Those who innovate

Instant-Lab (EPFL): Breaking the second barrier


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October 2020

Instant-Lab (EPFL): Breaking the second barrier

It is sometimes said that, as far as mechanical watch movements are concerned, everything, or nearly everything, has already been achieved. So is mechanical horology set in stone? Nothing could be farther from the truth. Mechanical watchmaking still has plenty of surprises in store for us, as demonstrated by Dr Ilan Vardi, senior scientist at the EPFL Patek Philippe Chair in Micromechanical and Horological Design, known more simply as: “Instant-Lab.”


nstant-Lab: an apt name for this laboratory of some twenty people which, under the supervision of Professor Simon Henein, specialises in the creation of new mechanisms with kinetic and technological innovations at the centimetre scale. The approach they apply is strictly scientific and is inspired by mechanical design in fields including horology, medical instruments and robotics.

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