Watch Industry

A watch industry stalwart for over seven decades, Blösch AG's core business centers on developing and depositing decorative and functional coatings. We specialize in combining a range of technologies, such as PVD, PECVD and galvanics, to coat exterior watch components and movement components.

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Job Coating Services
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Components
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Customized solutions

Optical coatings

Blösch AG has been setting standards for years in the development and production of optical coatings for the watch industry. For example, we were the first company to introduce scratch-resistant antireflection coatings to the market, thus enabling the double-sided antireflection coating of watch glasses.

Today we have a wide range of products and would be pleased to support you in selecting the optimum coating solution for your needs.

Metallization

Blösch AG benefits from several PVD coating technologies allowing the deposition of metallic coatings of different colors and degrees of transparency.

Our possibilities for the interior of the crystal:

  • Opaque decorative PVD metallizations
  • Semitransparent PVD coatings

Our possibilities for the exterior of the crystal:

  • Exposed decorative PVD coatings

Hard coatings

Blösch AG benefits from several DLC and PVD coating technologies allowing the deposition of hard coatings.

Watch components

In addition to job coating services, Blösch AG also offers refined watch components as a product. We distinguish between two product categories:

Watch components from our own production:

We offer dials and turntables from our own production. We mainly manufacture components using electroforming and turntables made of sapphire and mineral glass wafers. Both technologies have a unique selling point on the market and enable you to realize exceptional designs in the mid to high-end segment.

Watch components manufactured by partners:

For sapphire watch glasses, we offer additional services such as purchasing, quality control, storage and logistics. With our competitive supplier network in Switzerland and abroad, we have the ability to implement substrate management tailored to your needs, so that you can concentrate fully on your products and not on logistics.

Tools

In addition to the watch components, we also offer tools for the watch industry. We have decades of experience with pad printing and produce our own printing plates. We have gained this competence with the integration of the company SEDECAL and have further developed it at Blösch since then.

A design to be realized?

At the latest after the mechanical watch has evolved from a timepiece to a piece of jewelry, the focus is on design. Design means form and color, both disciplines in which Blösch AG has many years of expertise. Through electroforming, for example, we realize 3D surfaces in the highest resolution for dials and moon discs. With PVD coating we bring color to the case, sapphire glasses, dials and discs - be it an elegant discreet grey, a deep black or a chameleon-like color effect.

Our know-how in electroforming and structured PVD coating is unique in Switzerland. We offer our competence for the medium to high-end segment, from development to series production. Contact us and let yourself be inspired by the multitude of technical possibilities for your future designs.

Your project

We master the production chain from the purchase of the base substrate to the final product delivery.

Combining components and coatings = your solution

By combining our diverse skills and broad knowledge we are able to provide complete solutions to our customer’s needs.

Our expertise:

  • Substrate purchase
  • Manufacturing of electroformed components
  • Conventional and laser machining
  • Metallizations
  • Anti-reflective coatings
  • Aesthetic pad printing
  • Assembly

Do you have a project in mind? Let's discuss!

Anti-reflective coatings

The main downside of using sapphire as watch crystal is its very high refractive index (1.77) which results in a significant reflection of the incident light of 15% or higher (approx. 7.5% per side).

Anti-reflective coatings considerably reduce this reflection, which improves and sharpens the visibility of the dial or other movement components. These coatings can be deposited on both sapphire and mineral crystals and can also be structured.

For the watch industry, Blösch AG offers three types of anti-reflective coatings:

NCC®

  • Applicable on one and two sides or in combination with a more resistant anti-reflective coating
  • On request, the NCC layer can be supplied with residual tints of choice (bluish, greenish, reddish)

SPECTAR®

  • For the exterior of the watch
  • Applicable on one side or in combination with our NCC anti-reflective coating
  • On request, the SPECTAR layer can be supplied with residual tints of choice (bluish, greenish, reddish)

SINI®

  • For the exterior of the watch
  • Applicable on one side or in combination with our NCC anti-reflective coating

All our anti-reflective coatings are compatible with other applications such as metallization, pad printing and - under certain conditions - with brazing or bonding.

Functional coatings

Blösch AG offers multiple functional coatings for all your sapphire parts (crystals, dials, various indicators, …).

Our functional coatings offer additional protective or aesthetic features for your products.

Antistatic coating

Sapphire or mineral crystals have insulating properties. The crystal surface may thus become electrically charged. This electrostatic charge may influence the moving parts inside the watch and may, for example, disturb the balance spring oscillation.

An antistatic coating prevents electrostatic charging and is applied to the interior of the glass. It may be combined with an anti-reflective coating.

Anti-UV coating

Ultraviolet radiation is not completely absorbed by sapphire watch crystals. UV-sensitive components, such as e.g. certain materials of the dial, are thus at risk of faster aging.

An anti-UV coating blocks ultraviolet radiation and thus protects the exposed components. It is already combined with an anti-reflective coating and is applied to the interior of the glass.

