Despite what you may think, watchmaking is an industry where the drive to achieve the best performance implies pushing innovation further and further. R&D departments are constantly researching on how to make use of different materials and alloys with fascinating technical and mechanical properties. Tungsten is certainly among them.
Tungsten is a material that only few people know well about, despite being widely employed for its peculiar properties. The name says it all: it is derived from the Swedish words “Tung Sten” meaning “heavy stone”. It is also known as “wolfram” and the mineral it is extracted from is called “wolframite”.
The image depicts wolframite, the mineral is still bonded with other metals
Tungsten is two and a half times as dense as steel, on a par with gold, which makes it one of the hardest metals known to mankind.
Extreme resistance to heat is another of its peculiar feature: tungsten has a melting point of over 3400°C, the highest among all metals. It goes without saying that it has become indispensable in several high-tech industries, such as aerospace and nuclear fusion experimentation.
Crafting the indestructible
Due to its mechanical properties, tungsten is an extremely difficult material to work with and traditional steel processing techniques cannot be applied.
The phases of the sintering process
Melting it is useless because there is no other material that can withstand higher temperatures and serve as a mold. Therefore, the most effective method is sintering, which is the process of compressing and consolidating a material in a solid mass by heat or pressure, without melting it to the point of becoming liquid.
To achieve this, Tungsten powder is placed inside a mold under very high pressure and temperature that turn it in a single solid object.
Nereide Tungsteno: our most durable watch
Imagine to look at your watch after using it for years and have the impression that it looks quite as good as you have just bought it. On a diver’s watch the eye falls immediately on the bezel and if the insert is scratched you won’t feel that way at all... This is where tungsten comes into play.
Its extreme hardness makes it, in practice, scratch-proof and, therefore, it maintains its aesthetic features unchanged over the years. This is why we have started using it in our watches and, specifically, for bezel inserts, which are the components that are subject to wear the most in diver’s watches. Thanks to tungsten properties, they will always preserve their shiny finishing as well as the sapphire glass will maintain its perfect transparency.
We have always put the utmost attention to aspects at are sometimes overlooked. This is why we can confidently state that our watches are made to last and this is exactly what Nereide Tungsteno is best at.
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