The K2 micro-rotor represents the next phase in movement development for us as a performance watchmaker. K2 leans on 12 years of modular engineering expertise that resulted in our core components tool kit which is essentially an inventory of heavily de-risked proven components that provide us with the ability to make new movements. The state-of-the-art engineering of the K2 rivals the best micro-rotor movements from top industry brands and features exceptional elements like a silicon escapement and a modular design.
Over 12 years of K1 development within HORAGE’s own Skunkworks in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland guided our watchmakers and engineers as K2 went from drawing board to living, beating prototypes.
The new micro-rotor calibre bridges the gap between low production manufacture movements and industrial scale workhorses, bringing the best of both worlds with cost-effective production merging with incredible accuracy and decoration standards. Like the K1, design and engineering are done solely at Horage's facility in Biel/Bienne Switzerland, as is final assembly starting at terminage zero. By controlling all of these aspects, we can offer a high-end Swiss Made micro-rotor with multiple complications at a price that simply cannot be touched. It’s an unprecedented accomplishment that reinforces the amazing talent and experience of our team.
Micro-rotor movements are almost always reserved for established luxury brands and produced in limited numbers.
They’re much more difficult to design and perfect than standard automatics that have larger external rotors. Introduced in the late 1950s, micro-rotors are integrated within a movement instead of sitting on top, allowing for a thinner overall package and better view of the mechanics. There are downsides, however, which again limit the scale of production and increase prices. For starters, the smaller rotor has a lower rotational inertia, making it harder to adequately wind the mainspring, but through modern engineering these challenges can be overcome.
A heavy, dense metal must be used such as tungsten or precious metals like gold or platinum. Tolerances must also be exacting for everything to perfectly synchronize and provide both a COSC level of accuracy and adequate power reserve.
We’re talking around 0.1-0.2 microns!
A human hair starts at around 17 microns. In addition, we’ve designed an ultra-efficient mainspring that’s more pliable than the norm. This has increased the movement’s winding efficiency by 55%, allowing for a 72-hour power reserve that actually surpasses most other highly industrialized single barrel Swiss automatics.
In layman terms one hour on the wrist equates to 10 hours of power reserve generation.
The K2 is a modular movement with 38 possible variants via three different configurations – 2.9mm, 3.3mm and 3.6mm. The first watch to house the K2 is called Supersede and will come with the 3.6mm configuration. This allows for four integrated complications – power reserve indicator, date, central GMT hand and day/night indicator (with a standard three-hand time setup).
The flexibility of this design means that complications can be changed without altering the movement’s dimensions. At only 3.6mm for the movement, Supersede comes in at under 10mm in height (9.85mm), which is incredibly thin for such a loaded sports watch with a water resistance of 100 metres.
Silicon Hairspring and Escapement
All HORAGE movements, K1, K2 and K-TOU (tourbillon), have and always have had a silicon escapement that’s lighter and more efficient than steel, extremely corrosion resistant, anti-magnetic and virtually frictionless. The K2 calibre brings even more to the table, adding a silicon hairspring to the escapement wheel and palette fork. This is already rare and limited to a handful of major brands, and is likely a first for a small independent watchmaker like us.
What exactly is a hairspring?
There are two principal springs in a mechanical movement, the mainspring and hairspring. The mainspring is the power source for the movement, transferring energy to the balance wheel and escapement. The two transform this raw energy into precise beats per hour as the balance wheel oscillates back and forth, and the escape wheel and pallet fork transform that into controlled impulses – the tick-tock of a watch.
The coiling/uncoiling of the flat hairspring within the balance wheel is what controls the oscillations, and it must be flawless to keep the oscillations consistent and the movement accurate. The anti-magnetic, corrosion and temperature resistance of silicon make it an optimal material for hairsprings as external interference is minimized. Durability is also important as a hairspring will oscillate over 200 million times per year and our industrialized movements are designed to last a lifetime.
As a performance movement that sits between manufacture and industrial counterparts, K2 sports impressive and unique decorations. It's finished with black gold plating and yellow gold lettering, Côtes de Genève on the main bridge, anglage edging and key cutouts that show deeper areas of the movement. The grid pattern is a signature design element and was inspired by the HORAGE logo. Decorations including Côtes de Genève, brushing and anglage are all hand finished. The micro-rotor itself is gold plated tungsten with laser etched tiles resembling the HORAGE logo, and has hand brushed and polished surfaces. Along with gold plated tungsten we also explore precious metal usage depending on the watch project. The movement has 23 jewels and many contrast well against the black background, providing a futuristic vibe.
One of the most impressive aspects of K2 is the price, which enables Horage to deliver the most accessible Swiss Made micro-rotor to watch enthusiast. Furthermore many of those available to brands also lack the complications of the 3.6mm variant used in Supersede. Driving value has been an ongoing theme at HORAGE as our Tourbillon 1 was the most affordable production Swiss Made titanium flying tourbillon on the market. Our goal is to continually deliver performance watchmaking to our community.
- 2.9mm - Small Second or Centre Three Hands.
- 3.3mm - Small Second or Centre Three Hands and Calendar.
- 3.6mm - True GMT, 12/24 hour day/night Indicator, Power Reserve Indicator, Calendar and Small Seconds or Centre Three Hands.
- 3,5Hz frequency / 25.200 beats per hour
- Dimensions and Functions: 30mm diameter
3.6mm height (Home hand, local hand, centre second, 12/24hr day/night indicator, power reserve indicator, calendar)
3.3mm - Small second or centre three hands and calendar
2.9mm - Small second or centre three hands
- Screw balance regulating system
- Silicon hairspring, anchor and escape wheel
- +72 hour power reserve
- Micro-rotor (Gold plated tungsten)
- (-4 / +6 seconds) Chronometer level accuracy
- 23 Jewels