Introduction

Inspired by the “photographic intensity diaphragm”, the Valbray system, renamed the Oculus, is a world premiere in the watchmaking history.

Photography has become a universal media, shard by different cultures and people, connected to intimate, authentic and every day experiences. It thus makes a camera a travelling companion, as is a Valbray timepiece.

Each Valbray watch has a shutter system offering two Visions of Time :

The first visualization: a pure design providing an essential reading of time. When the shutter blades are closed, only the hour and the minute hands are visible.

The second visualization: a more complex design is revealed when opening the blades, offering the discovery of the motion function. (Chronograph, Big Date/Small Seconds)

The shutter is an essential mechanism in photography, by adjusting the field of vision in order to sublimate the images. Through Valbray timepieces, the incorporated shutter becomes a magical instrument capable of transforming a watch from a two hands to a Chronograph or a Grand Date.

Technical explanation

The “Oculus” system is a true achievement in micro technology.

Over two years of research and development have been invested in its implementation, which have led to the overtaking of significant challenges.

A meticulous construction

The shutter has 16 ultrathin blades of 0.05 mm thickness each, incorporated into a rotating bezel of only 46 mm of diameter, 7 mm wide and 4.5 mm thick. The bezel of the Big Date Collection is 43 mm of diameter.

At the maximum aperture of the shutter, the blades completely disappear revealing a dial of 30 mm of diameter.

By simply rotating the bezel manually at 90°, the system is activated and begins to rotate, turning the watch into an interactive and intriguing experience.

The blades

The blades open and close, through a constant circular system, sliding on each other. They are made of a metallic, elastic and wear-resistant material. Protected by an anti-scratch coating, this treatment also gives them a consistent colour throughout.

The assembly work is finished in an uncontaminated room with controlled atmosphere.  The presence of small dust would be an obstacle to the closing or opening of the shutter and possibly cause scratches.