Materials Article Application Of Aluminum In Watch Manufacturing

Aluminium has all the elements to become a perfect material, or almost so. The density of aluminum is very small, 75% and 40% lighter than steel and titanium, respectively; it is not affected by magnetic fields; it emits a beautiful silvery white gloss; it is easy to process and produce; in addition, it will form a dense oxide film in the air, Therefore, it has high corrosion resistance.

   In everyday life, aluminum is also widely used to make tin foil for kitchens, and this is the only drawback of this metal-its texture is too soft. Aluminum is also widely used in the automobile manufacturing industry. It is shaped into a column or rod to reinforce the material, but its texture is still not hard enough, and its surface can be dented with a small force, and it is very easy to scratch. Imagine that a brand new watch was scratched and deformed after only a few weeks. The owner of the first Bulgari aluminum watch and Porsche Design watch in the 1970s must have a deep understanding.

Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Aluminum watch anodized colored aluminum case

   In order to take full advantage of this metal (and its low cost is one of its advantages), the watchmaking industry has found many clever solutions. The first method is to apply it only to certain specific parts and protect it well. For example, in diving watches, aluminum is usually embedded in the case and protected by a stainless steel ring; Richard Miller and Audemars Piguet will use it to make a bridge with a built-in movement. In addition, Audemars Piguet uses anodizing technology to color aluminum, and Hamilton uses the same process to produce blue, green, gray, black, and sand-colored cases from hardened aluminum.

HYT Blue Alumen watch case made of a proportioned alloy of aluminum, titanium, magnesium and zirconium

   Another solution is to make aluminum-titanium alloys, which are not only bright in color but also extremely hard. HYT’s unique Blue Alumen series case is made of aluminum, titanium, magnesium and zirconium alloys in a certain proportion.

Panerai Radiomir Composite 3 Days Pam504 watch with unique Composite case

   Aluminium is one of the basic ingredients for making several high-tech ceramic materials. This little-known knowledge also produces the most amazing ingenious design. High-tech ceramics are highly regarded in the watchmaking industry for their many advantages, especially their scratch resistance. In 2010, Panerai used the chemical properties of aluminum to synthesize a Composite (composite material) for making watch cases.

Kunlun Admiral Cup Warrior Tourbillon GMT47 mm watch ceramicized aluminum case

   Kunlun followed closely in the design of its Admiral Cup Warrior Tourbillon GMT47 mm watch. The surface of the 7075 aluminum case was ceramicized by a micro-arc oxidation process, and the interior remained aluminum, and the surface became scratch-resistant. At the same time, the quality of the case is still very light, which is a solution for the best of both worlds. In addition, there is a non-negligible advantage that the processed ceramic material has 100% skin-friendly and anti-allergic properties, which is not available in a pure aluminum case.

Updated: 19. October 2019 — 9:30
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