ECLIPSE® watermark

Using a watermark coating adds an extra dimension to a watch crystal. It can be used either as copy protection or to provide a discreet and visually subtle decorative effect.

The ECLIPSE® watermark by Blösch AG is a nano-dimensional coating that is revealed by simple condensation, for example, when breathing onto the surface. The choice of designs is very wide and limited only by your creativity. ECLIPSE® is completely invisible and wear-resistant.

Easy-to-Clean treatment (E2C)

The Easy-to-Clean treatment is a hydrophobic and oleophobic coating that limits the adhesion of water and lipids to the treated surface, reducing its soiling and facilitating its cleaning.

This treatment simplifies sales constraints, such as removing stains, fingerprints or other traces of any kind.

The coating is only a few nanometers thick and is compatible with our SPECTAR anti-reflective coating.

Semitransparent coatings

Dials or other transparent components are increasingly used to show novelties or other creations inside the movement. Semitransparent coatings allow designers to play with transparency and in doing so influence the visibility of the movement.

We use several procedures to produce semitransparent coatings:

  • Standard
  • Colored filter
  • Pixelization

Smoky gray

This type of coating creates a semitransparent smoky gray effect. Its degree of transparency can be controlled via the layer thickness and its transmittance can be defined (in steps of 5%).

Colored filter

Using various materials and different degrees of oxidation a limited range of colored shades can be obtained. Thereby the transmittance is defined by the used materials.

All our translucent coatings can also be structured (e.g. semitransparent logos are possible). The possibility to combine these coatings with other processes such as anti-reflective coatings or pad printing must be discussed on a case-by-case basis.

Color PVD coatings

In contrast to coatings applied by electroplating, the PVD coating technology has decisive advantages:

  • Non-conductive materials such as ceramics, sapphire and mineral glass can be coated
  • High-precision structuring of the coating by means of photolithography is possible
  • Wider color spectrum and greater flexibility with bi-color coatings

Blösch AG's infrastructure allows to produce and apply full-surface and structured color PVD coatings, based on precious metals (including gold 5N) and metal oxides, where colors such as grey, blue, brown, violet and green can be applied.

Uniform or structured

Optionally, decorative coatings can be structured. A wide variety of colors and combinations thereof, in conjunction with different structuring technologies allow us to implement your inventive designs. The coating type can be adapted to allow for subsequent bonding or brazing. Of course, all these coatings are compatible with anti-reflective coatings and pad printing.

The possibility to deposit colored coatings directly (from above) exists as well. Metallic substrates (e.g. dials) can thus be colored without erasing the texture of the dial.

Hard decorative coatings

Blaktop®, Anthratop®, Steeltop®

For the watch industry, a combined PVD and PE-CVD (Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition) process is used to deposit hard coatings in the following colors:

  • Blaktop (black)
  • Anthratop (anthracite)
  • Steeltop (metallic gray, chrome color)

These layers can be deposited on most metals, as well as on sapphire or specific ceramics.

DLC-type coatings stand out for their exceptional hardness and are therefore especially suited for exposed watch components (case, strap, etc.).

Dials

Various types of dials can be realized thanks to our wide range of technologies.

Electroformed

Manufacturing of components by electroforming

Creative project ideas often collide with the harsh reality of technical feasibility or financial limitations. Our manufacturing process using electroforming is distinguished from traditional manufacturing by the fabrication of a master tool from which copies are reproduced with nanometric precision.

Freed from thickness constraints, the master tool can be composed of an assembly of parts with various surface finishes such that complex and time-consuming machining operations (laser, electroerosion, etc.) need to be carried out only once.

This technology allows to control:

  • The final thickness of the part (monobloc part)
  • Multi-textured and intertwined surfaces
  • Repeatability

This technology eliminates time-consuming and tedious machining processes in serial production.

We either provide blank dials to be finished by your usual dial manufacturer or offer to finish the dials according to your requirements.

Sapphire / mineral glass

Fabrication of transparent dials and components:

We offer the following treatments:

  • Decorative PVD metallizations
  • Semitransparent PVD metallizations
  • Anti-reflective coatings
  • Pad printing, SLN à Link to pad printing
  • Laser structuring

Novelty: Blösch AG can take care of purchasing the substrate.

  • Material: sapphire or mineral
  • Origin: Switzerland, Europe, Outside Europe, Asia

Watch movement parts

Diverse watch movement components can be fabricated thanks to our technologies.

Electroformed

Electroformed moon phases with structured metallization

Sapphire/mineral glass

  • Sapphire or mineral glass moon phases with structured metallization (à link structuring)

Dials or other components fabricated using these brittle materials can be very thin. It is thus of interest to avoid a piecewise manipulation of such substrates.

In order to enable this, we have developed a wafer technology for sapphire or mineral glass.

 

Description:

Fabrication of several pieces on the same substrate (wafer) with separation at the end of the procedure.

Within the scope of this wafer technology, we apply PVD metallizations (decorative and/or semitransparent), anti-reflective coatings, decorative varnish or laser treatments to one or both sides of the wafer.

