Birch thin plywood is material with a multitude of uses. One example of this is Timbertic clocks which are designed and manufactured by a Swiss engineer. Their gears are made completely from thin plywood.
When Mark Wyss’ former employer, a local watch company, became bankrupt, he decided to engineer from wood a new mechanical movement for clocks. At his former employer he had started on a similar project which ended when company disbanded.
The project was named "The Wood Clock" and it started as a hobby.
- In the basement I had a little CNC machine for cutting wood. Therefore wood was the natural choice as a construction material for my clocks, explains Wyss about the first steps of his project.
For clocks he had to find a source of strong, high-quality wood. After several experiments he came across Koskisen’s KoskiPly birch thin plywood and found the material to be the best for his project.
- I use KoskiPly birch in various thicknesses of 1-4 millimeters. Plywood holds its form well after CNC cutting and is very strong because of its many plies, explains Wyss.
He adds that thin plywood is tolerant of moisture and is a very aesthetic material, this is important since the mechanical parts of the clock are visible all the time. To protect gears there are Plexiglass sheets both behind and in front. This also means that Timbertic is a beautiful piece of design.
Wyss has noticed that wooden gearing has many advantages when compared to metal. There is no wear on the gears, lubrication isn’t needed and the clock is very accurate.
The first clocks were produced entirely by himself. As sales increased he found CNC cutting company in Switzerland who now do all the CNC cutting for him. This allows Wyss to concentrate on sales and marketing.
- Since 2008 I have built more than 100 clocks and sold them mainly in Switzerland with a few abroad. Now clock production is part of my company Wyssion and is growing day by day, says Wyss.
Timbertic clocks are available in three different sizes and shapes: as a square, as a rectangle or as a silhouette of Switzerland.
More information about Timbertic clocks can be found here.