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Luxury watchmaker secures ceramic manufacturing deal

Manufacturing

Lightweight ceramic components for luxury watches will be manufactured in South Australia under a new agreement.

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Australian watchmaker Bausele has strengthened its ties with Flinders University to form a Bauselite ceramics supply and manufacturing company in South Australia’s capital Adelaide.

Australian Advanced Manufacturing was launched last week and will continue to produce Bauselite componentry for luxury watches. The components will be made at Flinders University campuses in Adelaide, more than 15,000km from Switzerland where the majority of luxury watch componentry is made.

Bauselite is a very strong, very light ceramic material developed by Dr Jonathan Campbell and colleagues from the Flinders Centre for NanoScale Science & Technology.

It was used to create Bausele’s Terra Australis watch, released in 2015, which became the first watch from Australia to be accepted for showing at Baselworld, the world’s largest watch and jewellery trade fair.

“The new material and method of production solved a number of issues specific to using ceramics in watches,” Dr Campbell said.

“It’s a significant accomplishment that watch components are being produced here, signalling a major step forward and a powerful statement about Flinders’ delivery of elite engineering.”

Bausele CEO Christophe Hoppe said Australian Advanced Manufacturing aimed to expand its production of high quality watch components.

“Controlling manufacturing is really important and it can be both difficult and costly but with Australian Advanced Manufacturing I think there’s a real opportunity to make key components here in Australia,” he said.

“Having the company will give us the flexibility, the freedom and the control – I think it will just make everything work better.”

The Bausele Terra Australis watch design has been heralded as the first world-class timepiece ever made from parts designed and crafted in Australia.

A five-pronged diamond clasp to secure the watch face is topped by a distinctive black crown, made of Bauselite. This crown contains the idiosyncratic design feature of grains of red earth from Australia’s Kimberley region.

Australian actor Dominic Purcell wears a Bausele Terra Australis watch.

The watch is sold in five stores worldwide, and its prototype has enjoyed international exposure after it was worn by Australian actor Dominic Purcell’s character Lincoln Burrows in the international hit TV series Prison Break.

Hoppe now plans to create the next iteration of the Terra Australis watch, which sells for about $4400.

“It will be on a bigger scale, it will cost a little bit less and there will be a higher quantity,” Hoppe said.

“It’s something that’s very exciting to me and I am so proud to be manufacturing in Australia.”

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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