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I've done a fair amount of research and am amazed at how little information there is out there about tungsten watches as well as the minuscule number of companies making them right now.

I LOVE heavy watches as well as the scratch resistance of the band and sapphire crystal. It's like buying a car you can drive for miles and the odometer doesn't change. Great investment.

Anyway, I don't know anything about the reputations of the brands and the investment/return on them. I don't necessarily need the most expensive brand or the one that will net me the most profit 20 years from now. Just the best value to price ratio.... However, this is not a test.


From what I can tell, the major Tungsten watch players are Rado, Lum Tec, Swiss Legend, and Movado. I have also seen decent looking, reasonably priced versions from Swiss Tungsten, Invicta, and Oniss.


Any opinions are welcome. I am specifically wondering about the comparisons between the Movados, Swiss Legend, and Swiss Tungsten because those are the ones I like:




Finally, why are these not more popular???
 

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Rado is one of those "under the radar" companies, but they make a nice product. They're into case materials that are a little off the beaten path including ceramics. Lüm-Tec is relatively new but make a pretty rugged product. Don't know much about Swiss Legend except for a funny quote by a long time WIS: "They are neither truly Swiss nor legendary". Movado takes a lot of unjustified flak, but any brand that has TOO much public awareness (see: TAG Heuer, Rolex) seems to get that. Their 800 series looks pretty nice to me.
 

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The more I look at all the brands out there the more I like the Swiss Legend and Movado pieces (both Valor and Fiero models).

If anyone else knows anything about the Swiss Legend that would be great since there isn't a ton of info out there. Of course any additional Tungsten info would be great too.



From what I've seen, Tungsten is difficult to work with which, to me, indicates that all Tungsten watches will be expensive. However, only the Movados have watches over $600 and the majority of Tungsten watches are in the $200-$300 range. Why so cheap for a watch that is difficult to make and stays new looking forever??

:-s
 

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I've got an M7 by Lum-Tec. It's a beautiful watch, it's heavy, and what a readable dial! You go to the theater and you can look at your M-7 and see the time with no problem! This watch is a tank!
 

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I love the look of tungsten carbide as a case material. The color and finish is impossible to photograph properly, but in person it is special. Wish I could tell you more about those watches. My recommendation would be to go with the one that you like the looks of....
 

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I just got a Tungsten Carbide wedding band to wear at work. I made my and my wife's wedding bands from scratch out of gold, and we were trying to keep the wear off them when we were doing manual labor, and tungsten is a natural choice.

Tungsten Carbide is the hardest material ever to be made into jewelry. It ranges around an 8 or 9 on the Mohs scale. Sapphire is a 9, so I now have a ring which as hard as or harder than the crystal on my watch. I've accudentally dropped my ring from a height of about 1.5 inches onto the case of my watch (316L Stainless), and it nicked the case. No signs of wear on the ring, and I've tried to scratch it! I slam it into stuff, drag it on countertops, etc, and nothing has happened to the ring, only the stuff I'm slamming it into (and my finger!).

Tungsten Carbide is quite dense, roughly twice the density of 316 stainless, so items made from it will be heavy. My ring has a nice heavy weight to it, and I like it.

I agree that it'll wear extremely well, just be careful of what you slam it into, you might end up with dinged marble counters or metal doors...

Tungsten Carbide is VERY hard, but also brittle. Once it's yield strength is reached, the ceramic will shatter. Now, it's yield strength is much higher than steel, so it'll hold up to anything steel would, but it won't stretch or ding once you push it too far, it'll shatter.

breaking a tungsten ring

and if you're an engineer:
Spec Sheet for Tungsten


Spec Sheet for Stainless
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I see how it can shatter in the case of the ring and also as a general theory. I'm wondering though if in practical application anyone has ever seen a tungsten carbide watch shatter.
 

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Here's a Lum-Tec Tungsten M7 for your eyes ;-)




And on a tungsten bracelet...heavy but such a nice finish.



 

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I see how it can shatter in the case of the ring and also as a general theory. I'm wondering though if in practical application anyone has ever seen a tungsten carbide watch shatter.
My dad has a Ceramic Rado that he never wears anymore. He broke the band at the clasp twice (Rado replaced the band each time). Now, the watch is probably close to 10 years, and I'm not sure the ceramics were as good back then, but he has broken a tungsten watch[band]. Now it just sits in his safe.
 

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Nice watch. Do you have any wrist shots of it? I've never been a big fan of totally polished watches but I think that's just what I'm used to.
 

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Mike I think the black version of that watch just became my favorite tungsten watch. The Rado's aren't my style, the Swiss Legend is nice but I'd be concerned about the overall quality of a tv brand watch, and the movados are priced based as much on name recognition as it is on quality.

I really like that if you're going to pay $800+ for a watch, at least with Lum Tec you know you're paying for the quality of the parts and composition of the watch and not wasting any money on the brand name. That's bang for your buck.

One thing I have been wondering about the white face one you have (which I also really like).... With so much lume on the dial is it distracting or even overwhelming in certain situations, like dinner at a nice restaurant or at a movie? Don't get me wrong, I love bright lume, but I worry it could look a bit... what's the word.... Timex-ey? :)

What do you think?
 

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I see how it can shatter in the case of the ring and also as a general theory. I'm wondering though if in practical application anyone has ever seen a tungsten carbide watch shatter.
Unless the designer made a truly horrible mistake, any force that shatters a tungsten case should be far below the level needed to ruin a mechanical movement. Even an ISO diver is only good for about a 1m drop (and all that is guaranteed is that the watch will still run - not that accuracy will be unimpaired).
 

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Here's a Lum-Tec Tungsten M7 for your eyes ;-)




And on a tungsten bracelet...heavy but such a nice finish.



I just looked this one up and see that there's a carbon fiber dial variant. Talk about a sweet combo. The price is very reasonable as well.
 

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Just an FYI for anyone who wants to know. I saw this thread someone talking about a black tungsten watch. I had to check this out and see if it is possible. I asked all 3 of our tungsten suppliers and they all said it is not possible to make the material itself black, and it is simply black IP plating which can wear off. I was hoping it was possible to actually make the material black!! Oh well...I suppose we will keep working on our diamond silicon case project :) (looks like black matte PVD but hard as diamond!)
 
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