Following the deliberations of the 2021 Exhibitors’ Grand Prix Jury, which analysed the numerous innovations proposed, a list of 5 nominees was selected. These 5 innovations have been sent to all exhibitors who will vote according to their preference. The winner will be announced on 14 September during the EPHJ Show’s grand evening for exhibitors.
The jury of the Exhibitors’ Grand Prize, composed of Mr. Eric Rosset, Professor HES-SO, Pierre Amstutz, Director of the Geneva Watchmaking School, André Colard, founder of EPHJ, Olivier Saenger, founder of EPHJ and Alexandre Catton, Director of the EPHJ Show, has selected the following 5 innovations:
STS offers the watchmaking and jewellery industry a true innovative alternative to rhodium, the world’s most expensive metal
STS spent one year developing and testing two alternatives to rhodium in the laboratory. Of these two alternatives, platinum is the most efficient. Using platinum, it is possible to produce large quantities of a coating with the same technical specifications and colour as rhodium. This chemical and technological innovation offsets the global surge in the price of rhodium, which is now costs than CHF 800/g!
Panatere’s innovation involves producing solar steel using a solar furnace located near watchmaking production sites.
To comply with environmental requirements, Panatere has developed a sustainable innovation to produce 100% recycled and recyclable 4441 grade (AISI 316L) stainless steel that combines local distribution with the circular economy thanks to its solar furnace. The initial results reveal a significantly smaller carbon footprint during the production of secondary steel, i.e. 165 less than a standard steel.
Amorphous metal alloys boast extraordinary properties that are now coming to light thanks to the Vulkalloys range.
The amorphous metals in the Vulkalloys range, designed and patented by Vulkam, are ideal for micro-mechanisms and offer unique properties: exceptional elasticity and hardness, non-magnetism, resistance to corrosion, wear and scratches, biocompatibility and lightness. These Ni-based Vulkalloys are produced on an innovative production line using a unique three-step process: production of the raw material (amorphous metal slugs), thermomoulded preforms and finishing by laser cutting, electro-erosion or bar turning.
Reebber, a truly innovative recycled rubber developed by Mestel
While developing and approving a process for devulcanising and grinding rubber, Mestel created Reebber, a new recycled rubber that has the original characteristics of rubber while offering infinite customisation (in terms of both colours and patterns), resistance to torsion and tearing, adhesion to substrates and good chemical resistance.
Positive Coating leverages innovations to coat watch components in colour gradients
Thanks to its expertise in PVD and ALD treatments, Positive Coating’s innovation leverages technology enabling colour gradients – such as a rainbow, two-tone or an explosion of colours – so that it can be applied to the complex geometry of watch components. This innovative technology is already being used by some brands.