Although you might think of ceramic as being a delicate material, new technologies can transform it into a durable scratch-resistant substance. Due to these recent innovations, ceramic can be used as a practical and fashionable material for watches.
New techniques in producing ceramics has resulted in a high-quality, extremely hard-wearing material. This new generation of ceramics is so strong it is even used in bulletproof body armor. In addition to strength, it is also relatively lightweight and thin. These qualities make it ideal for watches.
A number of companies have been using ceramics in watches for several years, but Chanel claims to have manufactured the first watch using a "high-tech non-scratch ceramic material." The Chanel J12 watch series was introduced in 2000 and has gone through several modifications, including the addition of high-end jeweled fashion models.
Wittnauer, who has been making watches since 1880, also boasts a line of ceramic watches. This traditional watchmaker specializes in nautical designs and uses ceramic in a line of men's and women's watches that incorporates ceramic into the face and strap.
International Watch Company
International Watch Company, or IWC, perhaps is the epitome of Swiss watch companies. IWC was founded in 1868 and quickly became a leader in innovative design. One of the first watchmakers to use batteries to run watches, IWC is also a leader in the use of ceramics in its watches. The ceramic not only makes these watches attractive and functional, but because of the strength of the material, the watches are extremely durable.
While ceramic watches have been the domain of high-quality but also high-price-tag watchmakers, there are less-expensive brands available. Swatch, Kors and Oniss are among manufacturers that offer ceramic watches for hundreds of dollars compared to tens of thousands of dollars. Timex also carries a line of bargain ceramic watches for under one hundred dollars. Watchmakers urge consumers to be wary of replica and fake designer watches, though. They may not have the same high-quality craftsmanship that the originals do.