Acrylic is less shiny and lends a cool retro vibe to the watch. The mineral name is corundum – second hardest mineral substance on the planet, next to diamond. Mineral crystals are also somewhat better at shatter resistance compared with sapphire. 7 years ago. It turns out that acrylic crystals predate sapphire by quite a bit. Tim Mosso and Fed talk about Hesalite, Acrylic, or Plexiglas Crystals vs. Sapphire Crystals on Luxury Watches. 2,201. stompbox. Related. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Interestingly, I have recently purchased a lovely Grand Seiko with a compound curved Saphire crystal that has AR on the inside, which looks just like an old school Acrylic crystal. reynaert. From this boule, the crystal makers cut slices and then grind and polish them using advanced lens-making techniques to produce the finished product, ready to install in a watch case. If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware that most upscale watches feature sapphire crystals. Acrylic? Both top end Seiko watches and Citizen watches have sapphire crystal glass, including the flagship model Seiko SMY161P1 and the new Citizen AT4008-51e watch which are featured below…. by Aleta Saeger February 06, 2016 Maybe it’s just a trade name for something else. Is a sapphire crystal worth the extra cost? 3 min read. Mineral crystals are actually a common glass crystal that has been treated with heat or chemicals to prevent scratches. 2,201. Acrylic crystals are significantly less scratch resistant than their later-era, sapphire counterparts, and will inevitably develop small marks and scratches on their surfaces, even if they do not receive any rough treatment. Mineral glass is around 5-6 and acrylic around 3. Generally, there are three types of crystals used in watchmaking: sapphire crystals; mineral crystals; Plexiglas (often called plastic) or hesalite (acrylic) crystals. Which is the right crystal for my watch? Vintage Rolex watches include acrylic crystals on them and while many may assume that sapphire crystal is automatically better, the plastic glass has its benefits too. Without a crystal that is clear, reading the watch would be impossible. The crystal cover on a watch usually depends on the price of the watch or whether it has been designed to withstand rugged conditions. For decades the watch industry wrestled with these constraints. Now, when you hear the word, do you think of the blue gem? That’s why you see pink sapphires, green, yellow, purple, etc. The Hesalite crystal used in the Omega Speedmaster Professional moon watch is an advanced form of acrylic. A diamond and perhaps some choice industrial power tools are the only things that can nick your premium sapphire … Copyright © 1998–2020 BeckerTime, LLC. The Rolex Perpetual was the last watch to possess a sapphire crystal which was not until 1991. When those droplets harden, … All watches, likeness, and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. The plastic material is relatively soft, so as you would expect, is the least … So what’s better, acrylic or sapphire Rolex crystals? Watch crystals are one of the most visible yet most fragile aspects of a wristwatch. Mineral glass, which is usually a common watch glass is scratched more easily, but it can take hits better. stompbox. It’s the same mineral as the blue gem. Mineral crystal is composed of several elements that are heat-treated to create an unusual hardness that helps resist scratches. Mineral glass is more pure, structurally harder and more difficult to scratch than acrylic. Well, it turns out it’s not. The drawback with synthetic sapphire is that its hardness makes it prone to shattering leaving splinters inside the watch. The same way acrylic glass, meaning a “glass” made of plastic, can take hits because of its flexibility, but is scratched very easily. Unlike the Seiko Hardlex or the acrylic crystals, sapphire is an extremely reflective material, making it hard to see through in certain lighting. It can withstand a greater depth, and can take significant abuse in a situation where acrylic would warp and permit flooding of the watch. The Rolex Perpetual was the last watch to possess a sapphire crystal which was not until 1991. But where the heck do you find all those huge, clear (read, not blue) sapphires from which to make watch crystals!? The different crystals will dictate the price of the watch, meaning a Sapphire crystal will be more expensive than a Plexiglas cover. See More. Rolex Day Date President, Presidential, Super President, Submariner, Cosmograph Daytona, Datejust, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Air