Is SLS the new stainless? Not just yet… Hands-on with the Kairod 3D Printed watch

By Oscar Milani Gallieni, 3D Printing Industry.

Watches and plastic, two words not commonly seen in the same sentence, however Kairod, a small French watch manufacturer is pushing the envelope here with a sustainable handmade watch, printed predominantly with SLS techniques, that is now live on Kickstarter

The idea behind Kairod’s offering is to merge the use of sustainable materials with high-quality, exclusive short-run manufacturing. This is achieved by using bio-sourced SLS powder based on castor oil to create an elegant classical design, produced with cutting-edge methods. 

The Kairod 3D Printed watch. Photo by Oscar Milani Gallieni
The Kairod 3D Printed watch. Photo by Oscar Milani Gallieni

The watch itself boasts a simple minimalistic style, vaguely reminiscent of the iconic Deutsche Bahn railway clocks. The 40mm case is produced using Nylon 11, with HP’s MJF process, while the contrasting dial is printed using laser sintering. Both printed parts fit together seamlessly and encase a Swiss Made Ronda quartz movement between the tempered glass crystal and stainless steel back. The hands are hand-made in the Haute Dubois region, the birthplace of French watchmaking, and juxtapose the mechanical feel of the printed parts nicely.

This makes for a sporty, yet fairly simple looking timepiece with a minimalist flair that, according to Kairod, encapsulates ancestral know-how and revolutionary technology. The watch itself is limited to 200 pieces and is available to pre-order on Kickstarter now, shipped units will be provided with recycled straps for a more elegant look than the prototype model that I was sent. The watch is available at a discounted price of $185 during the campaign, the proposed release price is $290.

With just 10 days to go on the Kickstarter, the Kairod watch is a unique and limited piece that will appeal to enthusiasts with a penchant for both additive manufacturing and horology. Nylon SLS is an interesting new manufacturing process to see entering the watchmaking industry, with a lot of possible scope for creativity and customizability in case design of low-cost watches.

The Kairod 3D Printed watch. Photo by Oscar Milani Gallieni
The Kairod 3D Printed watch. Photo by Oscar Milani Gallieni



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