Duration of AR Coatings?
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  1. #1
    Member Chris Stark's Avatar
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    Duration of AR Coatings?

    I lot of people post about their anti-reflective coating scratches or how hard they think their AR is, but how long does it actually last? I've heard that between our skin oils, environmental pollutants, cleaning the crystal with clothes, UV light and dog licks, that AR doesn't last forever.

    Can anyone shed some light on this topic and perhaps share their own experiences? AR has been around for a long time (1935?) yet it seems like most folks here have newer watches where the AR is not that old.

    Also, I believe Rolex does not use AR on any of their watches, so there must be a good reason for this.
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  2. #2
    Member Tomega's Avatar
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    Re: Duration of AR Coatings?

    I can only speak on the AR coating of my Sinn 556i. There are a lot of hairline scratches that I can see in certain light, but I'd say that it's held up very well. The thing that I love the most about it is the fact that it really makes the dial pop. At times, it looks like there isn't a crystal on the watch at all.

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  3. #3
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Duration of AR Coatings?

    Like most things AR coatings don't last for ever but they are reasonably durable. Abrasion likely counts for most of the damage. Just keep the crystal from brushing against solid objects and you should be fine.

    AR coatings used on older camera and binocular lenses was relatively soft and subject to wear from cleaning. Newer coatings seem to be much more durable.

    To answer your question I have no idea how long it lasts. Too many variables.

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  5. #4
    Member liu_watch's Avatar
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    Duration of AR Coatings?

    Too many variables to say how long, as others pointed out.

    Mine started showing hairlines after 3 or 4 years of "normal" use. Once they become scratched, you would have to either replace the crystal or manually remove the coating. If I have a choice, I would rather not have the coating on the outside to begin with.

    Anti-reflective can be achieved using other methods, i.e., crystal curvature, dial pattern/color. Just look at Omega Moonwatch, JLC Reverso, Cartier Tank, none of them use outside coating and they are very legible.
    Using outside coating is just a "lazy" way to deal with the problem, IMO. Coating on the inside OTOH is good.


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    Last edited by liu_watch; October 25th, 2016 at 18:33.
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    Member Upstate's Avatar
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    Re: Duration of AR Coatings?

    I have a Sinn 556I from 2014 and the outer AR coating is scratched to all hell. I'll probably end up removing it soon.

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    Member Tomega's Avatar
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    Re: Duration of AR Coatings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Upstate View Post
    I have a Sinn 556I from 2014 and the outer AR coating is scratched to all hell. I'll probably end up removing it soon.
    I've been thinking about this is as well, but just haven't been bothered to do so.
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  8. #7
    Moderator at Large stuffler,mike's Avatar
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    Re: Duration of AR Coatings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stark View Post
    Also, I believe Rolex does not use AR on any of their watches, so there must be a good reason for this.
    Hmmh, My Rolex Submariner 114060 has Ar coating on the back of the crystal.
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  9. #8
    Member sticky's Avatar
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    Re: Duration of AR Coatings?

    My specs have AR coating and it took many years of daily cleaning for it to show any signs of wear on my last pair so ruling accidental damage out I would expect it to last ages on a watch even with the dog licking it now and again.

  10. #9
    Member Likestheshiny's Avatar
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    Re: Duration of AR Coatings?

    Hmmh, My Rolex Submariner 114060 has Ar coating on the back of the crystal.
    Only directly under the cyclops, though. Sometimes I wonder if Rolex does that just to discourage people from plinking off the cyclops, because it leaves an annoyingly visible oval of AR.

  11. #10
    Member Eggplant Parmesan's Avatar
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    Re: Duration of AR Coatings?

    How long the coating will last depends on many factors: type of use, crystal/watch shape, etc. If you wear sandpaper on the inside of your shirt sleeves, the AR coating on your crystal probably won't fare too well. Use your watch as a knuckle-duster? Expect scratches. Tend to be careless or clumsy with your watches? Ditto.

    I have an Omega Planet Ocean chrono that I've been wearing semi-regularly for 9 years and you can barely see the 3-4 scratches even under very specific lighting conditions. If you exercise a reasonable amout of care, it will easily last until your next service.
    Last edited by MOSCATO; October 25th, 2016 at 19:22.

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