Luxury timepiece collectors and enthusiasts have most likely noted the beautiful blued steel hands featured on some high-end watches. Watch and clock hands made with this material are of extremely high quality and craftsmanship – beyond their visual appeal.
The crafting of authentic blue steel requires extremely precise and masterful attention to detail. This is because the blued quality of steel can only be achieved by heating the metal to a very specific point. The bluing process creates a protective finish that helps to prevent the hands from rusting.
According to the U.S. National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, there are nearly two dozen colors that steel goes through as it is heated. The challenge with creating blued steel is keeping the control, and pulling the steel away from the heat before it’s too late. With small parts like watch hands, technicians will often heat them with other metal pieces so as to control the heat and prevent it from increasing too fast.
If you are interested in watching the colors change on a watch hand as it is heated, click here for a short video.
While many mass-produced watch hands may look like blued steel; they are actually created using a chemical process instead, and are not authentic blued steel that is heated to reach this point. The quality is not as true with chemically-produced blue steel. The top brands in watchmaking, of course, will use the authentic blue steel for the watch hands on their timepieces.
Our selection of luxury timepieces features several watches with blued steel hands. Leroy’s Osmior Retrograde Perpetual Calendar watch has blue steel hands that stand out against the hand guilloche dial. The Golden Square G37 with 18K white gold from Roger Dubuis is another such specimen. To browse our entire offering of luxury watches, please click here.
Featured photo source: Monochrome-Watches.com.