Watch crystals

Blösch AG can take care of purchasing the substrate.

  • Material: sapphire
  • Origin: Switzerland, Europe, Outside Europe, Asia

Sapphire

We take care of watch crystals from A to Z.

We offer the following treatments:

  • Decorative PVD metallizations
  • Semitransparent PVD metallizations
  • Anti-reflective coatings
  • Pad printing, SLN
  • Bonding, brazing

Printing plates

Beautiful pad prints are only possible with high quality printing plates.

Steel and ceramic

We offer prime steel and ceramic printing plates according to these two key elements:

  • File-preparation based on our practical experience with pad printing
  • Precise engraving thanks to a state-of-the-art laser

The use of a laser machining process allows to guarantee a uniform engraving depth and to engrave the same design at multiple depths.

In addition, we also offer to develop and supply four-color printing plates                                                                                                

Are you trying to restore an old dial but do not have a digital technical drawing at hand? We can propose a complete solution even when electronic files are missing.

Steel or ceramic?

Steel printing plates show their limitations in certain applications, especially when printing white varnish and photoluminescent material (SLN). For these cases, laser-engraved ceramic printing plates with their high mechanical and chemical resistance offer a solution. In addition, ceramic printing plates also offer an extended lifespan and are thus useful for large production volumes.

Structuring of coatings

Using the various PVD coating technologies of Blösch AG a wide range of decorative coatings can be deposited. Thereby, colored coatings can be deposited directly (on the top) or indirectly (on the bottom). Individual structuring of these coatings is possible, and, in addition, these coatings are compatible with anti-reflective coatings, aesthetic pad printing, bonding or brazing.

Our customers can benefit from our extended know-how in combining the different coating technologies to create dials or components with a complex design.

Structuring processes

Our layers can be structured as follows:

  • Chemically using masking with pad-printing
  • Chemically using masking by photolithography (possibility for pixelization)
  • By laser (possibility for pixelization)

For some applications it is possible to realize structured metallization using metal masks (lower edge quality).

Laser

Laser machining offers a variety of new manufacturing possibilities.

Laser cutting

Our laser cutting processes offer the following advantages:

  • Possibility to cut hard and brittle materials (e.g. sapphire) of thicknesses between 0.1 and 1 mm
  • Manufacturing of complex and/or small geometries
  • Control of the clearance angle
  • High cutting accuracy

Laser engraving

At Blösch, we master three different laser engraving processes:

  • Laser matting:

Laser matting is a surface engraving technique with an almost imperceptible engraving depth that can be used on translucent materials such as sapphire or mineral glass.

This procedure is compatible with decorative PVD metallizations (before or after engraving), anti-reflective coatings and their combinations offering almost unlimited design possibilities.

In combination with our coatings laser matting offers genuine added value for your designs. Stunning aesthetic effects can be obtained by metallizing a previously laser-matted substrate: the matt metallization is born!

  • Deep engraving and 3D engraving:

Deep engraving allows to remove material in depth to create a 3D effect. Among the materials processibl using this technique are sapphire, mineral glass, brass, gold and ceramics.

  • Decoration by ablation:

Selective surface ablation removes defined areas of a previously deposited coating.

That way, various ornaments and decorations can selectively be removed from a previously metallized sapphire crystal without damaging the substrate.

This procedure offers many advantages: No design limits, noncontact machining, no masking constraints.

The only limit is your own imagination!

Decorations by pad printing

When it comes to customizing your dial or other components, pad printing offers a wide choice of designs and colors. The varnish can be applied on the bottom and/or top side.

Standard pad printing

The pad printing process offers the following advantages:

  • Simple technology for the customization of watch components
  • Wide range of available colors
  • Compatible with metallizations, anti-reflective coatings and bonding processes
  • Combinable with Superluminova

Four-color printing

Four-color printing is a lacquer printing process using subtractive synthesis of the three elementary colors blue (cyan), red (magenta) and yellow as well as black and thus allows to create wide-ranging color shades.

Perfectly reproducing an image requires isolating each elementary color from the image in order to fabricate one printing plate per color.

The advantages of four-color printing:

  • Perfect reproduction of an image
  • Possibility to create blurred edges

Assemblies

The two main assembly types provided by Blösch AG are brazing and bonding.

Bonding procedures can be performed using "traditional" or UV adhesives depending on substrate transparency and visibility of the bonding area.

As for brazing, depending on the application either hard or soft soldering (at high or low temperature, respectively) can be used.

Bonding

  • UV BONDING

UV bonding is used when at least one of the two elements to assemble is transparent in order to ensure the exposure of the glue to UV radiation. The bonding area is also transparent rendering the assembly practically invisible. This procedure is compatible with our anti-reflective coatings.

  • “TRADITIONAL” BONDING

"Traditional" bonding allows various materials to be assembled. In order to cover the bonding area a structured metallization is usually added.

This process is compatible with anti-reflective coatings as well as PVD metallizations.