Carbon Fiber And Other Exotic Metals - How does a WIS view these?
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  1. #1
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    Carbon Fiber And Other Exotic Metals - How does a WIS view these?

    As a very avid watch enthusiast im always fascinated to see new materials used on watches. Granted a lot of the time these materials are just novelty, or done for the sake of doing so. some of the few materials I can think of off the top of my head are Tantalum, Zirconium, Cermet, etc.

    It might sound fancy and the materials might have some great properties but Im curious to know how a WIS or fellow watch aficionado actually views these materials. Its once thing to see it and think its cool but quite another to actually set aside funds to purchase one.

    For example a Carbon fiber hublot may cost 20K but would you view carbon Fiber as a "High class" or "upscale" Material?

    Post some pics or mention some watches with materials you think represent a beautiful work of art that you think should garner true respect.

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    Moderator Public Forum GlennO's Avatar
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    Re: Carbon Fiber And Other Exotic Metals - How does a WIS view these?

    I view any new technology or innovation with interest, whether its case material or movement technology or whatever. There's always room for improvement, and its great to have choices. I'm very interested in Lum-Tec's new cobalt chromium cases, for example.

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    Re: Carbon Fiber And Other Exotic Metals - How does a WIS view these?

    There are interesting developments and I'm glad to see companies pushing the envelope, but I know that many new materials choices will end up being impractical in the end. All the more power to them for trying, though, without manufacturers experimenting like that we wouldn't have things that have become commonplace now; like sapphire crystals or balance wheels made of temperature insensitive metals.

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    Member Likestheshiny's Avatar
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    Re: Carbon Fiber And Other Exotic Metals - How does a WIS view these?

    My laptop's made of carbon fiber. If I can accept that, I suppose I should accept a CF watch.

    Still, perhaps I'm just being old fashioned, but I prefer that new materials and innovations preserve the basic appearance and function of a watch. Titanium alloy? Sure -- it looks a lot like steel. Sapphire instead of glass? Of course -- they're both see-through anyway. Silicon hairsprings? Well, yeah, that's tiny, and inside, and I probably couldn't tell the difference anyway. But, a carbon fiber watch starts to not look so much like a watch, or (worse) looks like a plastic watch.
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    Member Gary123's Avatar
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    Re: Carbon Fiber And Other Exotic Metals - How does a WIS view these?

    A carbon fiber watch looks great by daylight but at night looks like plastic or PVD. This Bell and Ross has a carbon fiber "outer case" over a stainless steel inner case. The only reason for this, is that the weight of the watch tells you it is not plastic.


    This one by Nite is made of polycarbonite, so I don't mind that it looks like plastic because it is. Light as a feather, 200m water resistant and an easy read at all times, my wife said she would like to wear it. One of the few watches I own that I wouldn't mind if she did.
    Last edited by Gary123; October 17th, 2013 at 05:07.
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    Member iam7head's Avatar
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    Re: Carbon Fiber And Other Exotic Metals - How does a WIS view these?

    I think it is great that many big guys in the watchmaking business is pioneering new thing, I tried on the CF IWC Ingy last month and I am happy to say it's much much more pretty and subtle in person. The weight is very unreal to say the least, being in the product development business I can tell you they are really pushing the envelope on this one. The finish on the CF is 100 times better than the usual airplane seat panel(which we worked on)

    Hopefully the material science will trickle down and mature into something useful for everyday(or in extreme application such as mililtary, emergency, space exploration, etc)
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    Member ken_sturrock's Avatar
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    Re: Carbon Fiber And Other Exotic Metals - How does a WIS view these?

    I'm with Shiny. I like new materials, but prefer them where they make sense. Carbon Fibre bicycle frames or race car body panels? Sure! Carbon Fibre watch face? Meh....

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    Member iam7head's Avatar
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    Re: Carbon Fiber And Other Exotic Metals - How does a WIS view these?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary123 View Post
    A carbon fiber watch looks great by daylight but at night looks like plastic or PVD. This Bell and Ross has a carbon fiber "outer case" over a stainless steel inner case. The only reason for this, is that the weight of the watch tells you it is not plastic.


    This one by Nite is made of polycarbonite, so I don't mind that it looks like plastic because it is. Light as a feather, 200m water resistant and an easy read at all times, my wife said she would like to wear it. One of the few watches I own that I wouldn't mind if she did.
    Interesting to see B&R using an overlay technique, it's actually how the first generation carbon fiber road bikes were constructed, a carbon fiber/ fiber glass tube and overlap over aluminum joint(Lugs) to lighten the frame weight, back in the day they do not have the technique to build a full CF frame that is strong enough to be competitive to thin-walled steel or aluminium framed road bike. Now CF frame is the mainstream weapon of choice, CAM/CAD process can fine tune the amount of flex for comfort(vertical compliance for long touring and race) and high degree of stiffness for precision in handling and structural integrity.

    But I assume for B&R the material finish is purely aesthetic(Nothing is wrong with that)
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    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Carbon Fiber And Other Exotic Metals - How does a WIS view these?

    IF the new material results in better performance or more attractive design then sure it is interesting enough to have a look. A great example is carbon fiber. Used in bike frames and fishing rods it delivers improved performance. Used in watches and straps it delivers a look that some find attractive. Some watch manufacturers cheat by making carbon fibre lookalike material. For me the carbon fiber look found in watches is not attractive. I view it as a fad that is more sizzle than steak.
    Last edited by John MS; October 17th, 2013 at 05:50.

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    Member iam7head's Avatar
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    Re: Carbon Fiber And Other Exotic Metals - How does a WIS view these?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken_sturrock View Post
    I'm with Shiny. I like new materials, but prefer them where they make sense. Carbon Fibre bicycle frames or race car body panels? Sure! Carbon Fibre watch face? Meh....
    Well, most of the measuring instruments housing were made with metal(robust, low tooling cost but heavy), then baker-lite(lighter cheaper but weaker) and now engineering plastic/polymer is the rage(Low cost, lighter, stronger)

    But like most things there's limitation as too what it can do(and financially rational for mass production)

    Engineering polymer/composite is everywhere, fiberglass reinforced plastic for example is one of the lightest yet strongest material for electronic. My IBM is using such on a magnesium frame/chassis and it's quite light comparing the usual laptop.

    Changes doesn't happen overtime but like I said, I am more than happy to see the big guy is having fun testing out all the new stuff.
    Last edited by iam7head; October 17th, 2013 at 05:34.
    ken_sturrock likes this.
    Rolex Submariner 114060
    Rolex Milgauss GV 116400
    Omega Speedmaster Professional Hesalite/Sapphire Sandwich 3572.50
    Omega Seamaster Professional Ceramic 300M
    Officine Panerai Luminor 1950 372P
    Officine Panerai Luminor Base 000M
    Officine Panerai Radiomir Blackseal 380P
    IWC Pilot's MK XVIII "Le Petit Prince" IW327004
    Seagull x WUS Moonphase #7
    Casio G-Shock "Mudman" G-9000
    Swatch Sistem51 "Hodinkee" Vintage 84

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