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As I continue to be exposed to (here at WF's) more diverse brands and styles I am coming to the conclusion that I should not settle for anything less than a sapphire crystal for watches $200 (+/- a few dollars). I was watching the SWI show last night and again saw watches that clearly fall into the entry level but still had sapphire crystals. At one time my impression of sapphire was that it meant a watch was a little more than entry level and therefore warranted a better crystal. Understand this is just how I feel and my opinion may be way off but it seems absolutely ridiculous to accept a $500 or $700 watch with a mineral crystal or an offshoot of one. Yes, there is a place for mineral and their offshoots or is this an option that we are willing to sacrifice because of other "likable" aspects of a watch,i.e., design, size, jewels, movment...hype?
It reminds me of automobile airbags or truck bumpers, remember when these were options?? Granted the D.O.T. has required them now but there was a time when they didn't. Would you buy a relatively high end car or truck with no airbags or bumpers today? But wait, it's got a really great DVD player.........

CJ
 

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I think that FF and other varieties of options are probably the future. I think we will see many other watch brands coming up with alternative materials for one main simple reason - cost. Everyone is feeling the lower sales pinch so having alternative options that 99.9999999999% of the world could care less about is positive for companies trying to stay alive selling watches to the masses.
 

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Seattle I think that most of the watch community believe that Sapphire is the best of the best, so with that being said that is the standard. I dont necessarily agree, I think Mineral crystals are great in certain types of watches. Example the RD with a crystal of that size, if hit a sapphire will shatter.

I personally have scratched Mineral, Sapphire and FF, and I have shattered a Sapphire on a SAN III 7750. If the SAN III had a mineral or FF it wouldnt have shattered IMO. The cost to replace the mineral, clean and service the movement cost a lot more then a scratch mineral in this case!
 

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I have some <$200 watches with mineral crystals and some with sapphire.

I scratch mineral crystals without question (I expect to due to my clumsiness), and lately, I've been lucky not to chip any of my sapphire crystals (I've never scratched or shattered a sapphire crystal). I chipped a sapphire crystal on 2 separate Rolex DateJust watches (about 5-6 years ago). One was a minor "hit" and I was surprised to see it chip. The other was a full-on bashing into a door frame, and I can't believe the crystal didn't shatter.

I can't say that I wouldn't buy a watch based solely on it's crystal, but I've had better luck in keeping sapphire crystals clean and scratch free. Until a sapphire crystal fails me, my preference is sapphire!
 

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Think Sapphire is the only way to go! The only crystal i ever broke was mineral. hit my watch on a 3/4 rachet heading to the back of my warehouse!! Seiko hardex is ok but there will be a time you bump it on something and there it is a nice scratch. Flame fushion not new was invented in 1902 and not by invicta! Invicta has a patent on the name not the process, my thoughts on this is a year ago 100 dollar invicta's had sapphire and now the reserve has flame fushion?????? Spend the extra 5 bucks and put the best crystal in your best watches!! Really dont think too many really believe that sapphire coated is better than sapphire!:madd
 

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James, Rip...you both have some good points. As mentioned, just my thoughts and I may be out in left field (wouldn't be the first time).
James, your comments specifically bother me in that I hope it doesn't come down to other mfg's going the route of mineral offshoots for the sake of cost.....but you are probably right.

Rip, I agree that a standard has been set....whether the standard is exactly correct is besides the point. I am one that has bought into the "standard" only because of my tremendous luck with sapphire. Then again I am less prone to shatter a sapphire than scratch a crystal. So the odds are in my favor that I will not break a sapphire (knock on wood). I agree that there is a place for mineral and I happy with the watches that I own that have crystal.

I guess I get caught up in the fact that there are so many entry level priced pieces that have sapphire......so why not sapphire in the higher priced pieces. I know, no clear answer and debatable till the cos come home. Have a good day fellas and thanks for your thoughts.

CJ
 

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I agree with you CJ to a point. I also agree with Ron that a sapphire on a very large diameter dial would be easier to shatter unless it were very thick, thus increasing the cost of the watch.

What I am hoping to see in the very near future, as the technology increases and the cost comes down, is transparent ceramic. Goggle it.

