The magic of watchmaking reveals itself in the smallest of details. Even the most basic mechanical movement from IWC Schaffhausen consists of almost 200 parts, all of which have to fit into a tiny space. If you add complications like a chronograph, a perpetual calendar, or a Tourbillon (French for whirlwind, a device which ensures the accuracy of mechanical watch movements), the number of components such as wheels, levers, springs and cams rises quickly. Until now, the inner workings of a mechanical movement or Haute Horlogerie complication was kept secret from most watch lovers; a view reserved for trained watchmakers, who sit at their benches for hours in complete silence while peering through their magnifying glasses.
Enter the Cyberloupe, the first-ever digitalised watchmaker’s magnifying glass. Based on a traditional watchmaker’s loupe, this innovative new digital tool features a high-resolution camera and a network connection. It allows the image as seen by the watchmaker to be captured and then live-streamed to any device anywhere, or recorded and saved for future viewing. Developed by a team led by IWC’s Head of Operations, Antonio Palmisano, it premiered at Watches & Wonders 2020 Shanghai.
One application for this groundbreaking technology is the training of young watchmakers. A watchmaker can now share his view in real-time with students in the classroom or at home. The Cyberloupe has also been successfully used to deliver training sessions to watchmakers in IWC’s service platforms in Hong Kong, for example. Upcoming versions of the innovative device will also integrate Augmented Reality. Thanks to this technology, it will be possible to retrieve information from various IT systems and display the right information at the right time directly to a watchmaker working on assembling a movement or complication, or servicing a watch. The possible applications for the Cyberloupe in the design, manufacture and servicing of mechanical watches are virtually unlimited.
Of course, IWC also uses the Cyberloupe to share its passion for engineering and innovation and to bring the world of fine watchmaking closer to enthusiasts all around the world. The Cyberloupe live stream on LinkedIn Live was just the first in a series of virtual events that allow viewers to experience the workings of movements and complications in a way never seen before. In the first sessions, host Elisabeth Gründer interviewed former IWC watchmaker Kurt Klaus, inventor of the legendary perpetual calendar, and Antonio Palmisano, inventor of the Cyberloupe. Viewers were able to witness the assembly of a perpetual calendar seen through the eyes of IWC watchmaker Thomas Zimmermann while he was wearing the Cyberloupe.
Upcoming Cyberloupe live events will be broadcast via LinkedIn Live and will focus on other exciting topics from the world of IWC watches.