Best ceramic watches and what makes them better than others

The versatility of this material is drawing watchmakers to experiment and innovate with it like never before

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition ‘Mojave Desert, Rado Captain Cook Automatic, and Zenith Defy Classic Watch Exclusively For Farfetch (left to right) IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition ‘Mojave Desert, Rado Captain Cook Automatic, and Zenith Defy Classic Watch Exclusively For Farfetch (left to right)

Think ceramic and you'd conjure images of cookware, tableware, sanitaryware or art and artefacts, or even sculpture. In their quest to experiment with unconventional looks, designs and materials for manufacturing watches, ceramic was first introduced as a watch case material in 1962 with the launch of the Rado Diastar. Ever since, Rado has been associated with several ceramic watch models, but recent years have witnessed even brands like Panerai and Omega introducing ceramic watches. 

The colour associated with ceramic watches is usually black as it looks smooth, sexy and quite cool with a sleek finish. Recently, luxury watchmakers have begun to deploy whites for the same. However, the whites are usually warmer bodied, bordering on cream or ecru, which appear very attractive when offset by the wrist. The sleek facades with a smooth finish and the versatility of ceramic are drawing the attention of watch collectors and connoisseurs.

The ceramic's colour is essentially a property of the material itself, which renders the watch resistant to fading and wear-and-tear unlike coated metallic watches. Moreover, it is lighter than most metals, and makes the watches more comfortable, besides making them durable. In fact, the kind of ceramic deployed for making watches is similar to aluminium and is superlative in strength, making it fit to be used even in body armour for the armed forces. Additionally, it is very hard vis-a-vis steel or even gold, and is virtually immune to solar ultraviolet rays, making it scratch- and fade-proof. The best part about ceramic watches is that they are ideal for people allergic to metal straps or bracelets.

Also read: Chopard, Piaget, Citizen, Frederique Constant: 7 best thin watches for men

Rado Captain Cook Automatic

Rs 1.42 lakh Rs 1.42 lakh

Rado’s original concave turning bezel in their Captain Cook collection from 1986 has been revamped with a durable high-tech ceramic inlay in the 2019 version of this watch. The new ceramic bezel inlay appears in glossy black and the green, blue and brown versions make this Rado collection a complete winner in terms of combinations of dials and bezels. The sword and arrow hands, along with the curved dial, are drawn from the original series, while the sapphire crystal, which was introduced on the Diastar 1 in 1962, has been retained in lieu of the acrylic glass, thereby rendering it scratch resistant. This one is a true classic!

Zenith Defy Classic Watch Exclusively For Farfetch

Rs 5.31 lakh Rs 5.31 lakh

LVMH-owned brand Zenith created the Zenith Defy Classic Watch exclusively for Farfetch in July 2019 to celebrate one year of their association. Farfetch is known as a premier global shopping destination, both online and offline for the best in high-end fashion and watches. Breaking from the usual black in ceramic watches, this 25-piece limited edition ultra sleek, white watch has a 41mm case with a striking and futuristic skeletonised dial through which Zenith’s Elite 670 SK caliber is visible. Besides, it is kitted with a silicon escape-wheel, an operating frequency of 28,800vph, and a minimum power reserve of 50 hours making this automatic watch the perfect “beauty with brains.” 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar White Ceramic Watch

Rs 66.5 lakh Rs 66.5 lakh

Audemars Piguet launched its Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar White Ceramic watch in June this year, following its black counterpart, which was launched in 2017. A dark blue tapisserie dial forms the base for the perpetual calendar, a very coveted movement by watch aficionados. An ultra-thin mainspring powers this movement and the perpetual calendar reveals the week of the year with a pointer hand and a specially-printed chapter ring  encircling the dial. These are flanked by the silvered sub-dials, which indicate the month and leap year (at 12), the date (at 3), the day (at 9), and the phase of the moon (at 6). Interestingly, these sub-dials come with either one, two, or zero heat-blued hands, while the hour, minute, and seconds hands are crafted in 18-carat white gold. The chromatic depth of the nearly off-white hued watch makes it extremely fetching though it is quite steeply priced.

Also read: Zenith, Frederique Constant, and Hublot: Here's a list of watches to up your style quotient

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition ‘Mojave Desert’

Rs 5.80 lakh Rs 5.80 lakh

As a part of their Pilot’s Watch TOP GUN collection, inspired by the US Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program, IWC presented the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition 'Mojave Desert' earlier this year. What makes this an outstanding ceramic watch is undoubtedly its rare shade, a sand-coloured ceramic case, paying ode to the golden brown hues of the Mojave Desert. The brown dial with tan hands and hour markers makes it unusual and imbued with an earthy yet sophisticated vibe. Moreover, it offers watch collectors a unique shade to experiment with, clearly breaking away from the blacks and whites. A potpourri of metallic oxides were first created by IWC in order to create the sandy brown 'Mojave Desert' collection. The 500-piece limited edition collection comes at a very affordable price.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Nissan GT-R Anniversary Limited Edition SBGC229 Watch

Rs 16.79 lakh Rs 16.79 lakh

Grand Seiko and Nissan presented the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Nissan GT-R Anniversary Limited Edition SGBC229 in April 2019 to commemorate 20th and 50th anniversaries, respectively. Aesthetically drawing cues from the 'bayside blue and crisp, polar white' Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary model, the 200-piece limited edition dark blue Grand Seiko Spring Drive Nissan GT-R Anniversary Limited Edition SGBC229 in ceramic is a robust watch, with a width of 46.4mm and thickness of 16.2mm. The size is attributed to the fact that Grand Seiko adds the ceramic case as an 'outer case' encasing a lightweight titanium inner case housing the movement itself. 

Also read: Green is the new black: Here's a list of top 8 watches you must own

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Ultra Light Watch

Rs 34.4 lakh Rs 34.4 lakh

Rated amongst the most expensive and technologically superior watches launched by Omega in recent times, the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Ultra Light Watch is created from gamma titanium and ceramic, and powered by the brand’s first-ever titanium caliber. Launched in August this year, what sets this watch apart is the fact that it weighs a mere 55gm. Irish golfer  Rory McIlroy, who is the watch's brand ambassador was closely associated with the design team in order to create a new Omega sport watch that is “ultra-light” and, therefore, “an absolute pleasure to wear, whatever sport you play.” Furthermore, all the bridges and plates are manufactured in ceramicised titanium which results in “less friction between the components,” according to Omega Company.

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