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Incabloc, A Look Behind The Scenes Of The Watch Industry

Incabloc, A Look Behind The Scenes Of The Watch Industry


You may claim an old watch that says “Incabloc” on its dial. This was rather common, back in the days. On the off chance that the name is obscure by the majority of individuals that are not into watches, there was the point at which it was extremely popular. Back during the 20thcentury, the “Incabloc” trademark was an indication of quality and greatness for watches, to the point that brands would print it on their dials. Much the same as “Intel Inside” transformed its name into a vital model of purchase all the more as of late…


Incabloc is the historical company manufacturing shock absorbers. Regardless of whether this part looks small and light, the forces applied to the axis of wheels into developments are immense. For this reason, it is harmful to embed the axis of wheels straightforwardly in the main-plate or scaffolds of the development – metal versus metal gratings would demolish the development rapidly. Therefore, gems (rubies) are utilized as bearings to decrease rubbing at critical focuses, to improve the accuracy and durability of watches. Probably the hardest material after diamond, ruby doesn’t wear and allows low rubbing with metal turns. Read our technical guide on gem bearings here , to thoroughly understand this other crucial part of a watch.

The turns and gem bearings of the balance wheel are especially fragile and these were often damaged under an impact. Dropping a watch on the floor often meant fatal damages. This lack of resistance was one of the major weaknesses and causes of repair for mechanical watches… until the innovation of shock absorbers. With anti-shock frameworks, the gems are mounted on springs allowing them to move in their setting, to absorb radial, axial or diagonal shocks. The framework re-focuses instantly and entirely the axis of wheels.

The recently created shock absorbers allowed improving drastically the drawn out exactness and reliability of watches, avoiding various failures. To the point that the shock absorber became a mandatory component of any watch furnished with a Swiss switch escapement – meaning 99.99% of the watches. Printing Incabloc on the dial became an indication of quality for watches (with the quantity of gems). The Incabloc name, therefore, gained tremendous popularity during the 20th century.

However, Incabloc was not originally a company but instead an item. The innovation was patented in 1929 by Fritz Marti who had imagined this framework based on “mobile balance-staff jewels”. In 1931, together with Georges Braunschweig (whose family claimed Fabrique Election SA), he established Porte-Echappement Universel SA, better referred to since 1963 as Portescap SA, in La Chaux-de-Fonds. On March 1933, Portescap patented a more elaborate framework with a cone-shaped development, which allowed absorbing both lateral and axial shocks with one single spring. It was enlisted under the Incabloc trademark.

In 1935, 300,000 Incabloc gadgets were conveyed. In the early 1970s, no under 36 large number of these shock absorbers were manufactured each year! This exponential advancement was upheld by an advertising strategy initiated during the 1940s to create a global awareness and demand for this badge of a fine watch!


During the 1970s, the new, accurate quartz watches gained popularity and plunged the Swiss watch industry in a profound emergency. With the advent of the electronic watch, the requirement for shock absorbers to secure balance shafts almost disappeared. Portescap chose to sell its Incabloc division. In 1988, Eric Zutter started another company, Incabloc SA, safeguarding and re-creating crucial abilities and skill. In 1992, his child Wilfried dominated. With the revival of the mechanical watch, demand scaled fast.

Since then, the company developed and chose to verticalize integrating activities, for example, exactness bar turning (Demhosa) or gems creation (Robellaz) for greater adaptability and quality authority over these critical activities. New items are also manufactured in particular adjustment files. With it, Incabloc can create and to convey dedicated adjustment frameworks joining the shock absorber, adjustment list and balance-rooster as a functionally-reasonable element. The company renovated its machine park and put into several item innovations and into the improvement of its quality (in particular with the help of Pr. Jacot from EPFL).


There are a couple of other shock absorber manufacturers. Incabloc’s main competitor is KIF Parechoc. It was established in 1944 and it is presently part of the Acrotec Group. Similar frameworks are also created by other manufacturers like ETA (Etachoc for ETA developments) or Rolex (Paraflex for Rolex developments) for their own requirements. Outside Switzerland, Seiko and Citizen manufacture their own shock absorbers (separately Diashock and Parashock).

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