“Contemporary Good Design”
Interviews with winning companies/designers
Liyue Lai, AGELOCER Product Designer
He graduated from Shanghai Tongji University. He has participated in the design of China’s urban rail transit vehicle bogie, the in-depth design of Shanghai urban rail transit signage system, and the development and design of the movement of China’s tourbillon manufacturing base. He is good at complex mechanical design. In industrial design, mechanical design, graphic design and other design fields, he has won more than 10 design awards at home and abroad, including German National Design Award, Italian A Design Award, Berlin Design Award, London Design Award, Chicago Design Award, etc. A number of design items be sold over 100 million.
1. Please share the design inspiration and design process of the tourbillon series 9001A1.
This Agelocer flying tourbillon watch, we hope it can break through the stereotype of the traditional tourbillon at the beginning of the design, it is modern and the ultimate mechanical aesthetics. Many elements were referenced in the design process, and finally the concept of “City in the Sky” was selected. Taking the building suspended in the sky as the overall design inspiration, a mechanical city suspended between the wrists was constructed with mechanical bones and sapphire glass. The interweaving of steel and light and shadow of the watch creates a more three-dimensional spatial dimension, making the watch more purely mechanical as a whole. The extremely transparent sapphire glass mirror allows the mechanical structure to be seen at a glance. The intermeshing gears, the criss-crossing hollow bridges and the flying tourbillon form an orderly city in the sky.
2. What are you proud of about the 9001A1 in terms of functionality and aesthetics?
l l Double-spring linkage technology to achieve 80 hours of ultra-long power reserve
Long-power watches are a symbol of the research and development strength of major brands. The movement with an 80-hour power reserve has occupied most of Agelocer’s series, and the CAL.A9001 model flying tourbillon movement is one of the representatives. The 9001A1 flying tourbillon movement adopts the dual-spring linkage technology, which not only improves the endurance, but also reduces the curvature of the torque attenuation during the release of the kinetic energy of the spring, so that the energy of the watch spring is released more slowly and evenly, ensuring the accuracy and stability of the watch’s running time.
Double spring linkage design
l A suspended tourbillon that breaks the traditional stereotype
Agelcoer innovatively adopts a suspended flying bearing structure. The flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock removes the top bridge and hides the supporting ruby bearing under the bottom of the rotating cage, so that the rotating cage is fully exposed. It seems that there is no connection with the movement gear, as if it is suspended in the air and rotates. On the dial, the outer frame of the tourbillon, the balance wheel and the escapement are like spirits, dancing vividly in the air, injecting vitality into the watch. And the subtle vibration of the hairspring is close at hand, against the backdrop of the metal parts, it is a sense of balance between static and dynamic.
3. In order to achieve breakthroughs in functional design and aesthetic design, what is the biggest challenge you have encountered? How to overcome it?
The hollowing process is a process expression that takes into account both aesthetics and functions. How to remove the excess metal parts, beautifully display the beauty of the movement from the inside to the outside, and achieve a balance between the beauty of the carving and ensuring the functioning of the function. It requires the watchmaker to be proficient in the watchmaking process, and to invest a lot of detailed analysis, calculation and consideration in the early stage.
Different from other hollow watches with irregular hollow structure lines, small hollow area, and still large metal decks, Agelocer adopts the ultimate hollow process with a more design sense. Under the premise of not affecting the performance of the watch, the calculation and modification are repeated, and the excess metal parts on the movement splint except the skeleton are completely removed, leaving the simplest fortitude skeleton. Breaking the complicated tradition of classical machinery, the extremely hollowed-out movement creates a light visual beauty and realizes multiple changes that are clear and transparent.
4. Compared with other tourbillon watches on the market, what are the advantages of the design and craftsmanship of the 9001A1? (please list at least 3)
(1) Double-spring long power technology: The use of double-spring linkage technology represents a new height of domestic watchmaking technology, achieving 80 hours of long power reserve, which is twice that of ordinary movements. The double-spring linkage system makes the energy release more slowly and evenly, and the gentle power output ensures the accuracy and stability of the movement.
