New technology?
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  1. #1
    Member gtuck's Avatar
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    New technology?

    Just was on the Ball web site for the first time in quite some time and noted that under the Technology page they say selected watches are now made with 904L steel. This is the same steel that Rolex switched to some years back because of its corrosion resistance, I believe. Apparently, its quite a bit harder to work with than 316L.

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    Re: New technology?

    What does “unique hardness” mean? What’s the hardness of 904L steel? I hope they use it in some future unpolished models. Love their designs but am not a fan of polished steel.

  3. #3
    Member gtuck's Avatar
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    Re: New technology?

    I don't know if 904L steel is harder or more resistant to scratches--it doesn't seem to be on a Rolex. But I understand it is more difficult for the manufacturer to machine. Its primary advantage is corrosion resistance I believe.

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  5. #4
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    Re: New technology?

    I looked up the material properties of both and 316L is actually harder than 904L so the 316L should in practical use be more scratch resistant. The are both low on the magnetic scale and typically only become magnetized when heavily machined. They are also both categorized as corrosion resistant but "904L is much more resistant to corrosion than 316L" according to the data sheet and specifically calls out warm sea water and chlorine. The 904L does have slightly higher tensile and yield strength but you are never going to encounter those types of forces in a watch and if you do the person wearing the watch will most likely be dead or missing an arm anyway.

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