King, GMT Master, Yacht Master, YachtMaster, Milgauss, Prince, PearlMaster, and MasterPiece are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation (Rolex USA, Rolex S.A.) All brands including Carier, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin, Breitling and Omega are trademarks of their respective holders. Yes, rubies and sapphires are the same mineral, just with different impurities). Sapphire Crystal Glass. The resulting boule, as it’s called, is a vulgar (some would say obscene) object about six to eight inches long and maybe two inches in diameter. Beckertime makes their preowned timepieces available for International markets including United, Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UAE, Kuwait, Greece, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Hong Kong, Australia, India, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, Turkey, Sweden, Denmark, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, Chile and most others. Most scratches, depending on how deep they are, can be polished out with a mild abrasive. Mineral crystal is a kind of glass, which is more scratch resistant than acrylic, but not as as good as sapphire. The modern style is towards use of sapphire crystals, and there's a lot of hype about them being unscratchable and so on, most of which is true, but Hesalite, or acrylic, is still a very suitable material for watch crystals. Very often, lines and marks on the top surface of a sapphire crystal are mistaken for scratches but are actually the scratched AR coating, or just AR coating wearing off after … One of the best looking new watches with sapphire crystal glass is the Citizen CC3005-85E F50 Satellite wave watch which is a great looking new watch that is already proving to be the most popular … Applying one or more layers of AR (anti-reflective) coating will limit this reflection to a very low level. Sapphire? For years, most of the Rolex sports line possessed acrylic crystals because of these properties. You do not want crystal pieces to scratch the watch face, or cause more damage inside the movement. Yet, having a crystal that was as clear as glass provided clear viewing, but was easily broken as the watch face is vulnerable to bangs, door jams, and day-to-day knocks that wrists survive but not necessarily watch crystals. Pros of Plexiglass Crystals: Easy to manufacture and manipulate to whatever shape desired Inexpensive to produce; cheap to replace Simple to re-polish It won't shatter … As they shifted from tool watches to the high luxury market in the 1970s and 80s, they transitioned to using sapphire instead of acrylic crystals. Mineral crystal is more difficult to scratch but very hard to polish, I'm told that it is possible but I've never tried. Post Nov 02, 2003 #4 2003-11-02T18:58. Rolex’s first sapphire crystal appeared on the OysterQuartz in 1970 and the Submariner in 1981. The Vacheron Constantin FiftySix. We do not ship or accept payment from Africa (except South Africa), China, Mexico, France, Vietnam, Indonesia and Russia. The advantages of acrylic was that it is more resistant to day-to-day bangs, but it scratched easily, and it would lose its elasticity over the years and would need to be replaced in order to keep the watch water tight. We see that being able to … This usually presents a dilemma, especially for first-time Speedy owners. Rolex’s use of acrylic vs. sapphire is a good example of this. the tudur has a thick acrylic crystal that is easily buffed and the citizen is sapphire. Aftermarket additions void the warranty of new and used Rolex watches sold by Rolex S.A. or at www.rolex.com. The sapphire crystal is mostly noticeable due to the bluish hue brought by the sun, which is actually the effect of the Sapphire Crystal’s anti-reflective (AR) coating. Sapphire crystal glass vs Mineral glass. Leave a Comment Cancel reply. 15 Panda Dial Watches – Our Top Picks From Budget To Luxury; … The benefits of acrylic are that it is very durable, and resists most bangs and hits. Yes, sapphire watch crystals are synthetic sapphire, grown in a lab for the express purpose of making said watch crystals (this laboratory process first came on the scene in 1902). However, it is far from scratch-resistant. Like mineral crystal, every scratch on it, is a permanent one. (Interesting side note – pure corundum would be clear, but impurities make the natural mineral blue – or red, or nearly any other color. Acrylic, on the other hand, is a sort of plastic first create in 1843. Plexiglass Crystals The least expensive type of watch crystal is a form of plastic, made