You know the old saying, “A chain is only as good as its weakest link”? The same principle holds true for watches. The choice of materials is an essential link in the long chain of processes that go into creating an exceptional timepiece.
Here’s a look at some of the extraordinary materials that go into the making of today’s luxury watches.
The Avenger Hurricane is a new chronograph from Breitling that pushes many technological boundaries. The watch case is made of Breitlight®, which is 3.3 times lighter than titanium and 5.8 times lighter than steel, but significantly harder.
This exclusive high-tech material boasts a number of qualities — exceptional resistance to scratches, traction and corrosion, anti-magnetism, thermal stability and anti-allergic properties — as well as a touch that is warmer than metal.
Amorphous Diamond-Like Carbon
Amorphous diamond-like carbon, or ADLC, is a highly elastic coating developed by Cartier that exhibits some of the basic properties of a diamond; it is extremely hard and smooth, almost scratch-free and fingerprint-proof. This coating creates a layer that is self-lubricating, shock-resistant and unaffected by constant wear.
In 2014, Cartier shocked the watch world by introducing an ISO-certified dive watch: The Calibre De Cartier Diver. The following year, it introduced an update to that diver in black ADLC with a black rotating bezel offsetting the dial that mimics the Chronograph.
Baume & Mercier has a new collection of sports watches called The Clifton Club. One of the five versions available at launch features a black ADLC-coated steel case with a black dial and matching black bezel and rubber strap.
The high-tech materials on watches are ceramics. Ceramics are extremely hard — usually more than three or four times harder than stainless steel. This gives them incredible resistance to wear, which is the loss of materials that are in moving contact for long periods of time.
Thanks to ceramics, mechanical watches can run for years, and their usage on watch cases means less scratches. Swiss luxury watchmakers Audemars Piguet and Jaeger-LeCoultre both feature ceramics heavily in their watches.
To learn more about the materials in your favorite luxury timepieces, visit Eiseman Jewels at NorthPark Center in Dallas.