8 WATCH MATERIALS Used in Luxury Watches

Traditionally, gold has been the standard material used for watches, but over the years styles and looks have changed. Materials widely used in the automotive, medical, and aerospace industries have permeated horology, inspiring watchmakers to experiment with new lightweight elements and fusions such as:

Stainless Steel
Carbon Fiber
Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD)
Diamond-like Carbon (DLC)

Let’s see their difference:

Stainless steel watches


Made of iron-carbon alloy mixed with chromium and nickel


  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Highly corrosion-resistant

Other uses

Architecture, monuments, bridges, automotive and aerospace structures, surgical instruments

Ceramic watches


Made of zirconium oxide, a non-metallic material created by the action of heating and cooling


  • Durable, lightweight, scratch-resistant, smooth and modern
  • Can be produced in a variety of hues and finishes

Other uses

Jet engines, heat shield that protects NASA space shuttle

Titanium watches


Titanium alloyed with iron, aluminum, vanadium, molybdenum, or other metals


  • Lightweight, durable, dent and corrosion-resistant
  • Non-allergenic
  • Highest strength-to-weight ratio

Other uses

Aerospace, naval ships, performance/racing automotive, wide range of medical instruments and sporting goods

Carbon fiber watches


Carbon thermally decomposed into braided fibers and surrounded by resin


  • Tough
  • Lightweight
  • Contemporary style

Other uses

Aviation, military, space, aeronautic, and medical instruments

Physical vapor deposition (PVD) watches


Steel with a vacuum coating of oxides, carbides or nitrides, deposited by ionic attraction


  • Increased durability
  • Reduced friction on metal components

Other uses

Military, automotive, and aerospace

Diamond-like carbon watches


Carbon coating with similar properties to diamond


  • Ultra-hard with strong resistance to wear and scratches
  • Low friction; slick
  • Resilient to damage or coating dents from physical shock

Other uses

Engines of modern super sport motorcycles, Formula 1 race cars, NASCAR vehicles, aeronautics

Gold watches

A metal in which fineness (the percentage of pure gold versus the percentage of base metals) is expressed in karats. 18 karat gold (75 percent pure gold) is standard for watch cases and high grade jewelry in white, yellow, rose and red gold. This is obtained by adjusting the proportions of copper and silver in the 25% of the alloy not consisting of gold.

Yellow Gold

To create the beautiful color of yellow gold, pure gold is alloyed with a combination of silver and copper. The bold color creates a timeless and classic look for a fine timepiece that will never go out of style.

White Gold

To create the stunning color of white gold, pure gold is alloyed with a combination of nickel, copper, zinc and palladium. A common color choice in watches, white gold is a more subtle look over yellow gold.

Red/Pink/Everose Gold

To create red or pink gold, pure gold is alloyed with a combination of copper and silver. Rolex’s Everose gold uses platinum in their combination as well. Recognized for its distinctive color, it is a very popular and fashionable option in watches today.
Rubber Silicone watches


A rubber-like material comprised of silicon, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen


  • Heat and cold resistant
  • Good weatherability
  • Water repellent
  • Pleasant to the touch with a high-grade feel

Other uses

Medical applications, consumer electronics, office automation, automobiles, electrical wiring, food

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