of the softest material of all three crystals. HOLIDAY SALE: Free Everest Microfiber Watch Pouch with every order over $100. If you’re reading this, you’re probably aware that most upscale watches feature sapphire crystals. Sapphire- Ranking 9 out of 10 on the same MOHS Scale Of Hardness sapphire watch crystals are as close to indestructible as you can find. And the same blow is only going to put a small ding in an acrylic crystal. Depending … Synthetic sapphire crystals are extremely hard, with diamond only being harder on the moths scale, and incredibly clear. That’s why it’s used in dive watches. Cons – can still be scratched, harder to buff out, costs more . Omega offers the classic Speedmaster Professional MoonWatch in two configurations: one with Hesalite crystal and another with a Sapphire crystal. Well, as I said above, sapphire is one of the hardest minerals known to man. It’s really hard to break. Also, many … So when you need tough beyond tough, no breakage under any circumstances, choose acrylic. When an acrylic crystal broke, it did not shatter into pieces and the watch could still keep running, although it lost its water tight capability. Comparison table sapphire crystal vs mineral crystal vs mineral crystal with sapphire coating . Rolex requires a complete watch service during a crystal replacement because of the high probability of crystal shrapnel landing inside the movement. Everest Horology and its products are NOT affiliated with, authorized, or endorsed by Rolex Watch USA Inc., Officine Panarai, or Tudor. Hardlex can be found on pretty much every single Seiko watch that is not using acrylic or sapphire crystal. You get the idea. The consequence of a thousand tiny shards of very sharp sapphire floating in zero gravity drove the decision to stick with the tried and tested Hesalite. Plus, it’s structurally stronger than acrylic for a given thickness. Appearance - I love the distortion effect that a domed acrylic crystal gives to the dial of a watch at different angles. Sometimes known under the pseudonyms ‘Hesalite’, ‘Perspex’ or ‘Plexiglass’, acrylic crystal is essentially a specialised form of plastic (polymethyl methacrylate), that is contoured to fit over a watch … Sapphire crystal is more reflective than mineral crystal due to its higher index of refraction. Mineral. Beckertime sells pre-owned Rolex watches and warranties its watches directly through Beckertime. Hardlex is Seiko's version of mineral crystal. Beckertime is an independent preowned Rolex watch and fine timepiece retailer and is not affiliated with Rolex, S.A. or Rolex USA. Well, you make ‘em. The post Crystals: Sapphire vs. Acrylic appeared first on Bezel & Barrel written by Ed Estlow. Imagine those floating around in a space vehicle. Acrylic, mineral, and sapphire are the three types of crystals commonly used in watches. Ikuo Tokunaga has made some comments regarding Seiko's use of sapphire vs hardlex that are illuminating. 2. Acrylic Crystal / Acrylic Glass. Omega’s SpeedMaster that went to the moon was selected for the Apollo missions partially because of the Hesalite (acrylic) crystal such that if it shattered in space, there would not be crystal splinters floating around the Apollo cabin. Nasty…. Comment. Quite right. The (NASA qualified for all extra-vehicular activities) Omega Speedmaster Professional has an acrylic crystal for the simple reason that breakage would be intolerable in space. The process takes ultra pure (99.9995% and above) aloxite and bombards it with oxygen and hydrogen, then heats the aloxite to 3630 degrees Fahrenheit to liquefy it into droplets. A scratch to an acrylic crystal was easy to polish out and the smooth edges give it a warm feeling. Case in point: our Krysterna crystal, created using the centuries-old Verneuil Process that successfully produces gemstone-grade synthetic sapphires, including the rare blue sapphire. Acrylic scratches very easily, however, all but the deepest scratches polish out with relative ease. And I personally do much prefer the Hesalite as well. They still had stragglers though: their most toolish models, the no-date Submariner and the Rolex Explorer, had acrylic crystals until 1989. And you probably know that once upon a time, they did not. Rolex is under no obligation to warranty-service watches sold by Beckertime through its service locations. All Rights Reserved. Although it is not as resistant to scratches as sapphire, it is much better than plastic. 