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5 Best Scratch-Resistant Watches to Own

5 Best Scratch-Resistant Watches to Own

Discover the top 5 scratch-resistant watches to keep your timepiece free from dings. Find the best match for you and protect your watch!
Mar 12, 2024

For one, a watch isn’t only about its design and performance but also how it can withstand long-lasting wear. Therefore, scratch-resistant watches are popular for those looking for the most durable timepiece. Speaking of a timepiece that shines the same as on the first day, the hardness of the case material is crucial. 

The level of hardness is the deciding factor in determining whether a watch will develop scratches during everyday wear, or remain unblemished. Most watch brands today employ a testing procedure known as the Vickers method. It is a commonly used technique for measuring the hardness of materials, including metals and ceramics.

However, there are many other factors that contribute to the material’s physical properties. To help you cope with that, let’s take a look at some examples of the best scratch-resistant watches.

Common Approaches to Create Scratch-Resistant Watches

Before delving into the intricacies of scratch-resistant watches, let’s explore the common approaches that watchmakers employ to ensure their timepieces stand up to the rigors of everyday wear.

Each of these methods plays a pivotal role in enhancing the durability and longevity of these prized accessories, making them not just functional but also built to endure the test of time.

Scratch-resistant Alloys

Brands use different types of material composition to create durable steel. The 316L stainless steel is the most common alloy used to make durable and scratch-resistant watches. It primarily consists of iron but includes varying proportions of chromium, nickel, molybdenum, and other components, which can vary slightly.

Various formulas can influence diverse characteristics, leading watch companies to mention a wide range of materials that might essentially be mixtures of well-known metals. 

Additionally, it’s important to note that the properties of the metal can be influenced not only by its chemical composition but also by the methods used in its production. Metallurgists must also find a delicate equilibrium between increasing a metal’s hardness and avoiding excessive brittleness.

Scratch-resistant Coatings

Other than alloys, brands also make scratch-resistant watches by applying coatings to protect the material underneath. There is a lot we can refer to when it comes to watch coatings. One widely employed method for coloring cases, ranging from gold to black, is known as PVD (physical vapor deposition). 

It’s important to note that PVD refers to the manufacturing technique rather than the specific coating material used. Additionally, some brands also use DLC (Diamond-like carbon) which is a thin coating applied by the PVD process. DLC coatings are known for their exceptional hardness, low friction, and high wear resistance.

However, it’s not a secret that coatings can simply wear over time, resulting in noticeable scratches when there is a different color underneath. As a reference, Seiko’s DiaShield and Citizen’s Duratect or Super Titanium exemplify transparent coatings that enhance substantial scratch resistance – while preserving the original appearance of the case material’s texture and finish.

Read also: Why Titanium Watches? A Guide to Titanium for Beginners

Surface Hardening

The watchmaking industry also comes with an interesting way to make scratch-resistant watches. Instead of using a tougher metal alloy or applying an external coating, surface hardening means modifying and strengthening the material’s own surface layer, typically only a few micrometers thick.

This chemical process raises arguments from some people as it might lead to an “eggshell effect” on the surface. In other words, instead of causing scratches, a harsh impact on the watch would damage the softer metal beneath the hardened surface.

5 Best Scratch-Resistant Watches – Free from Dings and Dents

With different approaches available to make the most scratch-resistant watches, some brands opt for being the expert in one method, such as Damasko with its ice-hardened steel and Sinn with the surface-hardening method. 

Regardless, we have compiled our favorite scratch-resistant watches made of different methods. Let’s dive in!

Damasko DK36 Black

Best Scratch-Resistant Watches to Own: Damasko DK36 Black
Damasko DK36 Black
Movement DAMASKO in-house movement A26-3
Dimensions 40mm in diameter, 48.6 lug to lug, 12.3mm thick
Water resistance 100m

Introduced under Damasko’s classic collection, the DK36 Black flaunts a rugged yet simple timepiece. It carries many of Damasko’s styling trademarks, especially the large markers and bold sword hands. With that bold and rugged look, the watch offers optimal durability for adventurous wearers.

Damasko manufactures the watch case of the Damasko DK30 in-house, and it’s the second model, following the DA30s, to utilize Damasko’s Ice-hardened stainless steel. This scratch-resistant watch also offers a nickel-free material, good corrosion resistance, and can be tempered up to 64 HRC/800Vickers. 

