Mechanical watches have been around for centuries, and over the several hundred years of watchmaking technological advancements have made more accurate, more reliable, and more robust timepieces. And often when we think of new watch technologies we immediately jump into the movements, but in this video, we’re going to focus on what’s on the outside: The case, and specifically we’re going to look at cases that are made from more exotic materials than metal. Things like ceramic, carbon fiber, and even sapphire. If you’re into that sort of thing.
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon 3188.8.131.52.01.003
The Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon. Ceramic watches are becoming more and more common, but we decided to go with none other than the Omega Dark Side of the Moon. The Dark Side of the Moon has a completely ceramic case, dial, bezel, crown, pushers, and even buckle. The actual material is called zirconium oxide and has multiple industrial purposes. Including ball bearings in manufacturing and even sub frames and dental restoration. So back in 2015 Omega decided to make an entire watch out of this super material. Zirconium oxide is claimed to be four times harder than steel, which makes it much less prone to scratches. And not content with just an impressive exterior the Dark Side of the Moon is powered by OMEGA’s caliber 9300 automatic column wheel chronograph.
Breitling Colt Skyracer X74320
Up next we have the Breitling Colt Skyracer. To say this watch is made out of plastic isn’t inaccurate, but that definitely doesn’t do justice to the proprietary polymer known as Breitlight. According to Breitling Breitlight is nearly six times lighter than steel and three times lighter than titanium, but still significantly harder. It’s also extremely resistant to scratches, corrosion, it’s anti-magnetic, and hypoallergenic. And don’t let the lightweight nature fool you this watch can take a beating. Adding to the already robust design is the Breitling caliber 74 Superquartz. What’s special about Superquartz you ask? Well it’s accurate to within 10 seconds a year. Yes, a year, and this is all thanks to thermocompensation. Now this is a quartz movement that even true watch nerds can appreciate.
Panerai Luminor 1950 Submersible 3 Days Carbotech PAM 616
The Panerai Luminor 1950 Submersible 3 Days Carbotech. Panerai has worked with hi-tech case materials before like ceramic, but this Submersible was a first of its kind. It is made out of a proprietary material called Carbotech, which is essentially layers of carbon fiber. Carbotech is lighter than ceramic and titanium and claims to be more resistant as well. This Luminor is also hypoallergenic. The Carbotech case is cut from a block of the proprietary carbon, and the process of creating Carbotech is fascinating. These thin sheets of carbon fiber are pressed together with a high-end polymer under high pressure forming blocks of this high-tech composite material. The process results in a case that almost resembles wood and each one is unique. To top it off, the watch is powered by Panerai’s Calibre P.9000, and has an impressive 3-day power reserve.
Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire 411.JX.4802.RT
Last up is the Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire. This is ridiculous in all the right ways. Kind of like a chrome Lamborghini. You can’t help but admire it for all that it is. This watch is cut from sapphire. The same material that your crystal is often made from; a material that’s also known for being harder than ceramic is definitely going to be a challenge to work with. The additional parts on the watch are made from titanium. As with most watches on this list the high-tech case wasn’t enough, and with the movement Hublot decided to dial this watch up to 11. The movement is a skeletonized, automatic, column wheel flyback, chronograph, and to take it even further many of the parts on the dial are made of transparent resin. The best part of this watch is the visible column wheel at 6 o’clock on the skeletonized dial.
Now some of these watches are a little over-the-top for daily wear, but they show what watch manufacturers are capable of, and another interesting point all of these watches came out within a pretty tight time frame about five years ago. Which makes us wonder if there’s some crazy new technology that’s bound for the watch industry! Let us know your favorite watch made from an exotic material and as always thanks for watching.