The venn diagram of people interested in watchmaking and people who think 3-D printing is cool is probably not that far off from a perfect circle. Nerds are nerds, right? Way back in 2014 we showed you a 3D-printed tourbillon, the Tourbillon 1,000%, created by our very own Nicholas Manousos. It required a bit of human power to operated, but was, as far as we know, the first experiment of its kind. Later, the Christophe Laimer Tourbillon took things another step, acting as a fully operational 3D-printed tourbillon clock. Now, via a story from Popular Mechanics, we’ve found yet another experiment in 3D-printed timekeeping: a triple-axis tourbillon inspired by one of contemporary horology’s greats.
The so-called Hawk Eye is modeled on the Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon, an extremely modern take on one of the more classic complications. The model uses more than 70 components – all 3-D printed – to reinterpret the complex regulating organ, with its nested carriages and peripheral mounting. It also tracks how long it’s been in motion in a way similar to how the Deep Space keeps time, with a hand around the outer edge. The entire thing is electrically powered, so there is no mainspring or full gear train – the focus here is all on the tourbillon itself.
You can see the Hawk Eye in action and get a brief explanation of how it works in this video:
In addition to being just plain cool, this device is a really great way to see a complicated mechanism on a scale that makes it a little easier to understand. The Hawk Eye is also open source, so if you have some 3-D printing experience you can get the plans and build one yourself via Thingiverse.
If you want to undertake the project yourself, please drop us a note on social media or in the comments below. We’d love to see your progress and to share it too.