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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always wondered why blue screws in a watch. It is it just a standard aesthetic or is the blue a very special coating that works well in watches vs. other coatings? Do we know who first started using blue screws? Just curious and while Google could probably lead me in the right direction I like the take of people on this message board better than wiki or what have you.
 

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I'm pretty sure that on $500 and up watches with blued screws, the screws are still heat blued.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am familiar with bluing of steel due to heat treating. They do it to guns all the time. I have never seen it turn steel the color of blue used in watch screws. They must really temper the screws at a very specific temperature.
 

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Probably also worth mentioning is tradition. Going back over a century, watchmakers didn't have all the cool alloys, coatings, plastics and other materials we have to work with, but they did know how to heat-treat steel. Since that was used traditionally as decoration for movements, doing it now is a nod to tradition-- whether it's head blued or just dyed.

Plus it looks stupidly cool.
 

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Glad they didn't stop at 500!
 

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The short answer is no, because you need an acid source, usually coating the metal to trigger the reaction. My understanding is that the traditional method also requires careful control over the oxygen content in the oven, although modern processes are supposedly easier. The temperature control definitely needs to be precise for consistent color.

It is something a hobbyist can do, but you're not going to want to do it in your kitchen.
 
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the 440F color would be nice too :D

is it possible?
Some interesting information near the end of this page about chemical bluing and heat bluing.Materials, Finishes, and Treatments The implication seems to be that its simple enough for a hobbyist to carry out. Only one of the external links for heat bluing seems to still be working - and that links to a site about knives, so caveat lector (or something like that).
It looks like someone has carried out the treatment at a lower temperature (c.440F?) using a BBQ and cooling the item in motor oil.

Andy H

Edit: I should have added that the steel used for screws etc will probably be completely different from the steel used in your watch case, and that the rate of cooling is of vital importance too. Slow cooling and rapid cooling produce different effects on the crystalline structure of the metal. I'm not a metallurgist, so maybe someone more knowledgeable than I am can help more!
 

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the 440F color would be nice too :D

is it possible?

Light your grill, allow to heat up

Sit your watch case on the grill

Allow to bake for a bit

Open grill and spray in starter fluid for chemical reaction and FLAMES!

Allow watch case to bake chemicals off

Let us know how it goes



Disclaimer: This is probably a terrible, dangerous idea. Keep your pets away. The last time I did something like this, I had to get a hair cut to straighten out the aftermath.
 

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It is absolutely important to know the exact second you need to remove the screw or the heat source from the screw in the right moment the desired tone is reached... but it can be done.
You need a brass flat, an alcohol lamp will do, so you polish the screw heads to perfection, drill a hole in the brass plate to insert the screw in and put the brass directly in the flame and wait untill you get the tone you want.... I have done some beautiful blue, yellow and purple screws (yeah and have wasted a lot too)



Enviado desde mi HUAWEI P6-U06 mediante Tapatalk
 

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so if I, let's say, take a watch case, without any parts, and bake it in the oven for some time at 730F, would I get that color? :D
no,no,no...you will burn you flat, you just moved in. It is heated on the layer of a mineral of somekind, so it gets that colour. I have seen this somewhere but cant find the link. If you just put it on lets say open fire or something you will get non homogen layer of almost black steel oxide. Crash did this to the buckles (he just put them on charcoal he used while doing a barbecue) and he got something like DLC.


also due to the steel stretching on high colors, case would probably be little twisten on some parts...you know what? I will find an old SS case somewhere and we will have to experiment. you have gas burner in your flat, right?
 

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no,no,no...you will burn you flat, you just moved in. It is heated on the layer of a mineral of somekind, so it gets that colour. I have seen this somewhere but cant find the link. If you just put it on lets say open fire or something you will get non homogen layer of almost black steel oxide. Crash did this to the buckles (he just put them on charcoal he used while doing a barbecue) and he got something like DLC.


also due to the steel stretching on high colors, case would probably be little twisten on some parts...you know what? I will find an old SS case somewhere and we will have to experiment. you have gas burner in your flat, right?
better yet, I have a fire place ;)

let the games begin! buahahah :D
 

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Most household ovens won't go near 700 degrees. (Without illegal and dangerous modifications)
If you removed the catalytic converter and restrictor plate, she'll go 700 and then some...but keep it on the down low, 'cause that ain't exactly street legal.

Actually, in all seriousness, I've seen YouTube videos with people blueing steel with a blow torch.
 
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