Stainless Steel Watches - A Brief Guide

Stainless steel watches are nowadays the most common and the most popular choice. At last, we make all our Nordgreen watches from stainless steel. However, it wasn’t always like that. Not so long ago, steel watches were considered too robust, too expensive, and even ugly. The fashion of that time didn’t allow bigger watches on the wrist, and the technology couldn’t make them smaller. However, stainless steel is now the most popular style even in the luxury watch industry. In the last few years, the precious metal watches decreased in sales for ca 31%. What made people change their minds?

History of the stainless steel watches

Stainless steel watches were quite rare until the late 1960s. Stainless steel was almost impossible to work with, with the technology of that time. The companies would always choose gold, brass, or platinum as they were softer and much easier to work with. The first steel watch models were too bulky and looked out of fashion. Usually, stainless steel watches were reserved for divers, pilots, soldiers, and similar occupations. As a matter of fact, they were called “tool watches”. It was absolutely unthinkable to wear them to social events, as it was a sign of bad taste. However, times have changed. In the 1970s, a quartz revolution started. Quartz movement was the next big thing for watches, as it made watches affordable.  Also, with the new discoveries in the steel industry, a new trend was born. Suddenly, everyone was interested in the watches made from stainless steel.

What are the most common stainless steel types?

Every stainless steel type has different properties, along with the different amounts of the elements added. By itself, steel has a bad habit to corrode during the time, so science had to act. The stainless steel watch had to be light, durable, sturdy, and resistant. At last, other materials are added to steel, to enhance its abilities. Overall, the stainless steel can be classified into several categories, based on the composition.

300-Series Stainless Steel Types

  • Type 304 is the most common and the most usual type of stainless steel
  • The 304L type contains less amount of carbon, commonly used for welding
  • Type 304LN contains a percentage of nitrogen to increase tension
  • Type 316 the second most widely used type, contains a small portion of molybdenum for corrosion resistance
  • Finally, type 316L contains less amount of carbon compared to type 316

Types 316 and 316L are proven to be the best materials for making the wristwatches. Both these types can withstand extreme temperature shocks and are more resistant to corrosion. They are also hypoallergenic and scratch-resistant. No wonder these types of steel are also used in modern medicine, for medical equipment and implants.   At Nordgreen, we use the 316L stainless steel for all our watches. In short, it has proven to be superior to other types.

Why choose a steel wristwatch?

They are aesthetic

Firstly, the aesthetics. Wearing a stainless steel watch is a sign of a good fashion taste. Especially when you pair it with a nice bracelet. Elegance and minimalism are always fashionable. Even the most luxurious watch producers don’t deny the beauty of the stainless steel. Also, they fit for multiple occasions, and for everyday use. Heavy golden/platinum watches, well, you can wear them only in high-class events. Not on your morning jog or a field trip with your kids.

Jakob Wagner is a lead designer in Nordgreen. He is the creative mind that designed all our watch lines: Pioneer, Native, Infinity, and Philosopher. Through his design, Jakob implements Scandinavian values into our watches. All our watches are minimalistic, stylish, and elegant. Also, they all have interchangeable straps, so you can always adjust your style to fit the occasion. At Nordgreen, we make beautiful watches for everyday use.

They don’t rust

Stainless steel is actually “rustless” steel. Of course, rustless doesn’t sound so attractive to the consumers, but that is a fact. From the first time you put it on, your watch will get in contact with water and moisture. Occasional rains, sweaty hands, or simple showering, can cause a watch to rust. But not a stainless steel 316L one, as it has been hardened by adding molybdenum and few other elements.  At Nordgreen, we are so sure in our watchmaking skills, that we give you a 24-month warranty on all our watches.

They are durable

Stainless steel is an incredibly durable material. In fact, it was so hard to work with, that in the past, companies found it cheaper to work with precious metals. Now, this has proven to be one of the main advantages of steel watches. During his lifetime, a wristwatch will encounter many challenges. Heavy scratches,  fails, water damage, they all seem to ally against your watch’s good look. However, stainless steel watches are highly durable, scratch-resistant, and in our case, water-resistant. All the Nordgreen watches have water resistance, making them even more durable to withstand the test of the time. The durability of these watches is one of the reasons they are a great investment for the future. Or even better, a legacy to pass on to your children and grandchildren.

They are affordable

Of course, there will always be people who can afford a watch showered in diamonds or a grand complication. However, newer generations have a more value-driven approach when it comes to buying watches. They don’t see a point in paying substantially more for a golden or platinum watch. Besides the difference in materials, the movement is the same, as well as the other features. All our Nordgreen watches have a Japanese quartz movement, made by Miyota. The stainless steel case protects the fine and incredibly precise Japanese mechanism. Mechanical wristwatches are slowly becoming a thing of the past, as well as the golden ones. They are simply becoming too expensive for regular buyers.  However, stainless steel watches are much more budget-friendly, and you can check it by visiting our Nordgreen webshop.

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