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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Once in a while I hear someone "manages" to scratch a sapphire crystal.

I often see some watch companies advertising sapphire as scratch-proof. I know sapphire is not very easy to scratch, harder of a material than mineral glass...but is it proper to claim sapphire as scratch-proof if it is possible to scratch it?

Has anyone herer managed to scratch a sapphire crystal that they are certain is sapphire?

1 thing about sapphire is, if the watch company is not very established, but claim a sapphire crystal, I am always hesitant to just believe it, because apparently there is no way to be sure .....other than doing a scratch test to just....simply to get an idea of it's hardness and not a certain determinant.
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

I think scratch-proof is unethical. Same as saying a watch for sale is water-proof. Resistant is the proper word to advertise. Sapphire is the second hardest natural substance known, after a diamond. But a sapphire crystal is by no means scratch-proof. There wouldn't be replacements available if there were. You want to test this theory? Take a watch with a sapphire crystal and try to key scratch it. Holds up huh? Now go and find a brick wall and grind your crystal across it, and see if it's scratch-proof. That will answer your curiosity my friend.
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

I think there's a trick with water and sapphire glass. Water reacts differently on it. The water should bead together, rather than smear.

On another note, none of my sapphire glass watches have scratches on them. So it would take some very serious beating to manage it I reckon. I haven't managed in over 10 years to do it. And I wear my watches pretty much everywhere. I used to have a shipping company and I moved A LOT of boxes. Nowadays I spend my days at the office or court, so not much that can go wrong fortunately ;-).

Anyway, try the water trick.
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

I think scratch-proof is unethical. Same as saying a watch for sale is water-proof. Resistant is the proper word to advertise. Sapphire is the second hardest natural substance known, after a diamond. But a sapphire crystal is by no means scratch-proof. There wouldn't be replacements available if there were. You want to test this theory? Take a watch with a sapphire crystal and try to key scratch it. Holds up huh? Now go and find a brick wall and grind your crystal across it, and see if it's scratch-proof. That will answer your curiosity my friend.
Well, there's also replacements for people that drop their watches. Scratch-proof doesn't mean it will survive a drop on a marble floor (it will shatter or crack).
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

Well, there's also replacements for people that drop their watches. Scratch-proof doesn't mean it will survive a drop on a marble floor (it will shatter or crack).
With all due respect. The OP's thread is asking about scratch-proof, not drop-proof. ;-)
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

I often see sapphire advertised as scratch resistant. It is certainly not scratch proof because there harder things that will scratch it. I think one of the most important thing to look out for from what I hear is stone walls and buildings and the mortar that is used. Apparently the sparkly stuff in the rocks can be hard enough to scratch sapphire.

I dont know of any easy way to tell the difference between mineral crystal and sapphire crystal.
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

I often see sapphire advertised as scratch resistant. It is certainly not scratch proof because there harder things that will scratch it. I think one of the most important thing to look out for from what I hear is stone walls and buildings and the mortar that is used. Apparently the sparkly stuff in the rocks can be hard enough to scratch sapphire.

I dont know of any easy way to tell the difference between mineral crystal and sapphire crystal.
Is anyone reading my posts?:-d
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

Is anyone reading my posts?:-d
I got distracted while I was on the "reply to thread" page so by the time I posted they were already 4 other replies :think:.

Oh well just letting you know because sometime I feel like no one bothers to read my posts either.
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

I hear ya brother. But, by the same token. I did read yours concerning the Lum-Tec earlier. Very informative I must say. Great job.
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

Scratch proof, if taken literally would mean that the product is able to withstand any kind of abrasion and not bear any scratches. However, it is impossible for manufactures to provide this kind of guarantee for delicate items like watches, eye-glasses and others. Scratch proof thus stands for more durability than scratch resistant products. Scratch resistant, on the other hand essentially means that the product is able to withstand minor scratches.
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

Scratch proof, if taken literally would mean that the product is able to withstand any kind of abrasion and not bear any scratches. However, it is impossible for manufactures to provide this kind of guarantee for delicate items like watches, eye-glasses and others. Scratch proof thus stands for more durability than scratch resistant products. Scratch resistant, on the other hand essentially means that the product is able to withstand minor scratches.
Proof stands for can't be scratched. No substance in the world is "scratch proof". Even a diamond. How do I know? I am a Certified Diamontologist.
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

With all due respect. The OP's thread is asking about scratch-proof, not drop-proof. ;-)
There wouldn't be replacements available if there were.
In my world people do drop watches ;-).

I am not disagreeing with you, but merely adding.
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

That is if "scratch proof" is taken literally. However, most manufactures take liberties with words and the definitions. I see it everyday in every facet of life. Watch manufactures are not the first and not the last.

