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Invicta's Flame Fusion Crystal & the Water Drop Test

102836 Views 56 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  mystic nerd
I just tried the water drop test on sapphire, mineral, and Invicta's Flame Fusion crystals. When a drop of water hits mineral glass it flattens out and is shallow; when it hits sapphire glass it has more height/depth and therefore a smaller footprint. Flame fusion behaves like mineral glass with the water drop, flattening out exactly the same. The difference between mineral glass and sapphire is quite noticeable with this water drop test.

Is this definitive that flame fusion is no different from regular mineral glass? No, only that it reacts the same way to a water drop. Important to note that Invicta never claims it's a sapphire coating. If it were actually a sapphire coating wouldn't Invicta call it that rather than flame fusion, which sounds like nuclear alchemy? What we need is a scratch test and I have a hunch Invicta is counting on that not being done, but if I have a choice between flame fusion and mineral glass I would take flame fusion because at best it's better than mineral and at worst it's just mineral, but I wouldn't pay more than $5 extra for it :-!.
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this has been done on air and seems the flame fusion leaves a tiny footprint.
That wasn't my experience. I used two Invicta samples which say "flame fusion" on their casebacks, an Orient Mako (mineral), and an Ocean 7 LM-6 (sapphire). Only sapphire had a "tiny" footprint.

You can actually feel the difference between mineral and sapphire by stubbing your thumb across them. Sapphire is "stickier", offering more resistance to your thumb gliding across it; mineral is more sllippery, offering less resistance to your sliding thumb, which makes sense in how a drop of water reacts when it hits their respective surfaces. Of course that has nothing to do with hardness, just in telling the two apart.
When I read the thread title I imagined Eyal and Jim on Shop NBC proving the toughness of Flame Fusion Crystal by splashing a drop of water onto it.

"Look, not even a scratch!"

at least they'd be telling the truth :-d
I may be mistaken on some small semantic technicality, but I feel like I have heard "sapphire coating" on numerous ShopNBC occasions from the Invicta reps themselves.

In this case, I suspect that a flashy name like "flame fusion" plays better with Invicta's target audience than something boring like "sapphire coating"...with my marketing cap on, it also makes more sense because mentioning sapphire in the name, but not actually having a full sapphire crystal, makes your product seem cheap by comparison. Instead, making up an all new, super duper cool sounding name and then listing it's combination of strengths makes it sound even better than sapphire.
Those are good points, and the flashy term "flame fusion," as you say, is in line with their over the top designs. Riedenschild (R.I.P.) had a coating perhaps similar to Invicta's that was called, I believe, DLC (diamond like coating). I don't know of any other companies beyond Invicta and Riedenschild that tout a similar coating on mineral glass. It's interesting to note that Riedenschild was also prone to exaggerating or misrepresenting their products. There was some controversy over the country of origin of their Gematic movement, and when the president made an appearance on these forums he made some Eyal-like claims about his watches and was called on them by forum members.

If these coatings on mineral glass were so good--and obviously cost-effective--hard to believe their application wouldn't be widespread throughout the industry.
I was a bit of an Invicta defender on THAT OTHER thread but this is a ripoff by them. It is worth noting that one of their somewhat well made watches and what they were known for is the 9937(yes I know a Rolex ripoff) did have a sapphire crystal now has this glorified mineral crystal.
I tend to agree.
AFAIK Seiko first applied the process of sapphire coating mineral glass to watches (I'm not sure if they actually invented the process). The called the product Sapphlex. As Invicta is not a watch manufacturer per se, I highly doubt they independently developed a process. They most likely licensed the process from Seiko now that Seiko don't use Sapplex or any of their watches.

The fact that Seiko tried Sapphlex, and then reverted to either Hardlex (borosilicate glass) or sapphire, suggests that the benefits of sapphlex are not worth the associated extra cost.
Somehow I didn't know about Sapphlex. What you say makes sense.
Why would anyone think they would tell the truth about anything?
Law of Averages or more specifically Law of Large Numbers.
This reminds me of an old Bob Newhart episode where he bought a ring with... well, it wasn't a diamond. And it wasn't a Cubic Zirconia. No, it was even better than either of those.

It was the all new "Cylindric Diamachron"!

You wouldn't think anyone would have the stones to try this shtick in real life. :-d
Invicta's transparency is actually pretty funny, not that you have to be a genius to see through no accolades to us smartyasses here, but it does give you an idea of the level of humans their sales pitch is aimed at, and I say this as a proud owner of 3 Invicta watches.

do I contradict myself? Well then I contradict myself :-d
He never said it was scientific, and he specifically said it wasn't definitive proof of anything. What we know for a fact is that it's not a sapphire crystal, otherwise Invicta would call it that. If you have some "scientific" information to add, please do so. I'm curious as to what these crystals actually are.
I'm curious as well, especially when people are making decisions (and they are--I've read them here) on which Invicta to buy based on whether or not the crystal is flame fusion.
Anyway I did notice that the flame fusion hype. I think it does have some type of coating or at least I can feel more drag on the crystal when cleaning if off. I run a little hand soap on my fingers and then over my watches after wearing them. Well the flame did feel different in fact I though for a moment that I did not remove a clear plastic coating. :-s
I didn't notice that drag on my flame fusion. I could certainly feel it on the sapphire, but mineral and flame fusion felt the same to me. Could be the crystal wasn't flame fused even though it said it was. :think:

You should try the water drop test on it, takes a second to do.
+1 on the below. How is "hardlex" for mineral better than "flame-fusion"?

