How Titanium is coming into its own in the horology world
A few top brands dabbled in titanium for the first time last year but it’s now much more freely available, especially when you consider the supply issues the steel industry is having.
But the hypoallergenic metal is such a great choice for luxury watches.
The aesthetically-coloured material is up to four times lighter than stainless steel but just as hard and offers great resistance to corrosion.
Rolex fans have long awaited such an offering, with collectors intrigued after seeing Sir Ben Ainslie wearing a no-date prototype at sea.
But for the brand that spent most of the 20th century trying to convince us that a weighty watch helped measure its value, to now see a super lightweight titanium watch now feels quite odd – not that we’re complaining!
Rolex Yacht Master 42 (reference 226627)
We’ve previously seen the large novelty Rolex Deepsea Challenge watch which is waterproof to 11,000m released last year and that was Rolex’ first full Titanium watch, so could we be about to launch into a new era for Rolex?
The new Yacht Master 42 is currently retailing for just over $14,000 USD and is considered Rolex’ first ‘wearable’ titanium watch.
Created from full grade 5 titanium, the case matches the brushed bracelet, with similar proportions to the larger Oyster Perpetual watches. The case is water resistant to 100m and features a uni-directional rotating bezel with a matt black ceramic insert surrounding the dial.
Hard at work inside is the in-house calibre 3235 automatic movement offering a 70-hour power reserve. On the sapphire crystal is a Rolex “cyclops” magnifier lens. We reckon this could be our favourite Rolex to date.
IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 Titanium (reference IW328904)
Grade 5 titanium takes over for the new version of the 1970s design by the great Gerald Genta.
The H-Link bracelet has been revamped and now comes with sharper edges and looks so slick with a sandblasted finish on the flat surfaces and polished bevels on the edges.
The pavé and striated dial is beautiful and the bezel remains largely unchanged. The indexes now come with lume, with a slightly increased size to match a larger case, for more clarity.
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra GoodPlanet (reference 188.8.131.52.04.001)
Often overlooked for the likes of the Speedmaster, this watch utilises grade 5 titanium, for its 38.5mm case and bracelet. With surfaces both brushed and polished which makes it a versatile choice.
Featuring a lacquered white dial with applied blue indexes, facetted blued central hour, minute and seconds hands, the 38.5 mm grade 5 titanium case is presented on a matching bracelet.
Additionally, the Aqua Terra is powered by the calibre 8500. The self-winding movement with co-axial escapement offers free sprung-balance, 2 barrels mounted in series and automatic winding in both directions. Bridges and the oscillating mass are decorated with exclusive Geneva waves in arabesque, offering a fabulous 60-hour power reserve.
Fancy a titanium watch?
If you need help to locate your first titanium timepiece, we can help. We have buying teams in the UK and further afield who will strive to source your dream watch.
Similarly, we are also keen to buy your preloved titanium watch, subject to an authenticity and condition inspection.
You can also view current stock at our Epping boutique.