Ceramic

Rolex GMT-Master II with ceramic bezel
© Rolex
Hublot Big Bang "All Black" with case and bezel aus black ceramic
© Hublot

Watch material

Material and manufacturing process

Ceramic is a broad definition term and generally refers to substances that are connected to solid products by a firing process of above 900°C. It is one of the oldest materials, and it is used in many ways. So clay and later porcelain play a major role in ancient times.

Today, besides the classic ceramics especially the so called "technical ceramics" are of great importance. Especially the yttrium-zirconium ceramics have an extremely high fracture toughness and are therefore, for example, used in dental technology as highly stable crown and bridges scaffolds, in dental implants and inlays or in artificial hip joints. They are increasingly replacing gold and other metals. One of their advantages is that their color is freely definable and can therefore be adapted much closer to natural tooth shades.

Ceramic knives made from zirconium can be even sharper and smoother than all knives made ​​from conventional materials.

Use in the watch sector

In the watch sector ceramic has recently become increasingly important as a material of cases, but especially of bezels . Here new, extremely resistant and resistant forms of ceramic are produced. Thus, in the meantime Rolex has switched the production of the bezels of the model GMT-Master II to scratch-resistant ceramic.

Hublot often uses ceramic, which is pressed from zirconium under high pressure and fired at over 1000°C: eg. in several models for whole cases, bezels and folding clasps. This type of ceramic is almost as robust, shatterproof and scratch resistant as diamond, can be produced in any color and therefore represents an ideal material for watches.

Jaeger-LeCoultre uses a high-tech mixture of zirconium oxide and yttrium at the case production of the model Amvox 3 Tourbillon GMT, which is sintered at more than 2000°C and then grinded with a special tool, studded with diamond crystals.

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