Sapphire and materials

Titanium. Forged carbon. Carbon fiber. Bronze. And now sapphire:

K&H picture

(Image credit: K&H)

All the materials on that list have followed a common pattern:

  • High-end watchmaker spends R&D funds to learn how to make watch cases out of it
  • Other watchmakers learn, adopt/copy
  • Prices drop precipitously.

Sapphire, I think first used in a six-figure Richard Mille, is now heading towards affordable, and though I’ve not checked prices I hope to see one in person soon. I as part of my RSS habit, I follow the Korpela and Hofs blog and they just shared the above image – a sapphire case from Hong Kong-based Bright Sapphire. Here’s another image from Bright:

Bright Sapphire Hublot lookalike

Anyway, cool, should make for some fun watches when it gets down to sub-thousand-dollar pricing.

A bit of background: Titanium was kind of an IWC thing, Panerai did bronze, Audemars Piguet carbon fiber. Read more about sapphire cases here, here and here.

By Paul Hubbard

Computer engineer from San Diego. Obsessed with hardware, software, timekeeping and elegance.

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