Process for bluing screws?
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  1. #1
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    Process for bluing screws?

    Does anyone know how Stowa achieves blue screws on the movements that feature them? I recently received a Partitio handwinding with a display back. It has the SW215-1 movement and features some rather nice blued screws. Close inspection shows that the slots of those screws are not blue but polished -- does this indicate that the screws were chemically blued vs heat blued? Is there some other process used? This doesn't impact my enjoyment of the watch at all; I'm just curious to know how my watch was made.

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    Re: Process for bluing screws?

    That's a good question...Stowa makes it clear that the hands are thermally-blued, but I'd be curious about the movement screws. I've read that the hands may actually be made by Universo for Stowa (which is not a bad thing, they supply a lot of other very high end makers as well and are capable of making a beautiful product), but I'm not sure if it's true. If it were true, it may indicate that Stowa does not thermally blue anything themselves, if Universo were already doing the heavy lifting on the famous Stowa blued-steel hands.

    Then again, perhaps what I've read is wrong and Stowa is making their own at this point, though I'm not sure why they would since watchmakers a few price brackets higher use Universo hands and Schätzle dials. I assume that kind of outsourced specialization allows a brand like Stowa to provide a product of unusual quality for it's price.

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    Member Quartersawn's Avatar
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    Re: Process for bluing screws?

    Quote Originally Posted by krisrsolebury View Post
    ...I've read that the hands may actually be made by Universo for Stowa...
    Photo from here: https://forums.watchuseek.com/f36/vis...a-1232674.html


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    Member Trever1t's Avatar
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    Re: Process for bluing screws?

    I worked in metal finishing for a couple decades. Blueing can be done by a number of chemical methods with a hot chemical bath being the most common. It's possible the the tiny slots didn't blue due to a number of reasons, air pocketing or surface preparation or the coating could've been removed for aesthetic reasons.
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  6. #5
    Moderator at Large stuffler,mike's Avatar
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    Re: Process for bluing screws?

    Your are talking about blued hands, the OP is talking about blued screws.
    Stowa hands are sourced from Universo. This is a fact. It is a fact too that dials are sourced from Schätzle in Lörrach and a dial manufacturer in Pforzheim.

    Back to the OP's question: Of course there are different methods of bluing screws, thermically,chemically.

    A lot of screws are manufactured with a nickel plating. The nickel is polished off the head but they cannot remove it from the slot. When screws are thermical blued the slot remains "silver".

    Most screws are chemically blued. Screws are usually heat treated without bluing, because it is easier to get a proper heat treat and it is quicker. Chemical bluing is better at corrosion resistance, but does not give the same deep rich blue-black of a proper heat bluing.

    There are a lot of threads already on bluing available here on WUS.....
    Last edited by stuffler,mike; October 14th, 2016 at 10:00.
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    Re: Process for bluing screws?

    I am aware that there are different methods of bluing, which is why I was asking -- which method is used for the screws in Stowa watches?

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    Re: Process for bluing screws?

    Quote Originally Posted by stuffler,mike View Post
    Your are talking about blued hands, the OP is talking about blued screws.

    I realize as much; I was just speculating that a company that is not thermally bluing their own hands would likely not be bothering to make thermally blued screws, and as such guessing they'd be chemically blued.

    That's the only reason I brought up the hands being sourced from Universo - as a potential clue that Stowa isn't doing their own thermal bluing.

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    Moderator at Large stuffler,mike's Avatar
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    Re: Process for bluing screws?

    Let me answering with a quote of a witness, our senior editor Bhano Chopra:

    When I visited Stowa, I observed Jorg and team take normal screws and using flame to make them perfectly blue.
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    Re: Process for bluing screws?

    Quote Originally Posted by stuffler,mike View Post
    Let me answering with a quote of a witness, our senior editor Bhano Chopra:

    ok man, cool - sorry to have guessed wrong.
    Last edited by krisrsolebury; October 14th, 2016 at 17:49.

  11. #10
    Watchuseek Journalist Bhanu Chopra's Avatar
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    Re: Process for bluing screws?

    Thanks Mike, you are correct. Here are couple of pictures of heat bluing of screws from one of several visits to Stowa:

    Name:  227691_6666869845_2560_n.jpg
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    Name:  225691_6666864845_2299_n.jpg
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    Cheers,
    Bhanu

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