As has been established, the water-droplet test has nothing to do with hardness (I've conducted hardness tests in labs before and I never heard of "beading" as an alternative, nor have I heard of "finger-stickiness" either). Nonetheless, I think you should all at least clarify whether or not the sticky, beady sapphire had an external A/R coating, as this would obviously affect the results.

As a counterpoint to the assumptions about flame-fusion hardness, I have read accounts (albeit online, anecdotal) of difficulty or inability to remove the cyclops from these crystals. This is the most telling comparison to mineral (in which the cyclops comes off easily with heat) and indication that some difference exists and that the difference is increased resilience.
You're reiterating what I've iterated. The water droplet test was done to indicate whether flame fusion behaved like mineral or sapphire glass using the water drop test. That was all, and it was done because it was being suggested that flame fusion was a sapphire coating.

The sapphire crystal I used for the test was from an Ocean7 LM-6. No AR coating on the outer (tested) crystal. And you're right, I should have mentioned that.

If the anecdotal accounts are valid and cyclops are removed with greater difficulty on the flame fusion, then I agree that some difference exists between mineral and flame fusion, but I don't know how you make the leap to specifying the difference as resiliency. In addition, maybe the glue was/is different...

I just conducted the experiment on my 6686 and my 4605 and got the opposite results you reported (pics to come).

I repeated it twice with the same result.

I cleaned both crystals with alcohol-free lens cleaner, then deposited a single drop of water from ~1cm using a drinking straw.

The flame-fusion crystal yielded a strong bead, while the mineral crystal of the 4605 did not. The droplet instantly "flattened-out" on the latter.

As far as I know, the 6686 does not have an external AR coating.

Can you think of any other sources of error for your test? Not pointing the finger, just sayin'...
Interesting back at ya. I used two Invictas that trumpet flame fusion on the caseback. I don't believe there's any source for error in my test outside of the possibility that my Invictas might be labeled flame fusion but they're not. As I said initially, the difference between the water droplet on sapphire and mineral/flame fusion behaved very differently, and I repeated the test at least 4 times :-s.

Also, "flame fusion" tells you nothing about the actual coating, and who's to say there's only one coating. The term "flame fusion" might be a catch-all for whatever flavor of coating they're using this week :-d.
What? Cyclops' are held on with adhesive, and that's what reacts to the heat and allows them to be removed. I don't understand what this is telling you besides that maybe Invicta uses a type of adhesive that is not as easily softened as that of other brands. It has basically nothing to do with the crystal's properties.
and, again, who says they use only one type of adhesive? Maybe one of the adhesives is more resistant to heat? Or the person trying to remove the cyclops understandably had no idea how hot the crystal/cyclops was actually getting.
Valid. Valid.

Invicta could use different glue on flame-fusion crystals than they do on the mineral or sapphire ones (midshipman, I wasn't just comparing cyclops removal to other brands. I was comparing it to other Invictas). I considered this, but I discounted it and didn't mention it because it seems unlikely to me.

And, yes, it's completely possible that the people didn't know what they were doing - human error. They did claim to be following instructions previously posted, which seem pretty straightforward. One claimed to have performed it several times prior on mineral and sapphire crystals. Again, just anecdotes, nothing conclusive or statistically significant.
it really just leaves open the question what flame fusion is. I dont think I'd go much out of my way for it.:think:
Agreed. But I'd say the same about sapphire. $10-$15. More than that is gouging.

Take Getat for example - $15 to upgrade to sapphire, 44mm case-size.
I don't know how much more I'd be willing to pay for sapphire, but yes more than $15. The reason I'd pay more is that it's worlds apart from mineral in terms of scratch resistance. Of course it would depend on the cost of the watch.
All of these things add to the price of the "higher quality" crystals that cost more, and make the $40-$60 you see regularly seem perfectly reasonable.
That's the amount I figure sapphire is worth to me. Funny how that's the amount it is :-d
It just means something is different. It could mean that the "sapphire coating" is applied after the cyclops, like some AR coatings. The difference is significant because the implication of the OP is that flame-fusion is no different than mineral, as indicated by their shared hydrophilicity.
You keep pushing my very limited experiment into more significance than it deserves. I've not dealt with implications--why would I want flame fusion to fail, I'm praying for a miracle product, I can deal with scratches anywhere on the watch but not on the crystal?--I just don't want to get excited or waste money on a couple of glitzy words.

Also, you really need to rephrase this: "The difference is significant because the implication of the OP is that flame-fusion is no different than mineral."

The only implication I made is that the water drop test, for me, behaved differently on sapphire and flame fusion. I made no other claims.
It just means something is different. It could mean that the "sapphire coating" is applied after the cyclops, like some AR coatings. The difference is significant because the implication of the OP is that flame-fusion is no different than mineral, as indicated by their shared hydrophilicity.
You keep pushing my very limited experiment into more significance than it deserves. I've not dealt with implications--why would I want flame fusion to fail--I just don't want to get excited or waste money on a couple of glitzy words, which some members are doing.
I'm not trying to push anything.

He asked why I mentioned the cyclops removal. I was just trying to explain by connecting it to your original post, where you said the water droplet flattened out like it would on mineral. The implication is that flame fusion is the same as mineral. I didn't say you stated it. It was implied, thus, an implication.
yes i suppose :-d
yeah I think it was ok thread. I got some more info about flame fusion. This was important to me because I'd much rather have sapphire than mineral. Hello...mineral scratches, sapphire does not. If flame fusion was close to sapphire I'd take it. Really I'm in the same position before I started this thread I wouldn't buy an Invicta based on flame fusion, not for more than $5 extra. No one likes to be milked and Invicta is not upfront about this whoop dee doo coating, what it does. Why wouldn't we assume it does nothing but empty our wallets?
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