How scratch proof is the submarine steel vs tegimented steel?
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Thread: How scratch proof is the submarine steel vs tegimented steel?

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  1. #1
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    How scratch proof is the submarine steel vs tegimented steel?

    Is the submarine steel still harder than most stainless watches?

  2. #2
    Member Horrendous's Avatar
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    Re: How scratch proof is the submarine steel vs tegimented steel?

    From what I understand, the submarine steel undergoes a tegimenting process. So what you end up with is tegimented submarine steel. It's not one or the other.

    The submarine steel itself is amagnetic but the tegimenting is what makes it significantly harder than standard stainless.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

  3. #3
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    Re: How scratch proof is the submarine steel vs tegimented steel?

    Well, the U series are submarine steel, which they advertise as antimagnetic and more resistant to corrosive elements than regular steel. It seems it may be more scratch resistant than regular steel, but I don't see that explicitly stated. Their surfaces are usually blasted, however, which helps mask scratches.

    However, not all of their submarine steel is tegimented. The tegimenting process is post processing to make the steel more scratch resistant. It really works, and in my opinion it is worth the money to get a regimented version of the U1, which is an extra $500. The downside it still can get marks, which are not really scratches per se but kind of a focal change in the finish that is only noticeable in certain light. When it does, you cannot polish tegimented steel without weakening the scratch resistance.

    Sinn also has tegimented titanium with the EZM 9. I bet that's pretty cool.
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    How scratch proof is the submarine steel vs tegimented steel?

    I knew I’d read this somewhere in the run up to my UX purchase.
    Basically harder, stronger, and more corrosion resistant. Here’s an old thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMSgt Bo View Post
    In a word, yes.

    In many words assembled by fellow Sinner, Majj, a couple years ago:

    The normal annealed austenitic stainless steels, 316L and 316L VM, have 150 - 190 HV on a Vickers Hardness scale. They can achieve 250 - 300 HV, when they are cold hardened (note: Ice hardened 316L & 316VM tool steels may achieve 600 – 700 HV; these are very expensive). The hardened austenitic stainless steel used in watches’ cases (316L or 316L VM) has 200 - 240 HV.

    The super annealed austenitic stainless steel 904L has circa 150 - 190 HV and the cold hardened super austenitic stainless steel 904L can achieve 250 - 300 HV (note: Ice hardened 904L tool steels may achieve 600 – 700 HV; these are very expensive). The hardened super austenitic stainless steel used in watches’ cases has 200 - 240 HV. There are no differences in hardness between 316L, 316L VM and 904L stainless steels used in watches.

    The SUG's patented special non-magnetic U-boat HY-100 high yield low-alloy Ni-Cr-Mo submarine steel for Sinn watches (contains C, Mn, P, S, Cu, Si, Ni, Cr, Mo, V and Ti and the MIL-S-16216K and MIL-S-16216 specifications set certain material composition, "weight % plus additional material if needed", requirements for it; but the exact composition of it is classified information) has 300 - 400 HV, usually around 350 HV. The U-boat steel used Sinn watches’ cases have circa 350 HV.

    Vickers hardness (HV) of steel and coatings simplified:

    CrNiMo 316L & 316L VM austenitic steels aka normal stainless steels (chromium nickel molybdenum) 150 – 190 HV

    CrNiMo 316L & 316L VM hardened austenitic steels aka hardened normal stainless steels (chromium nickel molybdenum) 250 – 300 HV

    Ø CrNiMo 316L & 316L VM watches usually have 200 – 240 HV

    NiCrMoCu 904L super austenitic steel aka super stainless steel (nickel chromium molybdenum copper) 150 – 190 HV

    NiCrMoCu 904L hardened super austenitic steel aka super stainless steel (nickel chromium molybdenum copper) 250 – 300 HV

    Ø NiCrMoCu 904L used in Rolex watches usually have 200 – 240 HV

    CrMoN ice hardened martensitic steel aka ice hardened, e.g. 440A stainless steel, (chromium molybdenum nitrogen) 600 – 700 HV

    CrNiMo 316L/316L VM & NiCrMoCu 904L steels Tegimented/Kolsterized 1,000 – 1,200 HV

    Ni-Cr-Mo HY-100 steel - (submarine steel contains contains C, Mn, P, S, Cu, Si, Ni, Cr, Mo, V and Ti) has 300 - 400 HV

    Ø Ni-Cr-Mo HY-100 steel used in Sinn watches usually have circa 350 HV

    HY-100 steel - Tegimented/Kolsterized (submarine steel contains C, Mn, P, S, Cu, Si, Ni, Cr, Mo, V and Ti) 1,500 HV

    HY-100 steel PVD hardened & Tegimented/Kolsterized (submarine steel contains C, Mn, P, S, Cu, Si, Ni, Cr, Mo, V and Ti) 2,000 HV

    I hope this helped.


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    Last edited by nodnar; July 14th, 2018 at 06:46.
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    Re: How scratch proof is the submarine steel vs tegimented steel?

    I have a regular U1 bought new since 2014. Its not the tegimented version, so just in basic submarine steel.

    Over the years it's been my beater though i don't abuse it needlessly. It has picked up quite a number of light scuffs particularly at the bezel rim. It was also dropped from a height of 0.9m and landed on one lug. There was a dent at the lug's tip. There was also a very small ding on one of the lugs after i pranged it lightly against a staircase bannister. These made me doubt the actual toughness of submarine steel.

    Can anyone comment what material the U series bezels are made of? Try tapping on them with a fingertip. It certainly doesnt sound nor feel like even stainless 316L steel.
    In fact, can anyone comment on the damage that my U1 has suffered? Are dings and dents normal on a steel this hard?
    Seiko Citizen

  7. #6
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    Re: How scratch proof is the submarine steel vs tegimented steel?

    All the U series watches are Sub steel, not all are tegimented. Sub steel is harder, but not much. It’s claim to fame is the anti magnetic properties, not the hardness. Pretty sure bezels are the same material, unless tegimented. Same material, different process. The downside of any of the EZMs or U series is they are blasted, and unless you have access to a media blaster a scratch is a scratch. But, these are tool watches, so that’s not too bad a thing. Neither shows marks too badly overall. Personally, not having the watch itself be tegimented would be fine for me, but a tegimented bracelet might be nice. Downside of that is the tegiment process has a very slightly different hue than the standard U finish. Very subtle, but there. Of all my EZMs and U’s none have been tegimented and have stood the test of rigorous adventures pretty much unscathed, bracelet clasps excepted...
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