Price: $1,841.00 USD

Rado True Automatic Blackout Ref. R27056162

Best Scratch-Resistant Watches to Own: Rado True Automatic Blackout Ref. R27056162
Rado True Automatic Blackout Ref. R27056162
Movement Swiss ETA C07.631
Dimensions 40mm in diameter, 47.5 lug to lug, 10.4mm thick
Water resistance 50m

Looking all elegant and sleek, this scratch-resistant watch brings more than just what you can see. The Rado True Automatic Blackout Ref. R27056162 is an appealing dress watch for men with a clean and minimalist dial. Rado has more than one to unveil in this special timepiece. 

While it holds a whooping 80 hours of power reserve with Swiss ETA C07.631 self-winding movement, Rado also ensures that the case is incredibly scratch-resistant. The watch is packed with attractive attributes with a high-tech ceramic case and bracelet. 

Rado developed this special material that could withstand the extreme hardness of 1,200 Vickers (5x harder than steel but notably lighter). 

Price: $1,700.00 USD

Read also: Rado Watches Under $2000: Unveiling Excellence

Citizen Super Titanium Blue Ref. AQ4100-57L

Best Scratch-Resistant Watches to Own: Citizen Super Titanium Blue Ref. AQ4100-57L
Citizen Super Titanium Blue Ref. AQ4100-57L
Movement Eco-Drive A060
Dimensions 38.3mm in diameter, 45.5mm lug to lug, 12.2mm thick
Water resistance 100m

The next scratch-resistant watch to look forward to is the Citizen Super Titanium Blue Ref. AQ4100-57L. As the name suggests, this watch is encased by the Citizen’s proprietary Duratect Platinum. This is the same as Seiko’s Diashield which is a special hardened coating to make the watch resistant to scratches. 

The use of Citizen Super Titanium does not only enhance the watch’s durability but also the shiny surface and comfort for the wearers. Not to mention that the watch comes in proportional dimensions at 38.3mm in diameter. The result is a charming fit on many wrist sizes both men and women.

Price: $2,280.00 USD

Glycine Airman SST Stealth PVD Black Ref. GL0314

Best Scratch-Resistant Watches to Own: Glycine Airman SST Stealth PVD Black Ref. GL0314
Glycine Airman SST Stealth PVD Black Ref. GL0314
Movement GL293 Swiss automatic movement
Dimensions 38.3mm in diameter, 45.5mm lug to lug, 12.2mm thick
Water resistance 100m

The Airman collection has been one of the popular Glycine collections. The Airman SST Stealth PVD Black Ref. GL0314 comes with some appealing contemporary upgrades in its design and mechanical prowess. As a reissue timepiece, the upgrades are what make this watch more appealing.

This scratch-resistant watch is presented in a black PVD-treated stainless steel case while maintaining the original case shape. The bold and bulky case not only accentuates durability but also impeccable finishing thanks to the brushed and polished finishing.

Price: $1,040.00 USD

Read also: Glycine Airman Collection: A Legacy of Aviation Timepieces

Steinhart Nav B-Chrono II Black DLC 44mm

Best Scratch-Resistant Watches to Own: Glycine Airman SST Stealth PVD Black Ref. GL0314
Steinhart Nav B-Chrono II Black DLC 44mm
Movement Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 mechanical automatic movement
Dimensions 44mm in diameter, 52mm lug to lug, 16mm thick
Water resistance 30m

Last but not least scratch-resistant watch is the Steinhart Nav B-Chrono II Black DLC 44mm. This watch is done with a DLC coating to protect the watch from scratches and let it shine for a long time. Presented as a pilot watch, Steinhart ensures the watch can withstand rigorous conditions under extreme temperature changes. 

Moreover, this scratch-resistant watch also comes with features to help pilots, such as chronograph watches and legible dials. Driven by the Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 mechanical automatic movement, you don’t have to worry about the watch’s performance anymore. 

Price: $1,000.00 USD

Read also: Closer Look: At The New Steinhart Architect Collection

Final Thought

In a world where timepieces have been more than just time-telling instruments for generations, the term “scratch-resistant” carries significant weight. Scratch-resistant watches not only serve as functional accessories but also symbolize the enduring craftsmanship and commitment to quality in the horological world.

Having your watch to last for a long time and shine as on the first day would be an impressive thing, right? So, make sure you consider this matter before buying a timepiece.

Read also: A Guide to Removing Scratches from Stainless Steel Watches

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