Different watch cases finishes
A lot of attention is poured into several aspects of a watch when it’s manufactured. Most people look at the movement, the complications and the design of the dial. What often is overlooked, and taken for granted, is the finish of the watchcase.
Polished watch finishes
Most watchcases are made out of stainless steel. This material is readily available and it’s easy to work with. Stainless steel in its bear form can be finished in three different ways, it can be polished, brushed, or blasted.
If a watchcase is polished, it resembles a mirror. You can see any reflections, like yourself, in the case of the watch. This is because the case has been polished a long time using a polishing wheel. This gives watches their well-known shining appearance.
A watch can be finished in two other ways, besides the polished treatment. Both of those will give the watch a somewhat matt effect. The first type is a brushed finish and the second one a blasted finish.
Brushed watch finishes
With a brushed finish, also called a satin finish, you can clearly see lines on the watchcase. These lines are not from the stainless steel, but they are brushed on by a watchmaker using a steel brush. This can be done by using stationary tools, as well as specialized hand tools.
It is not strange at all to find both of these finishes on one watch. This can for instance be done to show the skill of the watchmaker, or to highlight different parts of the watch.
Blasted watch finishes
A blasted finish gives the watch case a matt look. The entire watch case has a dull look and it barely reflects any light. This finish can often be found on dive watches. This finish is achieved by blasting the watch case with tiny glass or sand particles. You could say the watch is being sandblasted.
Different coatings for watch finishes
There are also a few different coatings you can apply on stainless steel, besides the aforementioned finishes. The most common coatings are the rose gold and yellow gold coating. These are applied to the watchcase using electrolysis.
The demand for black watches has been steadily increasing the last couple of years. This effect is created by using PVD, or Physical Vapor Deposition. The watchcase enters a hot vacuum for this process. In this chamber the watch is coated by different materials, depending on the desired effect. The result can vary from a light grey to black. Discover here the characteristics of a quality watch.