Anti-Reflective Coating on Casio Oceanus Watches

Thread: Anti-Reflective Coating on Casio Oceanus Watches

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  1. #1
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    Anti-Reflective Coating on Casio Oceanus Watches

    I've heard back from the customer service people at Casio Japan, and have learned from them that Casio does not put double-sided anti-reflective (AR) coating on any of their high-end Oceanus watches--only single coating on the inside of the crystal. (And, I would guess that this means that they don't put it on their other watches either.) I was a little surprised to learn this. I think their reason is that outside-crystal AR coating can be scratched.

    There are two schools of thought on the desirability of double AR-coating, with those in favor liking the greatly reduced reflectiveness it affords (I'm in this camp), while those opposed noting the susceptibility to scratching. I now have two Oceanus Manta models (OCW-S1050 and OCW-S1100) and would dearly love to be able to get the sapphire crystals double-coated. However, Casio has informed me that they won't do this. One alternative would be to go with an after-market AR-coating specialist, I guess, but the crystals seem to be almost integral with the case with each watch, so I'm not sure that the crystal could be isolated for coating.

    If anyone has any suggestions or more detailed information about the case/crystal units of these Oceanus Manta watches, I'd really appreciate hearing from you.
    Vancouver

  2. #2
    Member cal..45's Avatar
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    Re: Anti-Reflective Coating on Casio Oceanus Watches

    in my opinion double coating on a sapphire crystal makes as much sense as a study about the backside of the moon. unless the coating is as hard as the sapphire itself, it never should be done (outside). if double coating is a must have for one, I would rather recommend a mineral crystal because its cheaper and gets the job done equally good.


    regards, holger
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  3. #3
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    Re: Anti-Reflective Coating on Casio Oceanus Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by cal..45 View Post
    in my opinion double coating on a sapphire crystal makes as much sense as a study about the backside of the moon. unless the coating is as hard as the sapphire itself, it never should be done (outside). if double coating is a must have for one, I would rather recommend a mineral crystal because its cheaper and gets the job done equally good.
    regards, holger
    I have watches with double AR-coating and some (the Oceanus models for example) with single-coating, and there's a huge difference between the two with respect to legibility. Whereas I can immediately see the time when I look at my Citizen Chronomasters (with double AR-coating), for example, from any angle in almost any light, the same is definitely not true with my Oceanus Mantas (single-coating), which do present legibility problems in certain lighting conditions. I consider this a shortcoming in the latter. Part of the problem with the Oceanus watches is that they have very busy dials with reflective subdials and hour batons, and this exacerbates the problem. However, with double AR-coating, most of the problem would vanish. I might add too that over a fair period of time, no scratching or wearing-away of the outside-sapphire AR coating on my Chronomasters has occurred--possibly because I wear long-sleeve shirts over my watches. Still, when I pull my cuffs back to tell the time, I don't want to have to squint or reposition the watch to see what time it is!

    Holger: is your suggestion that mineral crystal is less reflective than sapphire without AR-coating? Or that you would start with a mineral crystal and have it double AR-coated, rather than a sapphire crystal?
    Vancouver

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  5. #4
    Member bluegum's Avatar
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    Re: Anti-Reflective Coating on Casio Oceanus Watches

    I think Holger is saying that why bother with the expense of a scratch resistent sapphire crystal only to put a scratch prone coating on top of it?

    In which case, you might as well pay less for a mineral crystal which is also more scratch prone.

    Depends how important the scratch resistence is compared to anti-reflection.

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    I tend to agree with that ...

    and while the double-coating is OK at a dress-watch I think it would be rather silly at a sports-watch ...

    The other thing that I have noted on solar watches - much of the perceived reflection is NOT from the sapphire but instead from the solar dial - I have the Japan-only Exceed E510 (which remains the most accurate 'by itself' solar quartz ever mass-produced but is now discontinued) and at first look you might believe it is too shiny because it only has one-side AR-coating on the sapphire, but if you look carefully you see that over 90% of the reflections are from the solar-cells dial ... which actually no longer bother me since that's the 'signature' of that watch - a very shiny simple watch :)

  7. #6
    Member cal..45's Avatar
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    Re: Anti-Reflective Coating on Casio Oceanus Watches

    @ south pender,

    well what I am saying is, that the most important feature of a sapphire crystal is its ability to withstand almost any other material - therefore scratches - because of its hardness (aluminuimoxide). theoratically only a diamond can scratch a sapphire crystal. the use of an outer anti reflection coating will make this advantage useless. of course there are might people who find a maximum non-reflection crystal more important than maximum scratch resistance, but I don't.

    what I heard, read and based on my own experience a mineral crystal is less reflective indeed. so in my opinion it would be even better to go with a mineral glas if maximum non-reflection is the personal goal. just my 2 cents.


    regards, holger
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  8. #7
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    Re: Anti-Reflective Coating on Casio Oceanus Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by cal..45 View Post
    well what I am saying is, that the most important feature of a sapphire crystal is its ability to withstand almost any other material - therefore scratches - because of its hardness (aluminuimoxide). theoratically only a diamond can scratch a sapphire crystal.
    I believe that today we live in a world where a lot of the higher-end tools could be dangerous to sapphire, most notably cutting tools and similar, but generally those kinds of accidents are rare ...

