The Benefits of Wearing Titanium Watches

Titanium Watches
by: Ben Tseytlin - on Vintage & Luxury Watches

Titanium has become in vogue for many luxury watches, and there are a number of reasons for this. A lot of metallurgists consider it to be one of the best engineered metals in the world. This is because these professionals evaluate materials based on their properties, the most important of which are durability, toughness, hardness, strength and lightness. Titanium has all these attributes and more.

Titanium Characteristics

Titanium comes in multiple alloys. The most famous is Ti-6Al-4V, which has a grade of 5. This is the variant most commonly used for applications which are exceptionally demanding, like aircraft parts or missiles. Grade 2 titanium has lower properties and as such is used for commercial applications, but does well in this regard.

Titanium was first developed two hundred years ago, but for most of its history has been experimental and restricted to laboratories. Within the last one hundred years methods for titanium extraction were developed and refined, to the extent that it could be used more frequently for aerospace applications, and today is finally reaching consumer markets such as the watch manufacturing sector.

In terms of cost, titanium is still too expensive for most applications and is currently priced about fifty times that of standard carbon steel. However, it is still more cost effective than metals such as gold or platinum.

Titanium Watches Are The Toughest Money Can Buy

Toughness and durability is where titanium truly shines, because the metal is superb at withstanding heavy cyclic loads. Watchmakers have learned to use it within the movement or in the pushers or crown since titanium can absorb terrific impacts without shattering. Someone who has dropped a valuable watch onto a concrete, stone or metal surface and watched it break understands this fully.

However, steel is also tough (some variants even tougher than titanium variants) and yet it is far more cost effective, so why are watchmakers still choosing titanium as an alternative? The answer is weight. Titanium alloys are as tough or tougher than steel while being lighter. Specifically, titanium on average weighs fifty percent of steel for an identical volume. The stainless steel popularly used in many watches today has inferior strength to titanium, and the watches which use it weigh more. Those that engage in professional sports or military activities want watches which are light as possible, as they don’t want to carry around any more weight than necessary, making titanium the logical choice.

Titanium Has Tremendous Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion (rusting) is a big problem for many metals, but not titanium. This metal excels so well in fact that many metallurgists consider it to be virtually impervious to rust. It is also highly resistant to most acids except nitric, and most people, even those engaging in extreme activities, will rarely encounter it. It is also hypoallergenic; meaning those susceptible to allergies can use it without worry. Titanium has an oxide layer on its surface that will not react with skin and as such is being used for various healthcare applications.