Swatch Group. has filed a patent for a method to manufacture a silicon timepiece component with a functional external profile. The process involves steps like procuring an SOI wafer, growing a silicon oxide layer, etching the wafer to form the component, and releasing it via wet etching. GlobalData’s report on Swatch Group gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Swatch Group, HEV energy management was a key innovation area identified from patents. Swatch Group's grant share as of January 2024 was 54%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Manufacturing silicon timepiece components with functional external profile

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: The Swatch Group Ltd

The patent application (Publication Number: US20240036524A1) describes a method for manufacturing a silicon timepiece component. The process involves procuring an SOI wafer with specific layers, growing a silicon oxide layer, etching the layers to form the timepiece component, internal anchor element, and bridge of material, and releasing the component through wet etching. The method ensures all faces of the component are accessible, with the rear anchor connected to the narrow bridge and handle layer.

Additionally, the method includes steps for forming an integrated shadow mask for decoration, wafer-finishing for layer deposition and decoration, and can be used to create various timepiece components like wheels, cams, hands, levers, snails, indexes, or appliques. The patent also covers the timepiece component obtained through this manufacturing process, highlighting the innovative approach to creating intricate and functional silicon components for timepieces.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.