Combining Titanium and Stainless Steel Watch Links
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  1. #1
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    Combining Titanium and Stainless Steel Watch Links

    Hello everyone,

    Does anyone here know if it is a bad idea to combine stainless steel and titanium watch links? I have a titanium watch with a short bracelet and have spare stainless steel links that may fit. I was wondering if this would be a bad idea because I have read that stainless steel is a harder metal than titanium which may cause inadvertent wear on the titanium bracelet once combined. Thank you, looking forward to your responses.

  2. #2
    Member sticky's Avatar
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    Re: Combining Titanium and Stainless Steel Watch Links

    One of the Mods on another forum has a steel bracelet on his Ti watch (or is it a Ti bracelet on a steel watch?) and he has reported no problems with it. The slight colour difference is noticeable but it is only slight.
    Degr8n8 likes this.

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    Re: Combining Titanium and Stainless Steel Watch Links

    Awesome, thanks for the reply!!!

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    Re: Combining Titanium and Stainless Steel Watch Links

    The real thing to watch out for when having two different metals in contact with each other isn't wear, but galvanic corrosion. I won't get to into the physics of it but basically metals have a property called electrode potential, and that potential varies from metal to metal. When you have two metals with a large variance in electrode potential near enough to each other and introduce an electrolyte (salt water is a good one) you set up the same type of situation you have in a battery -- one metal acts as an anode, the other a cathode and ions start to migrate. Basically the anode begins to dissolve and deposit ions onto the cathode. That being said repeated testing of stainless steel and titanium in various settings has not shown them to have a meaningful potential for galvanic corrosion, to a point where the combination has been deemed safe for situations such as medical implants.

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    Re: Combining Titanium and Stainless Steel Watch Links

    Hmm I didnt think of that. I'm actually minoring in chemistry so I totally understood what you just said. Simply, one of the metals will be oxidized and the other reduced depending on their potentials; what you just described is a galvanic cell. Also, in your last statement, don't you mean "unsafe" not "safe"? Thanks!

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    Re: Combining Titanium and Stainless Steel Watch Links

    No, I meant safe. Testing shows the corrosion potential at SS-Ti and Ti-SS interfaces is negligible enough that it is not a concern even in medical uses. Plenty of examples out there but here is one: Is galvanic corrosion between titanium alloy... [Spine J. 2004 Jul-Aug] - PubMed - NCBI

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    Re: Combining Titanium and Stainless Steel Watch Links

    I used to own a Panerai pam 91, the bracelet is made of steel and titanium, no issue at all.

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    Re: Combining Titanium and Stainless Steel Watch Links

    Perfect, this is just what I needed! I appreciate the response.

    Quote Originally Posted by cprrckwlf View Post
    No, I meant safe. Testing shows the corrosion potential at SS-Ti and Ti-SS interfaces is negligible enough that it is not a concern even in medical uses. Plenty of examples out there but here is one: Is galvanic corrosion between titanium alloy... [Spine J. 2004 Jul-Aug] - PubMed - NCBI

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    Re: Combining Titanium and Stainless Steel Watch Links

    Quote Originally Posted by cprrckwlf View Post
    The real thing to watch out for when having two different metals in contact with each other isn't wear, but galvanic corrosion. I won't get to into the physics of it but basically metals have a property called electrode potential, and that potential varies from metal to metal. When you have two metals with a large variance in electrode potential near enough to each other and introduce an electrolyte (salt water is a good one) you set up the same type of situation you have in a battery -- one metal acts as an anode, the other a cathode and ions start to migrate. Basically the anode begins to dissolve and deposit ions onto the cathode. That being said repeated testing of stainless steel and titanium in various settings has not shown them to have a meaningful potential for galvanic corrosion, to a point where the combination has been deemed safe for situations such as medical implants.
    I don't think this is an issues the the adjoining metal pieces move against against each other, like a bracelet would. Galvanic corrosion is only an issue when the metals sit together, undisturbed. Furthermore, titanium is one of the most corrosion resistant metals, almost like gold, and would unlikely cause problems.

    This article indicates that galvanic corrosion between titanium and stainless steel is not a concern:
    Is galvanic corrosion between titanium alloy... [Spine J. 2004 Jul-Aug] - PubMed - NCBI
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    Member cprrckwlf's Avatar
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    Re: Combining Titanium and Stainless Steel Watch Links

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary123 View Post
    I don't think this is an issues the the adjoining metal pieces move against against each other, like a bracelet would. Galvanic corrosion is only an issue when the metals sit together, undisturbed. Furthermore, titanium is one of the most corrosion resistant metals, almost like gold, and would unlikely cause problems.

    This article indicates that galvanic corrosion between titanium and stainless steel is not a concern:
    Is galvanic corrosion between titanium alloy... [Spine J. 2004 Jul-Aug] - PubMed - NCBI
    Yeah. I guess my sentence wasn't all that clear but it is what I said: Ti-SS isn't an issue.

    As far as sitting undisturbed my understanding (and it is entirely possible I'm wrong) is that the proximity is the issue, not the orientation and movement. If you grabbed the right two metals say bronze and aluminum (huge difference in anodic potential of .5, chosen because you occasionally see them both in watches) you've got issues over time as long as you have the electrolyte present -- in motion or not. I used salt water as an example before, but sweat would work pretty well and likely to be present for long periods of time over the life of a watch.

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