Alternate metals, the best of ceramic watches

by Lewis Butterfield
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Recent years have seen an explosion of alternative materials used in the manufacture of luxury wristwatches. Notably, the use of high-grade ceramics has become a favourite amongst brands for the construction of cases.

Ceramic cases have a few advantages over more traditional metals that we see used like, stainless steel and 18 karat golds. Ceramic offers a substantial increase in scratch resistance, an attribute of high importance for an expensive accessory strapped to an appendage. Every watch enthusiast knows that feeling when your brain decides to disregard all sense of special awareness and that very expensive accessory bangs against the door frame, kitchen bench or any number of furniture items that definitely jumped out of nowhere with the sole intention of scuffing steel. If only you had been wearing a ceramic watch, take a look below at some fantastic offerings that can take the worry of scratches and scuffs from your mind.

The Omega Speedmaster – Side of the moon series.

Reference : 311.92.44.51.01.005

Any list of ceramic watches worth its salt must feature Omega’s marvellous line up of Speedmasters dubbed, the “side of the moon” line. 

These 44mm Co-Axial chronographs are not your typical moonwatch. These are Speedmasters featuring full Ceramic cases, unique dial configurations and daring colour combinations.

Reference : 311.93.44.51.99.001

A personal favourite, the Grey side of the moon, features a gorgeous grey ceramic case, sandblasted platinum dial and full ceramic bezel. The traditionally shaped, twisted lugs are polished to perfection to showcase almost mirror like shine on the curve of the lug, a technique of exceptional difficulty which Omega replicate over the entire line up of ceramic Speedys.

Reference : 311.93.44.51.04.002

With a completely blacked out ultra stealth, “black black” model, to the blindingly white “white side of the moon” variant. The ceramic Speedmasters are sure to have something for every personal style.

The Longines Hdroconquest ceramic.

Reference : L3.784.4.56.9

The Hydroconquest by Longines is one of the best divers on the market at an entry level luxury price. For under $6,000aud, the Hydroconquest can be had in stunning matte black ceramic. 

At 43mm and a lug to lug measurement nearing 52mm, the Hydroconquest ceramic is certainly the big brother to the mainline steel models in the series. 

Reference : L3.784.4.56.9

The Matte black finish of the ceramic case used here is a stunning example of just how modern one of the oldest swiss watchmakers can be. 

The Blancpain fifty fathoms Bathyscaphe 

Reference : 5000 0240 052A

The worlds first modern dive watch, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms beat the Rolex submariner to market in 1953 to forever hold that title. Although that achievement may have been forgotten by the general watch wearing public, Blancpain continue to impress with their dive watches well into the 21st century with the Bathyscaphe collection. 

Featuring a delightful satin brushed ceramic case, unidirectional ceramic bezel complete with liquid metal hour markers, the Bathyscaphe is a higher level of luxury tool watch that is readily available for purchase.

Tight lug to lug measurements mean that this 43mm diver is easily wearable on smaller wrists, and the inclusion of a sapphire case back from which to enjoy the calibre 1315 automatic movement, make the Bathyscaphe one of the most under rated and under appreciated dive watches on the market.

The Panerai Luminor GMT 10 days

Reference : PAM00335

If your aesthetic leans more towards the bold than the discreet, Panerai have produces an excellent timepiece for your tastes. The Luminor GMT 10 days in ceramic is a 44mm monster, this black ceramic behemoth packs a whopping 10 days of power reserve inside its case.

The dial features a substantial amount of luminova across its indices and hands for excellent legibility at night or underwater. The GMT function, day night indicator and power reserve scale, all add to the functionality of this piece. 

Reference : PAM00335

All of the traditional elements of a Luminor are also present and accounted for, iconic crown guard and sandwich dial included.

The IWC Piolts Top gun Ceramic

Reference : IW326901

With an iconic Fleiger style design, the IWC Pilots top gun in ceramic is a beautifully understated example of a luxury wrist watch. 

At 41mm in diameter with a case height of just 11mm, this watch wears easily and comfortably under a cuff. Inside is the manufacturer calibre 32110 automatic movement, which is housed within a soft iron cage for protection against magnetic fields.

Reference : IW326901

The sandblasted black dial features bright, large Arabic numerals filled with luminova for high visibility. 

The black ceramic case is satin finished and features gentle curves from the flanks down into the lugs. The case flows elegantly from top to bottom, seemingly unbroken from lug tip to lug tip. 

Reference : IW326901
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