Due to its relatively light weight, most watch enthusiasts are apt to recognize a watch with a titanium case through the simple act of picking it up. Savvier collectors may recognize it from its flat, grey color, presuming it is unpolished. Like gold or platinum (and unlike steel), titanium is a pure metal — its chemical element symbol is “Ti” and it sits at #22 on the periodic table of the elements. The two most useful properties of the metal are corrosion resistance and the highest strength-to-density ratio of any metallic element. More practically speaking (and as it pertains to watchmaking), titanium is in many cases as strong as steel yet much lighter, and it is highly resistant to the corrosive effects of sea water. Titanium is thus most often used for sport watches and dive watches, as opposed to dress watches; though overall it remains an uncommon choice of metal for higher end watches. Even so, the metal is no stranger to even the most elite watch manufacturers (yes, even Patek Philippe makes titanium watches, but that’s another story), as you will see today.
In this week’s episode of Buying Time, we’ll take a look at four watches that are crafted using titanium.