Oris partnered with 9T Labs for the ProPilot Altimeter’s case

Oris returns to the world’s first and only automatic mechanical watch with a mechanical altimeter, adding elevated performance and an innovative carbon-fibre composite case.

Oris partnered with 9T Labs for the ProPilot Altimeter’s case

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Giovanni Cavolina, co-founder and chief commercial officer at 9T Labs, a Swiss hightech firm based in Zurich said: “We founded the company in 2018 and now have more than 60 employees and offices in Europe and North America. 9T Lab’s focus is on what we call the “climate neutral mobility of the future”, which means introducing the new design and manufacturing standard for stronger, lighter parts at lower cost and zero waste.”

Oris again worked with 9T Labs to produce carbon fiber composite ProPilot Altimeter cases using its Red Series® Additive Fusion Technology (AFT) (2023)

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Why did Oris approach 9T Labs?
Giovanni Cavolina: “Oris wanted a watch made of lightweight, extremely strong materials, but in a new, innovative way. Watches produced using carbon fibre composite are two-a-penny, now. It’s become a bit boring, and the materials are not sustainable. 9T Labs was commissioned to use carbon fibre composites in a way never seen before: using sustainable processes and a unique design, with an artistic, natural pattern. The tree-ring effect provided an unusual challenge for this material; normally the challenges are based on where loads are applied. We collaborated with Oris’s design team to get the result. It worked out really well.”

“The carbon composite is two thirds lighter than titanium. The result is a watch with improved performance that’s also 1mm slimmer than the previous model and 70 grammes lighter.” said Richard Siegrist, Oris product development engineer.

How is the ProPilot Altimeter case made?
Giovanni Cavolina: “9T Labs developed a unique, all-in-one manufacturing solution based on “additive manufacturing and moulding”. This is different to normal 3D-printing, which is mainly for prototyping. We can industrialise manufacturing and use the technology to produce structural end-use parts at high volumes. This is a real breakthrough.”

What benefits does the material deliver?
Giovanni Cavolina: “It’s a composite of carbon fibre and a polymer called PEKK that has high mechanical, heat and chemical resistance. Together, they form a material that’s as light as plastic and that can be stronger than metals. So it’s low weight, high stiffness and high strength.”

The ProPilot Altimeter’s case is produced using a unique “additive manufacturing and moulding” process developed by 9T Labs

Unique series production solution
9T Labs’ Red Series AFT platform uses specialized software, hardware and sustainable processes to minimize waste and accelerate production compared to traditional composite manufacturing methods like prepreg lamination and wet layup.  

The AFT solution uses a high-performance thermoplastic, such as polyether ketone ketone (PEKK) or polyether ether ketone (PEEK) as the composite matrix, which is reinforced with up to 60 percent carbon, glass or basalt fiber. For the ProPilot Altimeter watch case, Oris specified a composite based on PEKK polymer, which features high mechanical performance, high density and excellent heat and chemical resistance. It is reinforced with 60 percent continuous carbon fiber. This composite delivers lightweight, high stiffness and tensile strength and consistent quality across all produced watch cases. 

“9T Labs is establishing the new composite production standard to deliver stronger, lighter parts with exceptional performance, lower costs and minimal waste,” said Giovanni Cavolina, chief commercial officer and co-founder, 9T Labs. “We are deeply gratified that Oris shares this vision and has used 9T Labs’ technology for the series production of carbon fiber composite cases for two of its prestigious watches. We look forward to continuing this successful collaboration and to demonstrating to other industries the measurable advantages of our unique, all-in-one manufacturing solution.” 

9T Labs will feature the watch case as well as both the Coulson and the ProPilot Altimeter watches as part of its exhibit at JEC World 2023 in Paris, April 25-27, hall 5, booth Q88. Visitors will be also able to watch a live demonstration of the AFT Build and Fusion modules.

More information www.9tlabs.com