The university has signed a contract with Bausele to give the company the right to use the new material, which has been called Bauselite, and make components using it.
Bauselite came about as a result of three years of research and development by the Flinders scientists. It will be manufactured and supplied by Australian Advanced Manufacturing, a joint venture.
Componentry made from the material has been utilised in Bausele’s new luxury watch release, called Terra Australis, which was launched recently.
The prototype of the Terra Australis watch.
The watch is marked by a five-pronged diamond clasp that secures the face and is topped by a distinctive black crown, made of Bauselite. This crown contains the design feature of grains of red earth from the Kimberley region – ensuring the watch contains part of Australia within it.
“The new material and method of production solved a number of issues specific to using ceramics in watches,” said Dr Jonathan Campbell of the Flinders University Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology.
“It’s a significant accomplishment that watch components are being produced here, signalling a major step forward and a powerful statement about Flinders’ delivery of elite engineering.”
Flinders University’s Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology was asked in 2014 by Bausele chief executive Christophe Hoppe to provide the same expertise as that used by Swiss watchmakers for his own Australian wristwatches.
The Flinders University team behind Bauselite, with Christophe Hoppe (centre).
Initial research and development was done by NanoConnect, run by the Flinders University Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology.
Manufacturing and supply of components will be done by Australian Advanced Manufacturing on Flinders University campuses at Bedford Park and Tonsley.
In future, a wider selection of high-quality watch parts may be manufactured as well.
The exposure in Prison Break has resulted in strong pre-orders, with Bausele offering each customer bespoke selections from 850 possible combinations of colour and styling elements.
“The fact we have secured control of our own production in partnership with Flinders University is a great achievement,” said Hoppe.
“I was always keen to have my products manufactured in Australia, but I initially thought it was impossible. Flinders proved otherwise and has presented me with an amazing opportunity. I am so proud to be manufacturing in Australia at a time when many companies outsource all of their manufacturing overseas.”
Photos: courtesy Flinders University