Why Aren't More High Brands Using Tungsten Carbide Cases?
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  1. #1
    Member RBrylawski's Avatar
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    Why Aren't More High Brands Using Tungsten Carbide Cases?

    If you're like me, you don't like scratches on your watch, your watch band, or your watch buckle. Over many years, I've worked hard to have the mental ability to protect my watches from the likes of door frames, desks, walls, etc. I recently bought two nice diamond wedding band rings for Christmas. In my research, I found Tungsten Carbide, but none came with the quality of carat weight of diamonds I wanted, or I would have bought one in an instant. Tungsten Carbide is virtually impossible to scratch, and it shines nicely. Tungsten can't be easily resized, so it's actually a somewhat questionable material for a ring, but for a watch, it would seem to be a perfect material to make a case out of. So why don't more higher end brands make watches out of a material that would ensure the watch looked as scratch free and perfect 50 years from the date it was first strapped to an owners wrist? Is it a money thing? Tungsten doesn't appear to be very expensive. I can't imagine manufacturers make much money refinishing cases during a servicing. In fact, it would save them money during a service as the case would not require refinishing. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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    Seiko, Cartier Moderator Athram's Avatar
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    Re: Why Aren't More High Brands Using Tungsten Carbide Cases?

    Because it shatters fairly 'easily'. It's like a diamond. Extremely hard and highly scratch resistant. However if you knock it with a good deal of force then it will shatter into pieces.
    Last edited by Athram; December 31st, 2012 at 04:19. Reason: fail spelling

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    Member American Eagle's Avatar
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    Re: Why Aren't More High Brands Using Tungsten Carbide Cases?

    Because Rado got the market cornered on that. I love my Rado Diastar, but it is possible to scratch it though. Mine after many years of service has two tiny scratches on the bezel. They are almost impossible to see unless you know where to look, and look at it incredibly close and at the right angle...but they are there.

    However, as much as I enjoy the Diastar, I prefer stainless steel because Tungsten Carbide is such a hard metal to shape that all watches would pretty much look the same. With a softer metal you can do a lot more interesting designs and styles.




    As for scratches...who cares? If you paid so much for a watch that you are afraid to wear it for fear of scratching it...you should have bought a cheaper one. Watches are made to be worn and enjoyed, and life is too short to be obsessing over scratches. You remind me a lot of the people who buy fountain pens only to worry every time their precious pen gets a tiny scratch or mark. My pens and watches have lots of character marks, but each tells a story. Enjoy it and wear the heck out of it...that's my advise.
    Last edited by American Eagle; December 31st, 2012 at 04:23.
    Hamilton Khaki King
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    Re: Why Aren't More High Brands Using Tungsten Carbide Cases?

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    Thought we could use some pictures, even if they're fuzzy cell phone ones (Sorry).
    Some reasons I suppose one wouldn't want a tungsten carbide watch, in addition to shattering or chipping easily could be the weight. Or maybe difficulty in manufacturing. I couldn't say. I will say this thing is like having a mirror wrapped around your wrist. I sometimes have to take it off while driving because of how much light it reflects. Otherwise I'm pretty happy with it.

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    Member CitizenM's Avatar
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    Re: Why Aren't More High Brands Using Tungsten Carbide Cases?

    I wonder if it has anything to do with high-end makers desire to make a little side money cleaning the watches up. I'm not saying it is, I'm just curious.

  7. #6
    Member RBrylawski's Avatar
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    Re: Why Aren't More High Brands Using Tungsten Carbide Cases?

    Quote Originally Posted by American Eagle View Post
    Because Rado got the market cornered on that. I love my Rado Diastar, but it is possible to scratch it though. Mine after many years of service has two tiny scratches on the bezel. They are almost impossible to see unless you know where to look, and look at it incredibly close and at the right angle...but they are there.

    However, as much as I enjoy the Diastar, I prefer stainless steel because Tungsten Carbide is such a hard metal to shape that all watches would pretty much look the same. With a softer metal you can do a lot more interesting designs and styles.




    As for scratches...who cares? If you paid so much for a watch that you are afraid to wear it for fear of scratching it...you should have bought a cheaper one. Watches are made to be worn and enjoyed, and life is too short to be obsessing over scratches. You remind me a lot of the people who buy fountain pens only to worry every time their precious pen gets a tiny scratch or mark. My pens and watches have lots of character marks, but each tells a story. Enjoy it and wear the heck out of it...that's my advise.
    I never said I was afraid to wear my watches for fear of scratching. Don't misinterpret what I said. I said I work hard not to scratch my watches. Completely different. I'm glad you feel scratches are character marks. I'm the first to admit I'm totally anal about my things and scratches bug me. Pure and simple.
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    Member RBrylawski's Avatar
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    Re: Why Aren't More High Brands Using Tungsten Carbide Cases?

    Quote Originally Posted by CitizenM View Post
    I wonder if it has anything to do with high-end makers desire to make a little side money cleaning the watches up. I'm not saying it is, I'm just curious.
    I certainly wondered that........
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    Member RBrylawski's Avatar
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    Re: Why Aren't More High Brands Using Tungsten Carbide Cases?

    Quote Originally Posted by Athram View Post
    Because it shatters fairly 'easily'. It's like a diamond. Extremely hard and highly scratch resistant. However if you knock it with a good deal of force then it will shatter into pieces.
    I'm sure you know more than me, so that would certainly be a good reason........But there are some watches made of Tungsten Carbide and I'm wondering how many of them have been smashed to bits in real life?
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    Re: Why Aren't More High Brands Using Tungsten Carbide Cases?

    Seems like there're in the same corner with Movado.

  11. #10
    Member RBrylawski's Avatar
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    Re: Why Aren't More High Brands Using Tungsten Carbide Cases?

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchbreath View Post
    Seems like there're in the same corner with Movado.
    OK....so if Movado and Rado make watches with Tungsten, why don't other's? I don't recall reading many, if any posts of anyone coming here saying their watch shattered, or they took a chuck out of it. And they have some interesting looking case designs, so it can't be because it's that hard to shape the metal?
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