’clock

Finishing
Circular-graining on top and bottom side of main plate, rhodium-plated
Circular-graining on gear-wheels (top and bottom)
Bridges with Geneva Waves, rhodium-plated, colour contrast engraving
Ceramic ball bearing
Flat polished screws
Chamfered bridges (traditional method)

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier – Seed VMF 5401-13 1 ⁄4’’’ and Seed VMF 5401/50-131 ⁄4’’’

Seed VMF 5401-13 1 ⁄4’’’: With a depth starting at 2.6 mm, the Seed 5401 calibre fully merits its designation as an extra-thin movement. It has been designed to combine finesse and robustness. Available in quantities from 25 to 250 per year, it offers a high level of finishing. Personalisable thanks to its micro oscillating weight, it is designed to accommodate additional mechanisms. It exists in a version with a calendar, the Seed VMF 5400. Minimum order quantity: 25 movements at CHF 1’490.- apiece.

Features
Fitting-diameter 30 mm (13 1⁄4’’’)
Depth 2.6 mm or 3 mm (with calendar)
Frequency 3 Hz (21,600 Bph)
Power reserve 42 hours
Chronometry Variable-inertia balance

Indications and functions
Hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds at 6 o’clock, calendar aperture at 3 o’clock

Finishing
Circular-graining on top and bottom side of main plate, fine circular-graining under the balance wheel, rhodium-plated
Bridges with Geneva Waves, rhodium-plated, colour contrast engraving
Diamond machined chamfers and bevels
Ceramic ball bearing
Burnished pivots (cylinder and shoulder)
Circular-graining on gear-wheels (top and bottom)
Flat polished screws

Seed VMF 5401/50-131 ⁄4’’’: An offshoot of the Seed VMF 5401 calibre, this automatic movement with micro rotor comes with an additional mechanism in the form of a perpetual calendar.  Available in quantities from 25 to 250 per year, it can be personalised by its micro weight and offers a high level of finishing. Extra-thin movement with perpetual calendar. Minimum order quantity 25 movements from CHF 4’300.- a piece.

Features
Fitting-diameter 30 mm (131⁄4’’’)
Depth 4.2 mm
Frequency 3 Hz (21,600 Bph)
Power reserve 42 hours (coupled)
Chronometry Variable-inertia balance

Indications and functions
Hours, minutes, seconds, date hand at 9 o’clock, 12-month hand at 12 o’clock
Moon in aperture at 6o’clock
Leap year indicator at 12 o’clock

Finishing
Circular-graining on top and bottom side of main plate, fine circular-graining under the balance wheel, rhodium-plated
Bridges with Geneva Waves, rhodium-plated, colour contrast engraving
Diamond machined chamfers and bevels
Ceramic ball bearing
Burnished pivots (cylinder and shoulder)
Circular-graining on gear-wheels (top and bottom)
Flat polished screws

Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier Automatic Chronograph Seed VMF 3022/12

A variation of the Seed VMF 3022 calibre, this automatic movement comes with an additional mechanism in the form of an extra-thin chronograph. Available in quantities of 25. Designed to allow wide scope for personalisation thanks to its oscillating weight, it guarantees optimal timekeeping and offers a high level of finishing. This movement has been especially developped to be compatible with all additional mechanisms. Minimum order quantity: 25 movements from CHF 1’630.- apiece.

Features
Fitting-diameter 28 mm (121⁄2’’’)
Depth 6.07 mm
Frequency 4 Hz (28,800 Bph)
Power reserve 42 hours [coupled]
Chronometry Variable-inertia balance from 2014
Twin barrels

Indications and functions
Hours, minutes, seconds at 3 o’clock, Center seconds,30 minute counter at 9 o’clock, 12 hour counter at 6 o’clock, semi-instantaneous simple calendar at 4:30

Finishing
Circular-graining on top and bottom side of main plate, rhodium-plated
Bridges with Geneva Waves, rhodium-plated, colour contrast engraving
Diamond machined chamfers and bevels
Ceramic ball bearing
Burnished pivots (cylinder and shoulder)
Circular-graining on gear-wheels (top and bottom)
Flat polished screws

Variations of SEED VMF 3022
SEED VMF 3022/10 (Automatic chronograph, Simple calendar, Fly-back option available)
H, M, S3H. Center seconds, 30-minute at 9 o’clock, 12h at 6 o’clock
Calendar aperture at 4:30
Diameter: 30.0 mm (13 1⁄4’’’); total depth: 7.0 mm
SEED VMF 3022/11 (Automatic chronograph, Large date)
H, M, S3H. Center seconds, 30-minute at 9 o’clock, 12h at 6 o’clock
Large date aperture at 12 o’clock
Diameter: 30.0 mm (13 1 ⁄4’’’); Total depth: 7.41 mm

SEED VMF 3022/12 (Automatic extra-thin chronograph)
H, M, S3H. Center seconds, 30-minute at 9 o’clock, 12h at 6 o’clock
Large date aperture at 12 o’clock
Calendar aperture at 4:30
Diameter:28.0 mm (12 1 ⁄2’’’); Total depth: 6.07 mmSEED VMF 3022/20 (Calendar)
H, M, S3H.
Calendar hand at 9 o’clock
Diameter: 30.0 mm (131 ⁄4’’’); Total depth: 5.3 mm

SEED VMF 3022/21 (Calendar)
H, M, S9H. Calendar hand at 3 o’clock
Diameter: 30.0 mm (131 ⁄4’’’); Total depth: 5.3 mm

SEED VMF 3022/30 (Calendar & Small Moon)
H, M, S. 6 o’clock, moon aperture at 10:20.
Diameter: 26.2 mm (11 1 ⁄2’’’) total depth: 5.3 mm

SEED VMF 3022/31 (Calendar & Large Moon)
H, M, S. Calendar hand at 6 o’clock
7-day aperture at 11 o’clock
12-month aperture at 1 o’clock
Moon aperture at 6 o’clock
Diameter: 26.2 mm (11 1 ⁄2’’’); Total depth: 5.3 mm

SEED VMF 3022/32 (Calendar with central hand & Large Moon)
H, M, S. Central calendar hand
Large moon aperture at 6 o’clock
Diameter: 26.2 mm (11 1 ⁄2’’’); Total depth:5.3 mm

SEED VMF 3022/60 (GMT)
H, M, S. Indexable 12h hand (local time) in jumps of +/- 1 h
24-hour hand (home time)
Calendar hand (local date) in centre, in phase with 12h hand
Diameter:26.2 mm (11 1 m⁄2’’’); Total depth:4.95 mm