Blue steel materials .. special thing ?

Thread: Blue steel materials .. special thing ?

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  1. #1
    Member sunatmasal's Avatar
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    Blue steel materials .. special thing ?

    once a fellow show me his aquaterra and 'teach' me every detail of that beauty including the blue steel hands.
    i believe he mentioned the 'blue steel' about six-seven times .. so i'm sure it's a very special material, that no affordable watch can have

    is it true ?

  2. #2
    beshannon
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    Re: Blue steel materials .. special thing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunatmasal View Post
    once a fellow show me his aquaterra and 'teach' me every detail of that beauty including the blue steel hands.
    i believe he mentioned the 'blue steel' about six-seven times .. so i'm sure it's a very special material, that no affordable watch can have

    is it true ?
    While it is nice, it is not special.

    It is a process to blue the steel with heat, or paint if the quality is low enough.

    http://www.hautehorlogerie.org/en/en...ued-steel.html

    I was looking as several Stowa watches today with blued screws and those pieces cost alot less than an Aquaterra

  3. #3
    Member Sodiac's Avatar
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    Re: Blue steel materials .. special thing ?

    There's a real art to this, we used to do it in the machine shop a long time ago. We used some chemicals that included lead, and then heat, but it has to be exact temperatures for specific times for parts as thin as hands. Too much and they'll burn; too little and it doesn't work. I believe thicker parts are easier, but I think they still coat them in a chemical first.

    Here's a video of someone making blued screws for a watch movement. It doesn't say whether they used a chemical first, but from the look of the "raw" screw before he heats it, I'd say yes. The best shot of it is around 1:12, when he puts a screw in and it turns blue with the heat, then he puts it in the movement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Pim3ylIMhg

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  5. #4
    Member sunatmasal's Avatar
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    Re: Blue steel materials .. special thing ?

    ah..i see
    thanks beshannon

    now - that 'teach' me clearly

    and how to distinguish which one is heated and which is painted?
    teach me more

  6. #5
    Member sunatmasal's Avatar
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    Re: Blue steel materials .. special thing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sodiac View Post
    There's a real art to this, we used to do it in the machine shop a long time ago. We used some chemicals that included lead, and then heat, but it has to be exact temperatures for specific times for parts as thin as hands. Too much and they'll burn; too little and it doesn't work. I believe thicker parts are easier, but I think they still coat them in a chemical first.

    Here's a video of someone making blued screws for a watch movement. It doesn't say whether they used a chemical first, but from the look of the "raw" screw before he heats it, I'd say yes. The best shot of it is around 1:12, when he puts a screw in and it turns blue with the heat, then he puts it in the movement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Pim3ylIMhg
    getting clearer
    :thanks sodiac

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    Re: Blue steel materials .. special thing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunatmasal View Post
    once a fellow show me his aquaterra and 'teach' me every detail of that beauty including the blue steel hands.
    i believe he mentioned the 'blue steel' about six-seven times .. so i'm sure it's a very special material, that no affordable watch can have

    is it true ?
    The blue hands are special to me

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  8. #7
    beshannon
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    Re: Blue steel materials .. special thing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquaracer1 View Post
    The blue hands are special to me

    They are beautiful I like them alot. To lead someone to believe that there is something special, exotic and expensive about them is simply not true.

  9. #8
    Member RJRJRJ's Avatar
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    Re: Blue steel materials .. special thing ?

    Quote Originally Posted by beshannon View Post
    They are beautiful I like them alot. To lead someone to believe that there is something special, exotic and expensive about them is simply not true.
    I cant speak for the Omega, but properly blued steel takes a difficult and time consuming process, making it something that you usually only see on higher end watches.

  10. #9
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    Re: Blue steel materials .. special thing ?

    My question:

    This is true of my Fortis and I am pretty sure it's the case for some other watches as well - the blued hands only look blue at certain angles.

    For my Fortis, I would say they look blue about 30% of the time. The rest of the time they look black.

    Is this a quality of blued steel in general, or is it this somehow done on purpose by watch companies. And if so, why? Ideally, it would be 70/30 blue/black than the other way around.

    (BTW - It doesn't bother me, just have to rotate my wrist a little - it's another excuse to stare at the watch for a couple of extra seconds!)
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  11. #10
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    Re: Blue steel materials .. special thing ?

    There are 4 ways to achieve the Blue colour.
    1: Blue paint
    2: Chemical oxidation (liquid blueing)
    3: Heat (ca 430 C)
    4: Heat (lower than 400) plus dipping in oil (oil blueing / tempering)
    5: Flame blueing - not sure if this is classed as blueing. Done on the receiver on some guns.

    I might be a little bit wrong on the temperatures.

    To do blueing in an oven is fairly easy, and I think Omega et al. do it in this way. To do a more "Artinasal" blueing leads to a large % of ruined hands.

    In gun circles, Colt was famous for the very deep blue blueing.
    You can easily do a chemical blueing yourself, if you do the chemical one. Just buy a bottle of the liquid at any gun shop.
    Last edited by Janne; November 21st, 2009 at 04:27.

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