(2) A single-layer structure movement the size of a coin: The traditional tourbillon structure of 3-4 layers is abandoned, and the pallet fork, escape wheel and balance wheel are on the same plane. Streamlined parts, concentrated in a coin-sized movement, lightweight design and state-of-the-art technology allow the movement to work optimally.
Top technology in a small space: The Agelocer tourbillon removes the top bridge of the classic tourbillon, and only supports it with jewel bearings at the bottom, and strictly controls the distance between the shaft and the bearing to within 0.001mm. Repeatedly adjusting the structural shape and material application, the center of gravity of the tourbillon structure is kept within ±0.01mm error of the rotation axis, and the influence of gravity on the movement is minimized.
5. What support does 9001A1 provide to customers in terms of repair and maintenance (you can also talk about how the brand’s after-sales service is guaranteed)?
Agelocer strictly controls the quality of watches. After each tourbillon watch is fully assembled, it must undergo five stringent quality control tests. Including high-power microscope observation, 4-way travel time detection, 50-meter waterproof vacuum inspection and water pressure detection, vibration detection and 6-day simulation detection of the chain. Every detail of the testing process is recorded in detail, and the testing time exceeds 500 hours.
6. 9001A1 won the Contemporary Good Design Award, how do you feel? How do you feel about this award?
The Contemporary Good Design Award is a design award with high gold content in China. The professional and authoritative evaluation team is very high. We are honored to be recognized by the competition! We understand that the level of “good design” is not only the product, but the system behind the entire design logic, such as cost, technology, materials, user needs, market development and so on. Good design is the result of the joint efforts of products, designs and market demands. The Contemporary Good Design Award is just a very high-quality design platform.
7. How does Agelocer define its position and mission in the Chinese mechanical watch industry?
In terms of the development process of the entire mechanical watch, the market is roughly divided into three countries producing, Switzerland, Japan, and China. When we refer to Swiss-made watches, the feeling is a luxury. When it comes to watches made in Japan, I feel that they are practical products with high cost performance. When it comes to Chinese watches, everyone has mixed feelings. The public has the impression that our industrial design and production are relatively backward. Therefore, the watch brand we want to make is not to follow the Swiss style, nor to follow the Japanese style, but to follow our own unique path. Agelocer’s design works have several key words: Chinese, young, original, and interesting. We hope to bring surprises to everyone, both in terms of design and quality.
8. The movement is the soul of a mechanical watch. What investment and persistence has Agelocer made on the road of self-developed movement? What is your design philosophy?
Agelocer invests heavily in technology research and development. From design to finished product, it is strictly controlled. The product must go through a research and development process of at least 10,000 hours. The product team runs through the entire line from design and drawing, plate making, accessories production, manual assembly, and testing. As of May 2021, the company has a total of 53 national patents.
The power reserve of the new-generation Agelocer movement has reached 80 hours, which is twice that of ordinary mechanical movements. Based on this technology, we have developed more different styles of movement models, including flying tourbillon, calendar Movements, classical skeleton movements, modern skeleton movements, and will continue to create pioneering and original movements.
From the initial conception to the whole process of watch production, Agelocer has always implemented the design concept of “Always surprised” to the end, so that consumers can truly feel the surprise. Built on professionalism and love for mechanical watches. Agelocer implements the art of balancing rationality, beauty and creativity into every watch, so that mechanical timepieces are not only tools to watch time, but also interpret the exploration of the world in different mechanical forms and express the spirit of the brave.
9. What is Agelocer’s vision and outlook for the future in mechanical watch design?
Agelocer is still a very young brand. We hope to inject a different soul into the traditional industry of mechanical watches, so that mechanical watches are not only a tool to tell time, but also an exploration of the world in different mechanical forms. The design will eventually return to the user. We will continue to optimize and iterative products and pay more attention to the needs of users. On the other hand, in terms of new product development, there will be more subversive and design-worthy works in 2022, and they are preparing to go on sale.