Sapphire Crystal: A Special Material in Luxury Watches

Sapphire Crystal is a favored choice among watch enthusiasts for its scratch-resistant properties and ability to make watch faces appear brighter. However, to understand more about this type of glass and what makes sapphire special, let’s explore it further.

Understanding Sapphire Crystal – High-Quality Material in Luxury Watches

What is Sapphire?

Sapphire, also known as sapphire corundum, is a type of gemstone formed from the mineral corundum, consisting of aluminum oxide Al2O3 and other elements such as iron, titanium, and chromium. This stone comes in various colors, with the most common being blue, orange, green, and purple. Some sapphires have a red hue and are known as rubies.

Sapphire finds widespread applications in various fields such as jewelry, decoration, and even in medicine. In watches, sapphire is the most common material used for watch faces.

Applications of Sapphire Crystal in Luxury Watches

History and Manufacturing Process:

The synthesis of synthetic sapphire began in the early 20th century when French chemist Auguste Verneuil created synthetic sapphire. This process involves melting aluminum oxide Al2O3 powder and allowing it to crystallize into corundum. Initially, synthetic sapphire was used to replace rubies in watch movements to reduce friction.

Corning Glass Works in New York improved Verneuil’s process in the 1930s, paving the way for the development of sapphire glass in the watchmaking industry. In 1930, watches began using sapphire crystal for the first time.

Characteristics and Applications in Watches:

Sapphire crystal has high hardness, second only to diamond on the Mohs scale. This property makes sapphire glass highly scratch-resistant and virtually unbreakable. It is formed from aluminum oxide Al2O3 powder through the Verneuil process to create sapphire blocks.

Some other technical specifications of sapphire glass include hardness ranging from 1400 to 2300 Vickers and bending strength from 320 to 950 MPa.

Sapphire Application in Case and Strap Design

Case: Sapphire is often used to make the case back of luxury watches, allowing users to observe the movement of the watch through the transparent glass. This is particularly suitable for skeleton watches, where the internal mechanism is showcased.

Strap: Although rare, there have been watches with straps made from sapphire material. However, creating small links for the strap requires high technical expertise and takes a lot of time to craft.

Sapphire is a special material that brings uniqueness and luxury to watch designs. The application of sapphire glass not only enhances the quality and durability of the product but also creates an exquisite and modern beauty.

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