Watches are available in countless different materials today. Ceramic, Platinum, White gold, wood, and, of course, titanium, just to mention a few.
However, the ”classic” and traditional metals that have primarily been used for watches are stainless steel, and for more luxurious watches, gold.
All materials have their own sets of pros and cons, and for some people, the pros of certain materials may be particularly appealing.
In the world of watches, titanium is a relatively new material. In fact, the first titanium watch ever released was the Citizen X8 Chronometer back in 1970. Since then, a lot of different brands have discovered the benefits of using titanium for watches. In fact, even many of the most luxurious watch brands such as Omega, Tudor, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, amongst many others.
Titanium is known for being extremely durable but also extremely light. Its lightness is what makes it stand out from most other materials used in watches and its toughness makes it perfect for virtually any type of watch, in particular outdoor and sports watches. This material is perhaps most known for being used in innovative and demanding fields such as aerospace, for medical use, and more, and if this material can meet the strict criteria of these industries, it should be good enough for watches too.
Reasons to buy a titanium watch
It’s extremely light
One of the key reasons why titanium is so popular in watches as well as many other industries is its impressive lightweight - whilst not compromising on durability. In fact, titanium is 30 percent stronger than stainless steel, whilst at the same time being 50 percent lighter.
When putting on a titanium watch for the first time, you’ll be surprised at just how light it is when you are normally used to steel watches. A low weight of a watch is something that is greatly appreciated by many, and at times, you may even forget that you are wearing it. The ”issue” with large sports watches is that they can become very heavy and clumsy when they are made in stainless steel, but with titanium, that simply isn’t an issue.
At the same time, weight does contribute to a feeling of quality. We tend to associate a high weight with quality, but due to the nature of titanium, this is something you need to overlook with titanium watches since the weight has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the watch. It may take some time to get used to, but the comfort of wearing a watch that you almost forget that you are wearing is undeniable.
Titanium is an anti-allergenic material, which makes it a great material to use for watches. Some people are allergic to certain metals, with the most common being allergy against nickel, something that can be found in stainless steel. But titanium is an anti-allergenic material, making it perfect for those who are sensitive to metals.
Handles heat well
Unlike stainless steel, titanium is a material that handles heat very well.
When you wear a stainless steel watch in the sun for a long period of time, it can become extremely hot to the point where it may burn you. But titanium will remain cool and comfortable on the wrist. The same goes for extremely low temperatures. Naturally, this is great for comfort when wearing a titanium watch, but it is also good for protecting your watch from extreme temperatures which may damage its movement.
A reason why titanium watches are so popular is that it is an innovative material. Whilst stainless steel has been used for a very long time for many different basic objects, including most items we encounter in our daily lives, titanium is more special and stands out from the ordinary. Titanium is an innovative material that is used in high-tech and demanding fields such as aerospace, laboratories, and much more. With that said, some may say that titanium is simply a more modern and more innovative alternative to stainless steel, and to a large extent, it is. This is particularly true considering its superior performance.
Another important benefit of titanium is that it is corrosion-resistant. This means that titanium won’t rust or corrode. This is a huge benefit for watches as it is not uncommon to see stainless steel watches that have corroded. This is particularly true for older watches that have been in a lot of contact with water throughout their lifetime. On older Rolex watches, for example, you may find corrosion between the case and the case back, as well as between the lugs, as a result of prolonged exposure to corroding acids, including water, and especially saltwater.
Titanium, on the other hand, does not have that issue and remains unaffected by this. As a result, titanium is a material that is particularly popular to use for dive watches, as these are the ones that are most exposed to corroding substances.
Titanium is anti-magnetic
As you probably know, magnetism and mechanical watches do not go together very well. Magnetism can have devastating effects on the accuracy of a watch movement, so naturally, this is something you want to stay away from. The issue is that stainless steel is highly magnetic, which perhaps isn’t ideal for protecting it. On the contrary, titanium is anti-magnetic and will not be affected by magnetism, thus helping it protect the movement inside as well.
Titanium is strong and durable
As mentioned earlier, titanium is 30 percent stronger than stainless steel. In fact, titanium has a rating of ~1000 MPa for Grade 5, which, in this case, means that it is about five times stronger than most steel. Therefore, titanium watches can handle a lot of beating and be exposed to great tests. This is also an important reason why titanium is a material that is commonly used in outdoor and sports watches which are worn in environments and situations that will cause a lot of stress on the watches.
Stainless steel VS titanium
Comparing stainless steel and titanium solely from a specifications standpoint, titanium as a material does offer a number of benefits over stainless steel. This is why we would even dare to say that titanium is better than stainless steel, but in practice, it doesn’t always work that way. Stainless steel is, and will likely always be the standard material used in watches.
One key benefit that stainless steel does offer over titanium is that it is more affordable but also easier to craft and finish. What’s great, however, is that despite this, many affordable watch brands also make titanium watches, including Casio, Seiko, and Citizen, which also makes titanium watches available for the wide mass, not only those who can spend thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.
What’s also great is that in recent years, more and more watch brands have discovered the benefits of titanium, resulting in an even greater selection of timepieces on the market. This means that there is a titanium watch for all budgets, tastes, and preferences.
As you can see, titanium offers a number of important benefits over the ”old dog” titanium. With that said, it is easy to see why more and more watch brands are discovering titanium as a material with great properties that is worth using for watches. The good news is that more and more watch brands have started to use titanium, and therefore, there is a wide array of titanium watches on the market in all price ranges, designs, and categories. There really is a titanium watch for everyone, regardless of style, purpose, and budget.