Hardlex vs Sapphire
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  1. #1
    Member UTC-8's Avatar
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    Hardlex vs Sapphire

    I've recently become interested in some of the Seiko mid to high range divers and noticed something. The Seiko divers that use a sapphire crystal cost thousands. Even the MM300 at $2400 USD uses Hardlex. I don't see sapphire until I get up into the 600m or 1000m divers.

    I have a Seiko JDM SARB021 that sports a sapphire crystal that cost $450.

    What exactly is Hardlex? Does it have a benefit over Sapphire?
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  2. #2
    lvt
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    Re: Hardlex vs Sapphire

    AFAIK Hardlex has better shock-resistance than sapphire but can be easily scratched.
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    Member aladin_sane's Avatar
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    Re: Hardlex vs Sapphire

    Hardlex is hardened mineral glass. The plus is that it is less prone to shatter, the negative is it is more prone to scratching. I have changed a couple of my Seiko divers from hardlex to sapphire. I have never shattered a sapphire crystal, but I have scratched a hardlex one. Get the watch you want, and if you want scratch resistance, replace the crystal with sapphire.

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    Member GTR83's Avatar
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    Re: Hardlex vs Sapphire

    Ironically, the sub-$400 Sporturas come equipped with sapphire crystals, and the SNDA59/63 Velatura (a massive quartz diver chronograph) also has one.

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    Re: Hardlex vs Sapphire

    Hardlex is also less reflective than sapphire. Personally I don't like sapphire unless its got an AR coating on it.

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    Member aladin_sane's Avatar
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    Re: Hardlex vs Sapphire

    I like an AR coating on the inside. Putting an easily scratched coating on the outside of a nearly scratch proof crystal makes no sense to me.

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    Re: Hardlex vs Sapphire

    I'm with you. I have harlex watches with scratches - never scratched or broke a sapphire.

    Even a sapphire without AR is better than an scratched hardlex in my opinion.

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    Re: Hardlex vs Sapphire

    I think that if you shatter a watch glass, you did something --or something happened to you-- that was going to break it no matter what. Just unfortunate, unpredictable accidents. I don't think there's any REAL prevention or protection from that.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Hardlex vs Sapphire

    Thanks for the help guys. I really love the Seiko designs, I just have a hard time dropping thousands on a watch that doesn't have a sapphire crystal (unless its a Speedy Pro). I do wear the SKX007 and so far no scratches, but it doesn't get any abuse. I guess if I did by a more expensive Seiko, It wouldn't be a beater anyway, so maybe Hardlex is ok. Hardlex is a dumb name though.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Hardlex vs Sapphire

    Quote Originally Posted by timetellinnoob View Post
    I think that if you shatter a watch glass, you did something --or something happened to you-- that was going to break it no matter what. Just unfortunate, unpredictable accidents. I don't think there's any REAL prevention or protection from that.
    Agreed. And if you hit something hard enough to shatter the sapphire, but not the hardlex - I am betting the hardlex ain't too pretty afterward.

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