An independent watchmaker in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland is changing things up by developing the first open source watch movement and will provide the technical drawings for free. This projects plans to encourage creative thinking among watchmakers, students, and the like; ‘”Depending on their level of competency, people will be able to order components or make them themselves,” says Winiger […] “We’ll be like a grocery store. In return we expect users to share any changes or improvements they make.”‘
Swiss watchmakers have a long standing tradition of being secretive with their movements and how they’re made. The way the industry works is that unless you have the large investment to develop your own movement from scratch, you have to purchase finished movements from ETA, Sellita, or Soprod. This makes it difficult to modify movements to your watch design when you don’t have the technical drawings corresponding to the movements you use. Winiger, the watchmaker fronting the open movement (Calibre OM10), started back in 2015 and is close to the prototyping phase; with the potential to be green lighted in a year. He wants to be able to offer kits that contain movement blanks and parts assortments so that the buyers can build the movements to their needs. This change up to supply give small, independent watchmakers and students a resource they haven’t had before and break away from the grip of ETA and Sellita.