7 Brands That Make Their Own Metals

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7 Brands That Make Their Own Metals

July 21, 2013 By Jason Francisco 2 Comments
We’re all familiar with the most popular materials for watch cases — steel, rose gold, titanium, et cetera. But what about Rolesium, Ceragold, and Zenithium? While many watch brand take great pride in making their own cases, movements and dials, only a handful have gone the extra mile and actually invented their own materials, mostly for use in cases, but sometimes even for parts inside the watch. Many of these have come about as watch brands invested in developing new alloys in an effort to make stronger, lighter, and/or more scratch-resistant substances. Below we take a look at seven brands that have invented their own alloys by combining different metals.
Rolex
One of the metals developed by Rolex is a material known as Rolesium, a combination of 904L stainless steel superalloy and 950 platinum. Rolesium was used in the 40-mm diameter Oyster case of the Rolex Yacht Master seen here.

Rolex Yacht Master with Rolesium case
Rolex also developed Cerachrom, which it has used on the bezels of the Rolex Submariner and the 50th Anniversary Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, which was announced at Baselworld 2013. Cerachrom is an extra-hard, corrosion-resistant ceramic; Cerachrom bezels have engraved numerals and graduations coated with a thin layer of platinum via a PVD (physical vapor deposition) process.
The movement of the 50th Anniversary Rolex Cosmograph Daytona also features a hairspring made of blue Parachrom, another Rolex-exclusive material that is uncommonly resistant to magnetic fields. Hairsprings made of Parachrom, an alloy of niobium, zirconium, and oxygen, are said to remain stable through temperature variations and be much less susceptible to shocks, remaining, according to Rolex, 10 times more precise in case of shocks than a traditional hairspring.

50th Anniversary Rolex Cosmograph Dayton with Cerachrom bezel
Omega
Omega spent years developing a material blending ceramic and 18k gold, known as Ceragold. The technique used to make Ceragold allows for the growth and bonding of 18k gold in ceramic, and is used to create ceramic bezels with gold numbers that are smooth to the touch.

Omega Planet Ocean with Ceragold bezel.
The Omega Constellation Sedna featured a case crafted in 18k Sedna gold, an alloy developed entirely in-house by the Swatch Group, which blends gold, copper and palladium for, Omega says, an uncommonly long-lasting reddish hue. The alloy requires a minimum gold content of 75 percent, along with a precise portion of copper, to create the vibrant red color, while the palladium strengthens the material’s luster and makes it longer-lasting. “Sedna” is the name of a Trans-Neptunian object — i.e, a body in space that orbits our sun at a greater average distance than the planet Neptune — whose surface has been described as one of the reddest in the Solar System.

Omega Constellation Sedna
Hublot
As part of its “fusion” philosophy, Hublot has developed several of its own materials. Among them are Cermet, which mixes ceramic and metal, and Hublonium, an alloy composed of magnesium and aluminum. The brand also created a hard, scratch-resistant gold alloy known as Magic Gold. Made of 75% pure gold, Magic Gold is made by a process in which gold is melted and fused with ceramic (which is porous and harder than gold), resulting in a harder gold.

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Magic Gold
Linde Werdelin
Unveiled at Baselworld 2013, Linde Werdelin’s Spidolite II Tech features a proprietary material, ALW, or “Alloy Linde Werdelin.” To make a lighter watch, Linde Werdelin incorporated an outer case of carbon and an inner case of ALW, which is an alloy 50% lighter than titanium. The ALW inner case, which retains the same strength as steel, receives 25 microns treatment to harden its surface, while achieving a radiant red or green color visible through the angular hollows of the skeletonized outer case sides.

Linde Werdelin SpidoLite II
Ulysse Nardin
Ulysse Nardin used its own material, Diamonsil, in the Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer Manufacture. The escapement in its movement, Caliber UN- 118, is made of Diamonsil, the result of a collaboration between Ulysse Nardin and the Swiss firm Sigatec, which consists of synthetic diamond grown on a silicon base.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer Manufacture

Ulysse Nardin’s manufacture Caliber UN-118
Zenith
Zenith, in 2006, introduced a new alloy that it dubbed Zenithium, a light, shock- resistant alloy of titanium, niobium and aluminum, which it used for the movement bridges of its now-discontinued Defy watch collection.

A watch from Zenith’s Defy collection (discontinued)
Harry Winston
Harry Winston is incorporating its proprietary Zalium material, with DLC treatment, as part of the Histoire de Tourbillon 4, on the watch’s caseband, arches, and lugs, as well as for the bezel of the tourbillon. An alloy composed of aluminum and zirconium, Zalium is a durable and ultralight material also used in aeronautical engineering.

Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 4



 

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