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Premium Protective Watch Coating Processes

At Feldmar, we see a lot of watches (how’s that for understatement?). While the vast majority feature either gold or steel cases, there are certain models that have metal cases with special treatments. Fine luxury watches with these special coatings have an extra metal layer for an elegant sheen and durable protection that lasts for years. Aside from added protection, these specialized coatings give a smooth, comfortable finish that’s not just tactical but is plain cool looking! Read on as we explore several unique treatments that can elevate a luxury watch!

glashutte original 20th century vintage seventies chronograph panorama date

Galvanized

Watch companies may use two coating processes during the final stages of a watch body for further protection. The first is galvanization, where the watch body is dipped into molten zinc to provide an anti-corrosive protective layer. This involves diluting the chemicals first before fusing steel with a molten zinc layer to make the process more environmentally friendly.

casio g-shock x porter awm 500gc

DLC

Did you know that friction is an contributing factor in scratching? If you’ve ever wondered how regular “desk diving” activities (like resting your wrist on a table while typing) results in scratches on your watch clasp, you can thank friction. Yes, the hardness of a material is the biggest factor in scratching – a soft material like wood can’t scratch steel all on it’s own – but add friction to the mix and you can bet your watch will be scratched up from enough contact with that wooden desk in your office!

Diamond-like Coating treatments seriously negate this problem. One of the most resilient coating types. DLC’s Vickers hardness is 3,000 HV (diamonds are around 10,000 HV). It is a preferred coating for many high-end sports watches, with a perfect dark finish that offers style and durability for active users. Not just scratch-resistant, DLC watches are also not prone to cracking like other scratch-resistant treatments.

hamilton khaki aviation x wind auto chrono

PVD

PVD or physical vapor deposition is the process of fusing a layer of vaporized titanium to the watch body and bracelet. It’s achieved through the process of binding titanium to the watch through a vacuum. Many luxury watch brands use this coating process to add style to watch surfaces while adding premium protection. Titanium is light but extra durable, protecting the watch body and bracelet from typical scratches and scuff marks.

Watchmakers use a vacuum process to bind titanium to the steel watch body at temperatures between 212 to 680°F. Gold particles can also be added using this process, called PVD gilding, which coats all or part of the watch with an extra protective layer of gold.

A great example of the PVD coating process can be found on the Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind with a unique tan PVD case. It adds a rugged appearance to an already mission-ready watch and thanks to the protective coating – the first of it’s kind for Hamilton – the X-Wind possesses an elegant, sporty feel and appearance.

yellow cerakote custom seiko mod watch

Cerakote

Cerakote is a military-grade ceramic finish that can help to keep your watch in perfect condition for a long period of time, making it more resistant to harsh weather and other elements. It has a bit of a thicker, and oftentimes, more textured look when compared to other types of finishes. Highly customizable, Cerakote is popular among watch modders for it’s seemingly endless versatility and color choice. Applying Cerakote to a watch is easy and affordable and most finishers can even combine colors to create one-of-a-kind artworks and color shades. Best of all? Cerakote can be removed! So if you want to breathe new life into your watch on a regular basis, doing so is a simple matter of bringing your watch to a Cerakote finisher.

It pays to know the types of finishes and coatings for luxury watches. These specialized coatings add elegant color combinations and premium protective surfaces, and help to ensure your watch will last a lifetime and beyond.

Feldmar is the trusted luxury watch store in Los Angeles with a sizable collection of the world’s best brands. Browse our online store.

About The Author: Tom Roth

author

Born in Washington state, Tom developed an interest in photography during college at University of San Diego. There, he got started in music journalism, interviewing artists and taking photos at concerts. A life-long tinkerer and collector, it wasn’t long before Tom became fascinated with fountain pens and watches.

Those interests collided in November 2020 when Tom started at Feldmar Watch Company where he lives out every watch geek’s dream: photographing and writing about timepieces. When he’s not tinkering with his watch collection, Tom can be found traveling, biting his nails while watching PNW sports teams, and taking flying lessons.

Read more from Tom Roth

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