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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm looking at getting a new Tissot Titanium Chronograph, which would be my first "quality" watch (well, coming from someone with a few sub-$150 scraps). I like the flat/matte brushed look. However, I am worried because titanium is said to be softer than stainless steel. A very nice quality watch is just ugly to me once it gains it's share of scratches, and I really want my new watch to stand up to the test of time and last a long while. Appearance is very important to me in that respect, and I want my new baby to be as flawless as possible, even after a few years of frequent use.

What material should I be looking into? Ceramic?

edit: just to be clear, I am looking for these things -
1.) very scratch resistant material
2.) material that is not glossy or shiny
3.) less than $1k price (or better yet, less than $500 if that's even possible...)
 

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Ceramic or tungsten. Both materials tend to be very reflective and I tend to avoid that, however if you do not mind the whole bling factor, then either one is fine.
 

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Ceramic or tungsten. Both materials tend to be very reflective and I tend to avoid that, however if you do not mind the whole bling factor, then either one is fine.
Ceramic can be brittle though - stories abound of people giving ceramic bracelets an accidental thump against a hard object and having links shatter.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ceramic or tungsten. Both materials tend to be very reflective and I tend to avoid that, however if you do not mind the whole bling factor, then either one is fine.
Unfortunately I too dislike watches with a glossy reflectiveness... I like my accessory to be humble rather than obnoxious. Are all ceramics and tungstens going to have this shine? And is there any other material that is extremely scratch resistant, yet relatively matte?
 

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Ceramic is an excellent material for being nearly impervious to scratches, but I am not into a very shiny, glossy surface finish, or the light weight, as I like a watch with a good weight to it.

The Tegiment technology by Sinn is OUTSTANDING! They offer tegimenting on both the silver, raw submarine steel, as well as the PVD matte black coated finishes. I own a Sinn U2 EZM with the tegimented-PVD black coating and it is nothing short of freakish how impervious to scratches it is. Much more so than any other "regular" steel PVD watch I've seen. The watch is about 4 years old, gets frequent use, and literally looks identical to the day I bought it. For a watch with a matte black coating on it, I am absolutely both amazed and impressed. I'd imagine the plain silver finish would be even more indestructible. I cannot say enough good things about Sinn's tegimenting process.

Just as a frame of reference, standard stainless watch cases have a hardness of around 220 Vickers. Sinn's tegimenting process (applied to their more robust submarine steel) ends up creating a surface hardness of approximately 1200 Vickers. Additionally, Sinn's black PVD coating is composed of TiAICN (titanium aluminum carbon nitride), which achieves a surface hardness of around 2000 Vickers! You want a matte black watch that will pretty much NEVER show surface scratches? Get one of the Sinn tegimented watches.
 

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Sapphire and ceramics. The OP is asking for scratch resistance, not shatter resistance...
 

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There's also cobalt chromium (Lum Tec) and Damasko has their own proprietary steel (nice blasted finish) but neither have a bracelet. Omega's new dark side of the moon chronograph is brushed ceramic., also no bracelet AFAIK.
 

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In my experience, Sinn, tegimented.
 

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Tegimented (kolsterized) and ice-hardened cases are out seeing your budget, even if buying 2nd hand. Ceramic, Rado at least, is out as well because it is shiny.
 

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Every now and then you can find a ceramic watch with matte finish. There's also DLC coated steel.
 

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I know one watchmaker (Swiss i think) makes (or did make a limited series) of a watch which case was entirely made out of sapphire crystal. That should aso be super scratch resistant.
 

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Rado Sintra Matt- matt ceramic case and bracelet.
Non-glossy: As its matt, its not shiny or blingy. it's real slim and light, therefore less risk of it getting chipped.
It has been in my possession for a few years and it is still looking as good as new, no scratches or cracks.
Price: I bought mine at a sale for less than 1k at the duty free here in Bangkok.
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1371979953.159725.jpg

Sinn U1 is another great choice, but do take note that Tegimented Steel is not as scratch resistant as ceramic. if u want a dive watch, it's the best choice. But you will have to pay a lot more than 1k for it.
 

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Get the titanium. It hides its scratches well. I've had one for almost 10 years and you wouldn't look at it and think it's scratched to hell
 

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However, I am worried because titanium is said to be softer than stainless steel.
Watches were typically made from commercially pure (grade 2) titanium which scratches easier than stainless steel.

However grade 5 titanium is often used now and it is around twice as hard as steel. Grade 5 is an alloy with about 95% titanium so you still get the benefit of light weight. Furthermore it s typically not anodized so there is no surface layer than when scratched off shows a different colour underneath. Great material for a watch in my opinion.
 

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Enjoy your titanium watch and get a scotch brite pad. I little piece of that will make most scratches on a brushed surface disappear quite easliy.
 
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