Watches
Jewellery

All About Luxury Watch Materials

Buyer Advice and Information

Watchmakers use various materials to manufacture their luxury watches, from gold and titanium to carbon fibre and stainless steel. Each material has its own benefits, visual appeal and functionality, so when you’re on the market for a new piece, it pays to know which one is best suited for what you need.

For example, if you’re looking for a watch to dive with, materials like rubber and stainless steel are good options since they’re sturdy and durable.

Many brands are taking inspiration from technology such as those found on aircraft to push boundaries, so they’re not just using traditional materials, but innovative ones as well, like ceramic. We put together a few facts about the materials that luxury watchmakers work with, so take a look at what to expect when you’re shopping for a new watch.

Stainless Steel

This material is one of the most used in luxury watchmaking, as it offers many properties that make it ideal for timepieces, including rugged watches you can take with you on your daily adventures.

There are, therefore, several benefits to buying a piece made from stainless steel, including durability; this alloy lasts for a long time because it’s resistant to wear and tear, and it’s also resistant to corrosion. Perfect to be worn every day.

On top of this, stainless steel is lightweight, so it’s comfortable on the wrist and difficult to scratch, so you can rest assured that your watch will look great even after a long time. Also, this material is perfect for modern watches because it offers a sleek and sophisticated aesthetic to enhance your attire.

Image: TAG Heuer Carrera Automatic Chronograph 44mm, available for £4,695 or from £70.43 per month at 0% finance.

Gold

Luxury watchmaking uses several types of gold: white, yellow and rose. This material is chosen to make up both the case and bracelet of the watch and to accent them. Gold is considered a classic in horology. It is resistant to corrosion and durable, so it’s the perfect material for classy and elegant pieces to accompany a formal outfit.

White gold is often a combination of gold with copper, palladium and other elements, which work together to create a beautiful alloy that’s usually chosen for dress watches. Rose gold has become increasingly popular in the past few years, and it’s usually an alloy of gold with copper and silver; it creates a modern aesthetic while offering luxury at the same time.

As for yellow gold, pure gold is used with copper, silver, and even zinc to create a sleek and timeless material that pairs beautifully with formal wear and occasions.

Image: OMEGA Constellation Manhattan Quartz 25mm watch, available for £15,290 or from £229.35 per month at 0% finance.

Ceramic

Ceramic is contemporary material with many properties that make it highly popular, including being scratch-resistant and lightweight (lighter than even titanium). This makes ceramic an excellent material for watches you can wear for a long time comfortably on the wrist, such as sporty pieces.

In addition to these properties, a watch made with ceramic is also heat resistant – so much so that NASA even used it in its space shuttles – you can feel at ease taking it with you no matter where you go. In addition, ceramic is very easy to clean and maintain, so your watch will look its best for a long time.

Hublot is one of the luxury brands renowned for using revolutionary materials like ceramic. The brand understands how you can benefit from it – and how the material offers a unique style.

Image: Hublot Big Bang Integral Blue Ceramic 42mm watch, which you can buy for £19,100 or from £286.50 at 0% finance.

Titanium

There are many reasons to use titanium as a material for watches, and its lightweight and durable properties are at the top of the list. Usually, you’ll find titanium alloyed with other elements like aluminium and nickel. It weighs a lot less than alloys like stainless steel, but it’s a lot stronger, so it’s perfect for sports watches – especially diver’s pieces.

Titanium is also hypoallergenic, so it’s suitable for people with reactions to certain metals; this means you don’t have to miss out on a luxury watch! There are several grades of this material, and each has its own benefits, but they all look great on the wrist.

In addition, titanium is suitable for larger watches due to how light the material is, which makes it ideal for sporty watches, such as divers and aviation pieces.

Image: Breitling Aerospace Evo watch, available for £3,260 or from £48.90 per month at 0% finance.

Platinum

Platinum is another luxury material that is used in high-end watchmaking as well. It’s a prestigious metal that enhances the appearance of the piece and is a lot rarer than gold, making it more valuable too. In addition, its properties make it an excellent choice for watch cases and bracelets since it doesn’t become dull over time.

The metal is also highly durable, hypoallergenic and looks glossy and sleek, so it’s a fantastic choice for modern pieces. It’s more delicate than materials like stainless steel and gold, so it’s not used for sports watches since it could become damaged.

Instead, platinum is a great option for dress pieces or a watch that you wear every day to the office or an event.

Image: Bremont H-4 Hercules Platinum Limited Edition watch, available for purchase for £24,995 at Banks Lyon.

There are many other materials used in luxury watchmaking, such as mother-of-pearl and carbon fibre. Certain watches also come with more than one material and are generally called two-tone pieces. We stock plenty of luxury watches at Banks Lyon for every occasion that are made from different materials in varying sizes and colours.

From OMEGA watches to TAG Heuer watches, we’ve got it all. Speak to us to learn more about our products, to enquire about a specific piece or to let us help you shop for your new watch.