It is, if you are familiar with ceramic, nearly scratch proof, and if it is being used as the personal hand shields for Police, it is stronger and more shatter resistant than Plexiglas, mineral glass, or sapphire.

It may be 5-10 years before we see this being used in eye glasses and other items where scratch proof and shatter proof material is desired.
 

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Wait all you want TR........I am waiting on the ever elusive Unobtainium!!!:%:%:%

CJ

Tera-Ram wrote:
I agree with you CJ to a point. I also agree with Ron that a sapphire on a very large diameter dial would be easier to shatter unless it were very thick, thus increasing the cost of the watch.

What I am hoping to see in the very near future, as the technology increases and the cost comes down, is transparent ceramic. Goggle it.

It is, if you are familiar with ceramic, nearly scratch proof, and if it is being used as the personal hand shields for Police, it is stronger and more shatter resistant than Plexiglas, mineral glass, or sapphire.

It may be 5-10 years before we see this being used in eye glasses and other items where scratch proof and shatter proof material is desired.
 

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I agree T-R they should be able to do clear ceramic today or soon if they put there minds to it. The problem with something thjat wont shatter is cost
 

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This is one of those discussions where every point is a valid point. I like a saphire crystal but the bottom line for me is simply to protect my dial. If F.F. or something else does it better than saphire, that is great! I do not care if the manufacturer is saving money as long as they are truthful about the benefit of their product.. ....Bob
 

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djpop wrote:
I agree T-R they should be able to do clear ceramic today or soon if they put there minds to it. The problem with something thjat wont shatter is cost

Not that they should be able to , it is a fact and already into production.

Several police departments have replaced their Plexiglas hand held shields with the transparent ceramic already.




see... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transparent_ceramics
 

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It's not cost that drives a manufacturer to use Sapphire, Mineral or any other material, it's how many pieces of the material they have. Sapphire, Mineral, Flame Foo Foo or whatever cost only a couple of pennies per piece. The cost is a factor when the company makes and grinds thier own crystals for very limited production runs. Personally, I like Sapphire on my watches.
 

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I'm a Saphire fan for the aforementioned reasons. I do own mineral and Flame Fusion, but I will always look at saphire before anything else.
 

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I totally agree with you about mineral crystal on more expensive watches. I think that is absurd! However, I have come to like the idea of the Flame Fusion. A bunch of my watches have FF and until I bought my Scuba Pro I didn't realize just how much I like it. I don't remember if this is a Trademarked Invicta thing but it would be great if other manufacturers were to follow suit.

I find it amazing that watch companies use mineral crystal on watches with a retail value of $800 and above.
 

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Like most here, I have both types of crystals but I definately prefer sapphire for a whole host of reasons. I think the more expensive watches should have sapphire too. The thought of "Reserve" pieces having FF is a crock to me. Spend the little extra and put a sapphire crystal on it. They are already being priced in the basement now anyway. Sorry! By that I meant their pricing on the Reserve line is very low!
 

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Cali kid wrote:
Think Sapphire is the only way to go! The only crystal i ever broke was mineral. hit my watch on a 3/4 rachet heading to the back of my warehouse!! Seiko hardex is ok but there will be a time you bump it on something and there it is a nice scratch. Flame fushion not new was invented in 1902 and not by invicta! Invicta has a patent on the name not the process, my thoughts on this is a year ago 100 dollar invicta's had sapphire and now the reserve has flame fushion?????? Spend the extra 5 bucks and put the best crystal in your best watches!! Really dont think too many really believe that sapphire coated is better than sapphire!:madd
I have to agree with you Trev on this one. I have broken two mineral crystal and have pt some nice scratches in them also. Granted they were my work watches, but still rather have sapphire. I have not broken one yet and have given then some pretty good shots, and fully expected to look down and see them shattered. Don't believe this FF hype. Won't own another reserve piece because of that.


Jeff
 

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I'm with Jeff on this one too. I wouldn't buy another Reserve watch either because of only having the FF crystal. I WANT SAPPHIRE!!
 

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It certainly appears that more and more enthusiasts are dropping off the Flame Con-Fusion train. Based on the number of issues Ihave heard of I would not rank it any better than a standard mineral crystal. But what do I know..........:t

CJ
 
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