    Quote Originally Posted by cal..45 View Post
    what I heard, read and based on my own experience a mineral crystal is less reflective indeed. so in my opinion it would be even better to go with a mineral glas if maximum non-reflection is the personal goal. just my 2 cents.
    It certainly is, but even glass can be AR-coated :) Also please note that the very high-end AR-coated photo lenses have MULTIPLE layers of AR-coating on each side - since a single layer of AR-coating is 100% effective at a single wavelength ... which can be easily seen in watches with a thicker crystal and single-AR coating - at the right angle you can see two reflecions, one very strong on the front sapphire-air interface, the second MUCH weaker and with a certain color on the back surface!

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    Re: I tend to agree with that ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Catalin View Post
    and while the double-coating is OK at a dress-watch I think it would be rather silly at a sports-watch ...

    The other thing that I have noted on solar watches - much of the perceived reflection is NOT from the sapphire but instead from the solar dial - I have the Japan-only Exceed E510 (which remains the most accurate 'by itself' solar quartz ever mass-produced but is now discontinued) and at first look you might believe it is too shiny because it only has one-side AR-coating on the sapphire, but if you look carefully you see that over 90% of the reflections are from the solar-cells dial ... which actually no longer bother me since that's the 'signature' of that watch - a very shiny simple watch :)
    That's an interesting observation. However, I also have a Seiko Brightz solar RC watch (SAGZ007) that does have the double AR-coating (along with, of course, the solar-cell dial), and it is far easier to read in all lights and at various angles than are the single-coated Casio Oceanus Mantas (all about the same price). One other difference between the Seiko and the Mantas, though, is that the Seiko dial has far less going on in the way of reflective sub-dials, etc.

    As for whether double AR coating is appropriate for anything other than a dress watch, I guess my response would be: "Do you not want optimal legibility in a sports watch, as well as in a dress watch?" Also, I don't see how eventually scratching the outside AR coating renders the underlying sapphire any less effective at preventing further deeper scratches into the crystal material itself. Presumably, if the outside AR-coating became scratched over time, reducing appearance and legibility, it could be completely removed, leaving the underlying sapphire completely clear and scratch free.

    Perhaps my experience with watches has been different from that of others; I have never scratched a crystal. As I mentioned earlier, I usually wear long-sleeve shirts, and this might account for my experience in this regard.
    Vancouver

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    Re: I tend to agree with that ...

    Quote Originally Posted by South Pender View Post
    That's an interesting observation. However, I also have a Seiko Brightz solar RC watch (SAGZ007) that does have the double AR-coating (along with, of course, the solar-cell dial), and it is far easier to read in all lights and at various angles than are the single-coated Casio Oceanus Mantas (all about the same price). One other difference between the Seiko and the Mantas, though, is that the Seiko dial has far less going on in the way of reflective sub-dials, etc.
    SAGZ007 seems to be a very interesting model (does the bezel rotate?) but it is slightly more expensive (and dressy); also Seiko are known to be the best with dials, especially black dials - so maybe they managed to hide the reflections of the solar part and at that point it made total sense do go double-coated (which I believe Seiko normally did in the past only with the GS and higher).

    Quote Originally Posted by South Pender View Post
    As for whether double AR coating is appropriate for anything other than a dress watch, I guess my response would be: "Do you not want optimal legibility in a sports watch, as well as in a dress watch?" Also, I don't see how eventually scratching the outside AR coating renders the underlying sapphire any less effective at preventing further deeper scratches into the crystal material itself. Presumably, if the outside AR-coating became scratched over time, reducing appearance and legibility, it could be completely removed, leaving the underlying sapphire completely clear and scratch free.

    Perhaps my experience with watches has been different from that of others; I have never scratched a crystal. As I mentioned earlier, I usually wear long-sleeve shirts, and this might account for my experience in this regard.
    The main problem with scratches is the "imperfection pushed in your eyes", so when you have a scratch on the crystal that can be very frustrating ... and all my mineral crystals that got some real wrist time after a few years have some scratches, very minor but those are there and sometimes are VERY hard to see but "I know about them" :) AR-coating is also kind of sensitive, definitely more sensitive than mineral and probably just a tad better than the old acrilics ...

    The final point is not that you want less legibility in a sports watch than in a dress watch, but in a real sports watch that you wear daily you WILL get scratches and any company that is serious about their image has to also think about that (only VERY few of the customers know about the trade-offs involved) ... also it seems that double-coated was also kept for over-2000-US$ watches (GS, Chronomaster, DeVille and not AquaTerra and so on).

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    Re: I tend to agree with that ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Catalin View Post
    SAGZ007 seems to be a very interesting model (does the bezel rotate?) but it is slightly more expensive (and dressy); also Seiko are known to be the best with dials, especially black dials - so maybe they managed to hide the reflections of the solar part and at that point it made total sense do go double-coated (which I believe Seiko normally did in the past only with the GS and higher).
    No, the bezel doesn't rotate. Of the various Seiko RC models that sync in North America, I liked the SAGZ series better than the SAGA models, as the latter had a world time subdial that I just found distracting. The SAGZ models are quite plain with date only, although they do have a world-time feature with which you can get the watch to indicate times in various locations around the world. The bezel (unfortunately) does have the place names inscribed on it, which to my eye seems a little tacky for a dress watch, but other than that, I'm quite happy with mine. I've had it just one month.
    Vancouver

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