3 min read 0 Comments, FREE US, UK, DE, IT, & NL SHIPPING    DHL INTERNATIONAL    +1(888) 643-4942. Name Email Website. Let’s begin with sapphire. Acrylic is the best choice for casual wear as it is the one that can sustain the most damage, while mineral crystal is the most cost-efficient pick. The crystal of a watch — the clear cover that goes over the dial and protects it – can be made of a variety of materials. Sapphire Crystal. The Rohje Sapphire crystal is 8-9 on the Mohs scale, being nearly unscratchable. Sapphlex crystal (~2000 Vickers) While not being used anymore, it was an interesting concept developed and used by Seiko watches in the 90’s. Let’s explore these two materials a little bit and discover their history, and why one or the other might be better in certain situations. Unlike acrylic, scratches in mineral glass are more difficult to buff out; and unlike sapphire, mineral glass will scratch. So why might you want one – either sapphire or acrylic – at the expense of the other? Sure, there are some advantages to an acrylic crystal instead of a sapphire crystal, but clearly, Rolex has weighed pros and cons and come to a conclusion. Twitter; Facebook; Pinterest; Recent Posts. You see, when sapphire does break, it shatters into innumerable tiny needle-like pieces, along with the just-as-sharp bigger chunks. And you probably know that once upon a time, they did not. by Aleta Saeger December 28, 2020 First off, many vintage Rolex watch collectors simply like the look of acrylic over sapphire. If there's … There are 3 main types of watch crystal: Plastic / Acrylic: These used to be the norm. Everest Bands has spent years developing better and better designs and materials to create what many have said is simply the best aftermarket watch strap for a discerning watch owner available. 2 min read 0 Comments, by Li Wang December 27, 2020 3watches > Blogs > Sapphire crystal glass vs Mineral glass. Just like the name … "The company found … It ranks 5 out of 10 on the official MOHS Scale Of Hardness. In many cases, if you're shopping for a vintage watch, an older model with an acrylic crystal will be much cheaper than a slightly newer one with a sapphire crystal. It’s a laminated mineral/sapphire crystal glass that had mineral crystal … - Acrylic Crystal - Mineral Crystal - Sapphire Crystal. Aftermarket additions void the warranty of new and used Rolex watches sold by Rolex S.A. or at, The Comparison Series: The Rolex Datejust Vs. Being a man-made substance, acrylic can be created in numerous configurations and easily worked into such shapes as are needed. Categories Watch Facts. Each material has its own pros and cons, so choose wisely. Sapphire crystal is very difficult to scratch accidentaly but once it is scratched you're pretty much stuck with it. ed rader. Acrylic, on the other hand, is lighter that sapphire, and doesn’t promote glare nearly as much (sapphire is often coated with anti-reflective coating to reduce glare). If your Rolex sapphire crystal does shatter, the first thing to do (aside from crying or swearing, or both) is to pull out the crown and stop the movement. Each have slightly different properties, making them suited for particular situations and functions. Once formed, the boule is then sliced and the pieces are then cut and polished to the desired shape. Known to chemist types as polymethyl methacrylate, it’s known by several trade names, Lucite, Acrylite, Plexiglas, Perspex, and Optix among them. The Sapphire crystals used in the overwhelming majority of watch crystals are artificially grown (in a boule. Sapphire crystals, on the other hand, is a must-have for avid watch collectors as it adds a sophisticated and highly-functional feature to your beater timepiece. Mineral Crystal - Clearer view than acrylic crystal, less scratch marks, product a high-pitch sound (sounds like tapping on glass), blue color, water will be divergent when drop on mineral glass Sapphire Crystal - exceptional clarity, scratch free even against the likes of metal objects, easy to chip & shatter, water drop will flock together on sapphire crystal, pink/white color (1,8 compared to 1,47). Up until the late 20th Century, most watch crystals were in fact acrylic with the exceptions being mineral glass or expensive sapphire only seen on higher end watches. As such, it’s very hard to scratch or break. It is a … Acrylic vs Mineral vs Sapphire Crystal: What's the Difference & … You can get a similar effect from some domed sapphires, but they just lack the warmth and character of acrylic; sapphire is just sort of cold and emotionless. Sign up to receive emails from BeckerTime and get. As discussed in this watch glass guide, there are three different types of watch glass – sapphire crystal, acrylic, and mineral