The micro-rotor is a particularly elegant component in the movement of a mechanical wristwatch. The small rotor allows the wearer of the watch to take a look at the movement, thanks to the small amount of space it utilises within the watch case. Here, we delve into the history and the functionality of the innovative micro-rotor, as well as list some renowned brands that are known to incorporate this mechanism today.
The micro-rotor is characterised by an oscillating weight construction. The manufacturing of an extremely thin movement is made possible thanks to the small size of the micro-rotor. In addition, it allows the wearer of a watch to have a deeper insight into the inner workings of the movement, which can be an important factor for watch enthusiasts and collectors today.
The first patent of the micro-rotor – named “Microtor” – took place in 1955 by Universal Genève. Back then, there was a race to the finish line among watchmaking brands to be the first to introduce the thinnest calibre on the market. The invention of the micro-rotor was a critical step towards thinner movements, due to its small size. Evidently, a thinner calibre resulted in a thinner case size.
Contrary to a micro-rotor, the oscillating weight of a central rotor is in the core of the movement and, therefore, utilises the entire size of the case.
It is rare to find micro-rotors incorporated into fine timepieces today. However, the integration of small oscillating weights into the movements of a watch is more common for very exclusive brands. The renowned watchmaker Piaget has a particular focus on thin cases and thus, the inclusion of a micro-rotor into their movements is one of the company’s signatures. Patek Philippe has also decided to use the decentralised rotor in its 240 calibre series.
In addition, small and exclusive brands, like Roger Dubuis, Laurent Ferrier and Armin Strom, are known to incorporate micro-rotors into their watches.
An increasing number of watch collectors name the aesthetics of a watch movement as motive for their growing collections. The intricate view of the complex movement is made possible thanks to this innovative mechanism, and it thus comes as no surprise that these collectors find beauty in decentralised micro-rotors and the overall aesthetics of the fine timepieces that incorporate them.
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