You must get a good deal on diamonds in your line of work. I use to live in Manhattan and anytime I needed a diamond all I had to do was go see one of my Middle Eastern friends in the Diamond district. I've never had to pay a 1/20th of what they are worth. Ah, those were the days. Now I am living all the way up here.

Side Note:


Diamond will always be a girl's best friend, but it may soon lose favour with industrial drillers.
The gemstone lost its title of the "world's hardest material" to man-made nanomaterials some time ago. Now a rare natural substance looks likely to leave them all far behind - at 58% harder than diamond.
Zicheng Pan at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and colleagues simulated how atoms in two substances believed to have promise as very hard materials would respond to the stress of a finely tipped probe pushing down on them.
Extreme conditions

The first, wurtzite boron nitride has a similar structure to diamond, but is made up of different atoms.
The second, the mineral lonsdaleite, or hexagonal diamond is made from carbon atoms just like diamond, but they are arranged in a different shape.
Only small amounts of wurtzite boron nitride and lonsdaleite exist naturally or have been made in the lab so until now no one had realised their superior strength. The simulation showed that wurtzide boron nitride would withstand 18% more stress than diamond, and lonsdaleite 58% more. If the results are confirmed with physical experiments, both materials would be far harder than any substance ever measured.
Doing those tests won't be easy, though. Because both are rare in nature, a way is needed to make enough of either of them to test the prediction.
Rare mineral lonsdaleite is sometimes formed when meteorites containing graphite hit Earth, while wurtzite boron nitride is formed during volcanic eruptions that produce very high temperatures and pressures.
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

I get the ole' employee discount. But, just for me. Gives me brownie points with the wife around this time of year(Valentine's Day) ;-)
Think she'll mind if I buy a watch for my gift?:-d
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

I think there's a trick with water and sapphire glass. Water reacts differently on it. The water should bead together, rather than smear.
That's not a surefire method. Actually it's probably no better than flipping a coin. A sapphire with an A/R coat and a mineral glass with the same A/R coat will act the same to a bead of water. Even uncoated crystals of the same material will act different if they are polished differently.

A gem tester that uses localized heat conductivity should determine the difference, even if you have a "sapphire coated mineral crystal".

(The "hold it to your forehead" test is actually based on this property, but I think it would take years to train your forehead to be able to detect the difference. A lot of people have attributed this test to checking between a glass and plastic crystal, but it can be used for sapphire v. glass.)

-s-
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

I guess the whole "proof vs resistant" business has been beaten to death.
But I have a sure fire way to tell mineral glass from sapphire - wear the watch for about a day!

Of course there are those manufacturers (well OK, Seiko) who have found a way to scimp on sapphire crystals - the Sapphlex crystal. Sounds like sapphire doesn't it? Must be a really good deal. But those crafty folks at Seiko have found a way to slap a really thin sapphire crystal on top of a mineral glass crystal. Must save a few bucks a watch.
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

I guess the whole "proof vs resistant" business has been beaten to death.
But I have a sure fire way to tell mineral glass from sapphire - wear the watch for about a day!

Of course there are those manufacturers (well OK, Seiko) who have found a way to scimp on sapphire crystals - the Sapphlex crystal. Sounds like sapphire doesn't it? Must be a really good deal. But those crafty folks at Seiko have found a way to slap a really thin sapphire crystal on top of a mineral glass crystal. Must save a few bucks a watch.
How about Invicta "fusing" them together to get Flame Fusion crystals. "More scratch resistant than mineral crystals, more shatter resistant than sapphire crystals."
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

How about Invicta "fusing" them together to get Flame Fusion crystals. "More scratch resistant than mineral crystals, more shatter resistant than sapphire crystals."
Sounds like "fresh frozen" or other oxymorons that people use everyday. Especially at Starbucks calling a small coffee a tall.
 

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Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

How about Invicta "fusing" them together to get Flame Fusion crystals. "More scratch resistant than mineral crystals, more shatter resistant than sapphire crystals."
You wouldn't be interested in a bridge I'm trying to sell would you? ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Re: Sapphire...scratch resistant or scratch proof?..and how to tell if it's actually sapph

I guess the whole "proof vs resistant" business has been beaten to death.
But I have a sure fire way to tell mineral glass from sapphire - wear the watch for about a day!

Of course there are those manufacturers (well OK, Seiko) who have found a way to scimp on sapphire crystals - the Sapphlex crystal. Sounds like sapphire doesn't it? Must be a really good deal. But those crafty folks at Seiko have found a way to slap a really thin sapphire crystal on top of a mineral glass crystal. Must save a few bucks a watch.
I read that Seiko diver enthusiasts may claim that Sapphlex is one sense better that it will not shatter as easily. I don't think that is much of a concern with desk diving and casual wearing, as mineral glass is very likely to break anyways if the watch is just dropped on a hard service.
 
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