Hesalite Crystal

Thread: Hesalite Crystal

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  1. #1
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    Hesalite Crystal

    Is a hesalite crystal the same as a sapphire crystal? I had never heard of hesalite until recently. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Member kontai69's Avatar
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    Re: Hesalite Crystal

    Hesalite = plastic

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  3. #3
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    Re: Hesalite Crystal

    hesalite crystal is different from sapphire. hesalite is a plastic crystal...gives the dial more of a warm glow. sapphire gives the dial a crisper look.

    hesalite scratches much easier than the sapphire...yet those scratches can be buffed out. however, the advantage of hesalite over sapphire is that it is shatter-proof. sapphire can shatter.

    these days, most watches have sapphire.
    Last edited by acdelco; May 14th, 2008 at 06:19.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Hesalite Crystal

    And that shatter proofiness is one of the main reasons NASA selected the Omega instead of others (Rolex) for its Space program!
    Hesalite = plexiglass

  6. #5

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    Re: Hesalite Crystal

    well, in the beginning. the shuttle crews use the x-33 mission timer. sapphire crystal. a plastic crystal can be buffed. most try to just buff out the scratches. that leaves indentions in the plastic. your really supposed to take the entire crystal down to the level of the scratches. that leaves a flat, non wavey finish.

  7. #6
    Moderator Emeritus Crusader's Avatar
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    Re: Hesalite Crystal

    Quote Originally Posted by Janne View Post
    And that shatter proofiness is one of the main reasons NASA selected the Omega instead of others (Rolex) for its Space program!
    Hesalite = plexiglass
    I believe at the time NASA was first looking for a space chronograph, Rolex didn't have sapphire crystals yet ... but Jan's basic point is correct: with the tension-ring keeping the crystal inside the case, a watch with an acrylic crystal (=hesalite, plexiglas etc.) is much better equipped to handle the change from heat to cold on EVAs which might be a problem for sapphire-crystal equipped watches due to the different expansion/contraction rates when temperature changes.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Hesalite Crystal

    I believe that in the 60's, the Speedmaster's main competitor for NASA's approval for space missions was not Rolex but the Bulova Accutron tuning fork watches. Bulova spent a fortune trying to convince NASA and the U.S. government that the American space program should use American made watches rather than ones made by damned foreigners!
    However, though Accutron's were far, far more accurate than the Speedmaster's, they failed the stress tests that the Omega's passed easily.
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  9. #8
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    Re: Hesalite Crystal

    Quote Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
    I believe at the time NASA was first looking for a space chronograph, Rolex didn't have sapphire crystals yet ... but Jan's basic point is correct: with the tension-ring keeping the crystal inside the case, a watch with an acrylic crystal (=hesalite, plexiglas etc.) is much better equipped to handle the change from heat to cold on EVAs which might be a problem for sapphire-crystal equipped watches due to the different expansion/contraction rates when temperature changes.
    I believe the only crystal to pop off a watch in space was a Speedy!!(they have logged more hours in space than any other watch so maybe that is to be expected)
    Don

  10. #9
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    Re: Hesalite Crystal

    Quote Originally Posted by Donf View Post
    I believe the only crystal to pop off a watch in space was a Speedy!!(they have logged more hours in space than any other watch so maybe that is to be expected)
    Don
    To be fair, the Speedy is the only watch approved by NASA for EVA's, so the other NASA flight approved watches, from the X-33 to the G-Shocks, are never going to be subjected to the same environmental stresses.
    I'll bet the Strelas and Shturmanskies popped a few crystals too-- but the Soviets would never have admitted it!
    The best watch is the one that makes you happiest... and tells the time.

  11. #10
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    Re: Hesalite Crystal

    Quite a few watches available new today have plexiglass (like Hesalite, only less branding) crystals. I've heard that some of them aren't even made by Omega!

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