Stainless Steel vs. Titanium

Posted by Dave on Sunday, January 17, 2021
Titanium watch

Meet Titanium, the New Metal on the Block

Over the past decade, a new metal has come to the market of metal watches - this metal is titanium. This is not surprising: After all, titanium is 30% harder than steel, while weighing only about half. This metal has become increasingly popular with sports and diver chronographs because it is waterproof and does not corrode even in the harshest conditions. Additionally, some wearers may feel a discomfort after wearing a chronograph for a long time. Titanium, which is hypoallergenic, resolves this issue. Unlike stainless steel, titanium is a non-reactive metal. Practically, this means that titanium does not react with the owner's sweaty wrist, and it cannot result in any rash or leave any residue.

Pros and Cons

However, titanium has one Achilles' heel: it isn't very ductile. Under very high pressure, a titanium watch case can crack. Such damage cannot be fixed. Since titanium isn't malleable, a crack cannot be welded together as could be done with stainless steel watch. Further, this metal scratches more easily than stainless steel, and once titanium gets a scratch, it cannot be restored. This is not a problem with stainless steel, because if stainless steel receives any mark, the blemish can easily be removed via polishing. Thankfully, watch companies are aware of this flaw, and they cover their titanium chronographs with special scratch-resistant coatings. Although titanium can be coated, it cannot plated, so it would be impossible to plate your titanium watch with gold. Practically, this means that your titanium watch can be made only in one color. Stainless steel is cheaper and a classic choice for metallic chronographs. Although stainless steel is heavier than titanium, this isn't an issue if the owner prefers a bulkier type of watch. And as mentioned earlier, stainless steel can easily be plated with any finish, allowing you to have a watch that can come in many classical styles.

Conclusion

Whether you choose a titanium or stainless steel chronograph depends mainly on what you want to accomplish with your watch. Generally, titanium is great for diving chronographs, and it has a great aura of contemporary style. Stainless steel, on the other hand, has been used in watchmaking for decades, and it definitely has more of a classy tone.

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