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  1. #1
    Member VazLube's Avatar
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    Ceramic case

    How durable is ceramic material used for watch case and how it's comparable to standard stainless steel?

  2. #2
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    Re: Ceramic case

    Quote Originally Posted by VazLube View Post
    How durable is ceramic material used for watch case and how it's comparable to standard stainless steel?
    I'm sure it'll vary from specific material to material, but Rado has a comparison of their ceramic (and metals) here:

    http://www.rado.com/en/service/Downl...ls_english.pdf

  3. #3
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    Re: Ceramic case

    It's not, it's brittle. If they hit on a large glass, marble or even tile surface, they can break or shatter.

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    Re: Ceramic case

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchbreath View Post
    It's not, it's brittle. If they hit on a large glass, marble or even tile surface, they can break or shatter.
    I thought the whole point of ceramics was that they are more durable than steel? Or are they just more scratchproof, not shatterproof?

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    Re: Ceramic case

    Correct. Incredibly scratch proof, very brittle.
    Bit if I do not remember wrongly, the ceramic on Rado watches is supported by a S/s case? If the ceramic is fused to the steel case, the ceramic will gain strength, just like a bonded ceramic/metal crown we dentists make.
    It can still chip, though!

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    Re: Ceramic case

    More scratch resistant.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuySie View Post
    I thought the whole point of ceramics was that they are more durable than steel? Or are they just more scratchproof, not shatterproof?

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    Re: Ceramic case

    Brittle is a misleading word to use when describing ceramics. Unless perhaps 'relatively' is used as an adjective. Ceramics don't undergo the plastic deformation we are familiar with in metals (which dent or bend when subjected to a force, like a blow). A ceramic will more likely fracture.

    But not all ceramics are fragile in the way of a terra cotta roofing tile or a porcelain tea cup. When I worked in a laboratory in the glass industry, we crushed the lumps of glass to a fine powder for further analysis using a crusher made from ceramic components (metal would have dented to uselessness within minutes).

    A ceramic is definitely more likely to suffer catastrophic failure when subjected to forces beyond its tolerance. However, those forces can be so high as to be irrelevant in some situations. Perhaps there are instances of Rado watches shattering; they sure are tough to scratch. A guy I work with has used a Rado as his daily wear for more than 20 years, and I swear the bloody thing looks brand new!
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    Re: Ceramic case

    Rado's crappy bracelet is another story.
    Quote Originally Posted by G M Fude View Post
    Brittle is a misleading word to use when describing ceramics. Unless perhaps 'relatively' is used as an adjective. Ceramics don't undergo the plastic deformation we are familiar with in metals (which dent or bend when subjected to a force, like a blow). A ceramic will more likely fracture.

    But not all ceramics are fragile in the way of a terra cotta roofing tile or a porcelain tea cup. When I worked in a laboratory in the glass industry, we crushed the lumps of glass to a fine powder for further analysis using a crusher made from ceramic components (metal would have dented to uselessness within minutes).

    A ceramic is definitely more likely to suffer catastrophic failure when subjected to forces beyond its tolerance. However, those forces can be so high as to be irrelevant in some situations. Perhaps there are instances of Rado watches shattering; they sure are tough to scratch. A guy I work with has used a Rado as his daily wear for more than 20 years, and I swear the bloody thing looks brand new!

  10. #9
    Member VazLube's Avatar
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    Re: Ceramic case

    Quote Originally Posted by G M Fude View Post
    A ceramic is definitely more likely to suffer catastrophic failure when subjected to forces beyond its tolerance. However, those forces can be so high as to be irrelevant in some situations. Perhaps there are instances of Rado watches shattering; they sure are tough to scratch. A guy I work with has used a Rado as his daily wear for more than 20 years, and I swear the bloody thing looks brand new!
    What causes Rado cases to shatter? Dropped to a titled floor? Direct blow with a hammer?

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    Re: Ceramic case

    Quote Originally Posted by VazLube View Post
    How durable is ceramic material used for watch case and how it's comparable to standard stainless steel?
    Most ceramic watch cases are made of partially stabilised zirconia, which was called "ceramic steel" when it was first described. While PSZ is much tougher than household or lower grade industrial ceramics, it is much easier to break than steel. The fact that it is less tough than steel is of little practical importance: a blow that would break a ceramic watch case would probably also injure the wearer and many people have worn ceramic watches for more than 10 years without incident.

    If you drop a ceramic watch onto a tile or concrete floor, you could crack the case. On the other hand, if you drop a mechanical watch with a glass or sapphire crystal, you could crack the crystal and damage the movement.

    The chief advantage of a ceramic watch case is hardness which resists scratches. Ceramics are much harder than steel. In fact ceramics are often used to cut steel. In practice, most of the cosmetic damage suffered by watches is due to minor dents and scratches which the wearer might not feel. These are precisely the accidents that ceramics can resist better than steel.

    Many people who have had Rado ceramic watches for 5 to 10 years will tell you that they cannot see the slightest mark.

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