The watch industry is not just limited to the Jura valleys. Valais also plays a leading role thanks to its innovative and creative businesses. The success of these companies is down to their visionary, bold and discreet pool of talent who are specialists in the field of microtechnology. Infinitely small pieces are machined to within a thousandth of a millimetre and their unrivalled quality is recognised by some of the world’s biggest brands.
Mimotec, with its global reputation for high-end watchmaking, manufactures micro- parts such as wheels and springs for the mechanical movements of watches using the UV LIGA method. The process can be compared to photofabrication and makes production more competitive than when using traditional methods. In partnership with its subsidiary Sigatec, Mimotec can also provide customised miniature components. Often used for decorative purposes, this technology allows components to be identified, thus preventing counterfeiting.
Three million units are produced for watchmakers every year in the Mimotec factory in Sion.
Founded in 1966, the watchmaking company Soprod develops and manufactures mechanical movements using a variety of items such as assortiments, levers, balance wheels, escapement wheels and balance springs. Today, Sion-based company stands out thanks to its manufacture of movements and complete systems for smartwatches. Its latest innovation is a movement which is linked to a smartphone application to provide a fully customisable notifications interface.
Soprod helped develop Breitling’s analogue smartwatch.
Microprécision Electronics SA started out in the 1950s as a supplier for the Swiss watch industry. Today, the Vouvry-based company manufactures microswitches and switches, as well as high-precision light indicators and resistors. Used in demanding industrial applications, the products have high technical specifications in terms of temperature, accuracy and service life.
The satellites orbiting Jupiter feature elements manufactured in the USA by Microprécision Electronics.
Located in the buildings of the Isérables cable-car station, Mecatis specialises in the development, manufacture, assembly and maintenance of customised machines and installations. They are an industrial integrator, offering their services at any stage of a project, in the fields of agri-food, luxury watchmaking, electronics, energy, transport, industrial machinery, metallurgy and tourism.
Mecatis has created the Micro5 miniature milling machine, which has the potential to revolutionise the microtechnology industry: it is small, highly energy efficient, and works with exceptional speed and precision.
Did you know?
One of the oldest brands of Switch watches, West End Watch Co., is based in Leytron.