Lifestyle and leisure
– Clocks and watches
For jewellery items such as rings, for years ZrO2 ceramic has also been used as, compared with conventional items made of metal, they offer the following advantages:
- Low weight
- No skin irritations
- Scratch resistance
- Impact resistance
- Dimensionally stable
- Elasticity comparable with that of steel
- Numerous colour variations
- Intensive colour effect
- Colour durability as not impaired by environmental influences
- Comfortable to wear
These properties are also used for linked bracelets of high-quality watches, the casings of which have been made from this material with the above-mentioned properties for more than 10 years. On account of their favourable dielectric properties, ZrO2 ceramic is also suitable for making radio-signal-controlled watches.
In the extremely high-price luxury watch segment, sometimes watches with a case and other case components made of platinum are offered, the visual appearance of which has great similarity to steel. Especially the high weight of a case made of platinum signals to the wearer the special nature of this material.
The goal of more recent developments is to lend the platinum watch case a special appearance. One possibility to achieve this goal is to use a powder blend of platinum and ZrO2 instead of pure platinum. From a blend consisting predominantly of platinum, case components like, for example, bezels are made according to ceramic-typical preparation, shaping, sintering and hard machining methods. The high-sheen polished surface is anthracite in colour, with a metallically silk finish that other state-of-the-art materials can hardly match. With regard to aesthetic aspects, such a watch component boasts a particular elegance.
In telecommunications, ZrO2 ceramics with the properties mentioned in the introduction are used today in high-quality mobile phones, for example, as operating elements or as casing components.