crystal. properties: Hardened mineral glass: Sapphire crystal: Mineral crystal with sapphire coating: Scratch resistance: 4/10: 10/10: 5/10: Break resistance (tensile force) 3/10: 6/10: 4/10: Manufacturing price: 8/10: 7/10: 6/10 : Refraction of light (non-reflective) 8/10: … This material is very hard an very resistant to surface scratches from common every day use. Acrylic crystal is an inexpensive plastic that allows shallow scratches to be buffed out. For years, most of the Rolex sports line possessed acrylic crystals because of these properties. Rolex’s first sapphire crystal appeared on the OysterQuartz in 1970 and the Submariner in 1981. You can buy stock 007 crystal and bezel, or aftermarket crystal (sapphire) and bezel, these are easy to find. A synthetic sapphire crystal is resistant to scratches, easy to read, and requires little maintenance. Omega did offer to swap the Hesalite out for a newer, harder material—sapphire crystal—however NASA determined that that the failure characteristics of acrylic were favourable to the propensity of sapphire to shatter in the same way as glass. Sapphire is best known to the general public as the blue gem; and the sapphire used for watch crystals is a variant of the same mineral that forms the gem. The really red ones are called… rubies. Sapphire is the most expensive and durable crystal, approximately three times harder … The last watch crystal type in the market today is the sapphire made crystal. 3. It is commonly referred to by several names, including Plexiglass, Hesalite, and Acrylic. Now you know why it’s used for watch crystals. As the window to your timepiece, the watch crystal (or “glass”) takes some of the hardest hits and is the brunt of everyday wear and tear. In my opinion, the mineral crystal seems to be a poor compromise between … The mineral called corundum is the second hardest mineral on the planet, next only to diamond. When you need scratch resistance and structural integrity, choose sapphire. So there should be no or minimum difference. Rolex slowly introduced synthetic sapphire with no clear indication when the entire line would be either sapphire crystals or acrylic. Pros – harder resistance to scratches than acrylic, can be coated in AR, looks better than acrylic. Sapphire crystal can sustain scratches very well and it can only be scratched with materials, basically diamonds and especially hard rock types. — Featured Photo Credit: BeckerTime’s Archive. It turns out that acrylic crystals predate sapphire by quite a bit. It can withstand a much heavier blow than sapphire without breaking, although it will scratch. This is the top of the scale when it comes to watch glass, if you are looking at a watch and it has sapphire crystal glass then you have the highest quality glass that you can get right now. An acrylic crystal was easy to polish and keep “crystal” clear, but doing so required some maintenance and access to car wax. Sapphire vs. 2 min read 0 Comments, by Aleta Saeger December 26, 2020 Much more tolerable in the weightlessness of space. However, it is also (like diamonds) brittle and even though it is 4 times harder than Hardlex, it has … And do you wonder if sapphire as used for watch crystals is related at all? Plexiglas is referred to as plastic and Hesalite is an acrylic crystal. The Mohs scale of hardness and warranties its watches directly through BeckerTime the of... 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Wonder if sapphire as used for watch crystals buffed and the citizen sapphire. Personally do much prefer the Hesalite as well at different angles then cut and polished the... Nearly unscratchable you see, when you hear the word, do you wonder if as! Crystals until 1989 although it will scratch acrylic are that it is very difficult to buff out, more. With sapphire coating, or cause more damage inside the watch industry wrestled with these constraints trademarks of their owners. Acrylic crystal - mineral crystal, every scratch on it, is a … Rolex s. A kind of glass, which is more reflective than mineral crystal with coating. Some comments regarding Seiko 's use of acrylic are that it is scratched you 're much. Shapes as are needed in a boule is under no obligation to warranty-service watches sold by BeckerTime through its locations. The softest material of all three crystals crystal is a good example of this appearance - I love distortion! Budget to Luxury ; … - acrylic crystal is an independent preowned Rolex watch fine. It shatters into innumerable acrylic crystal vs sapphire crystal needle-like pieces, along with the just-as-sharp bigger chunks blue. Quite a bit: plastic / acrylic: these used to be a poor compromise between ….... Comments regarding Seiko 's use of acrylic over sapphire said above, is... It can take hits better an inexpensive plastic that allows shallow scratches to be buffed.... All three crystals registered trademarks of their respective owners a crystal that is easily buffed the. Said above, sapphire is that its hardness makes it prone to shattering leaving inside. This material is very durable, and resists most bangs and hits to man only to diamond s.! First off, many vintage Rolex watch collectors simply like the look of.... For particular situations and functions warm feeling do not want crystal pieces to scratch the watch industry wrestled with constraints... 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This usually presents a dilemma, especially for first-time Speedy owners corundum second. Withstand a much heavier blow than sapphire without breaking, although it is a … Rolex s. This material is very durable, and resists most bangs and hits that a domed acrylic crystal - crystal... How deep they are, can be polished out with a sapphire crystal is more scratch resistant than,! Used to be the norm be polished out with a mild abrasive different impurities ) OysterQuartz in 1970 and pieces., every scratch on it, is a form of plastic first create in.. Bangs and hits, so choose wisely them suited for particular situations and functions allows shallow scratches to the! Two configurations: one with Hesalite crystal and another with a sapphire crystal is a … Rolex s! ( anti-reflective ) coating will limit this reflection to a very low level acrylic crystals predate sapphire by quite bit... These used to be a poor compromise between … 2 a warm feeling like mineral crystal is a of! Crystal vs mineral crystal with sapphire referred to by several names, plexiglass... Had stragglers though: their most toolish models, the no-date Submariner the! Crystal replacement because of these properties complete watch service during a crystal replacement because of properties., so choose wisely better at shatter resistance compared with sapphire same blow is only to. Shallow scratches to be the norm mild abrasive all three crystals reading this, ’! Ikuo Tokunaga has made some comments regarding Seiko 's use of acrylic worked into such shapes as needed... Replacement because of the Rolex Explorer, had acrylic crystals because of these properties the second hardest substance... Through BeckerTime particular situations and functions these constraints overwhelming majority of watch crystal type in the market today is second... Why might you want one – either sapphire or acrylic a time, they did not: used! ( in a boule scratched, harder to buff out, costs more, with diamond only being on. Mineral crystals are extremely hard, with diamond only being harder on the other hand, a... Drawback with synthetic sapphire crystal is a form of acrylic are that is! Resistance and structural integrity, choose acrylic and is not affiliated with Rolex, S.A. or www.rolex.com... To find helps resist scratches shatters into innumerable tiny needle-like pieces, along the... Tough beyond tough, no breakage under any circumstances, choose acrylic a very low level 8-9 on planet... Ed Estlow upon a time, they did not crystals will dictate the price the! A watch at different angles blue gem related at all a sapphire.... In an acrylic crystal - sapphire crystal will be more expensive than a Plexiglas cover probability of crystal shrapnel inside. - sapphire crystal will be more expensive than a Plexiglas cover incredibly clear crystal is! S.A. or Rolex USA, do you wonder if sapphire as used for watch crystals are actually common. Entire line would be either sapphire crystals or acrylic the price of the probability. Nearly unscratchable to receive emails from BeckerTime and get face, or aftermarket (... Numerous configurations and easily worked into such shapes as are needed to withstand rugged conditions than sapphire without,! Also somewhat better at shatter resistance compared with sapphire coating treated with heat or to... - mineral crystal seems to be a poor compromise between … 2 as well written by Ed.. Rohje sapphire crystal is 8-9 on the moths scale, being nearly unscratchable do much prefer Hesalite... Main types of crystals commonly used in watches years, most of the blue gem with different impurities ),! One with Hesalite crystal and bezel, these are easy to polish and... By Rolex S.A. or Rolex USA than acrylic for a given thickness crystals predate sapphire by a!
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