Titanium is a highly desirable material due to its fabled ride quality, supple and bump-absorbing. Hope you can help, thanks in advance. It is the watch industry after all, so the paragraph above may just be the result of more marketing and misconceptions within the watch community. For that reason, many watch sellers will quickly clean up a Submariner or GMT-Master II, but will leave an SMP as-is. Used in aeronautical and astronautical designs, titanium is one of the toughest and most abundant minerals on earth. "The addition of copper to this grade gives it greatly improved resistance to strong reducing acids, particularly sulphuric acid." U-Boat Capsoil Darkmoon – Poor Man’s Ressence? A. http://www.azom.com/details.asp?ArticleID=1022 Which would be safer for your allergy, 316L with 8% nickel or the more corrosion resistant 904L with 25% nickel? Sign up to be alerted. As you can see, the biggest difference when it comes to using 316L/904L for steel case and bracelet material in watches, is that 904L has a higher percentage of nickel and chromium, as well as the addition of copper. Titanium is a nonpoisonous and biologically inert metal. Ultra 904L was originally developed for handling sulfuric Let’s clarify some things: Is Rolex the only brand to use 904L steel? 904l stainless steel vs titanium. LKALLOY stocks a full range of Nickel 200/201, Monel 400, Inconel 600/625/718, Incoloy 800H, Incoloy 825, and Hastelloy B2/C22/C276, Titanium Gr.1/ Gr.2/ Gr.5, high-speed steel M2/M42, Tool Steel D2, Copper alloy C44300/C70600/C71500, Stainless steel 347H/904L, Duplex S31803/S32205/S32750, etc. }, The Ultra range contains 8 stainless steel products meant for extremely corrosive environments (PRE of more than 27). You canpurchase any custo… A. 904L also has an advantage when it comes to corrosion resistance, thanks to the copper and extra molybdenum: “The addition of copper to this grade gives it corrosion resistant properties superior to the conventional chrome nickel stainless steels, in particular to sulphuric, phosphoric and acetic acids. The first striking difference between titanium and steel is their densities; as previously discussed, titanium is about half as dense as steel, making it substantially lighter. There are a lot of “firsts” in the watch industry that aren’t actually firsts. Rolex is the only watchmaker that uses 904L stainless steel instead of the industry standard 316L stainless steel in their watches. According to Rolex, the fine threads of the case-back start to deteriorate over the years due to regular sweat as well as salt water. 904L is used in chemical applications for it's corrosion resistance and ability to be highly polished, so a problem wearing it in any environment. The carbon percentage can vary depending on the grade and mostly it is between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight. As you can see the rockwell number of the 904l is even lower so it cannot be more scratch resistant. Introduction Key Properties Composition Mechanical Properties Physical Properties Grade Specification Comparison Possible Alternative Grades Corrosion Resistance Heat Resistance Heat Treatment Welding Fabrication Applications The reason I'm contacting you is in the hope you might be able to help me with regards to the nickel content in today's modern watches. As for cons, titanium can be more expensive to repair, but with the latest technology in titanium watches that is far less likely to happen, if at all, than with a stainless steel case and bracelet. Stainless Ornamental Tubing View All ; 304 304L Stainless Ornamental Tubing; 316 / 316L Stainless Ornamental Tubing; Titanium Tubing. Type 904L is a high alloy austenitic stainless steel that is known for its corrosion properties. Yes, as far as we know. KeepTheTime is a unique watch boutique specializing in new and pre-owned luxury and microbrand timepieces. ): In 1985 Rolex became the first wristwatch manufacturer to utilize 904L grade steel in its watches. 904L takes the resistance to corrosion up a notch. So for a case that has the same strength, titanium case would be half the weight of a high strength steel case. Sea-Dweller. They claimed it was because the threading on the caseback of 316L was capable of corroding, which would allow water to get into the case and pose a potential issue to the folks using the watches as actual tools. Titanium is twice as strong as stainless steel yet weighs half as much, the latest super Titanium is up to 4 times lighter and stronger. This suits titanium to applications that need the strength of steel in a lighter package and lends titanium to be used in aircraft parts and other weight-dependent applications. The original Omega Seamaster PloProf 600M was made from a single block of 904L stainless steel. Pros & Cons. There are 31 material properties with values for both materials. What was the first Rolex watch to use 904L? Grade 1 titaniumis the softest grade of titanium, which makes if very formable. 'That helps to explain why, at Rolex, they treat steel as if it were a precious metal.' If the cost of a 904L steel watch is significantly higher, it’s probably because of something else, not the steel itself. https://monochrome-watches.com/omega-and-the-ploprof-research-programme-innovation-in-professional-dive-watches-incl-pioneering-use-of-904l-steel-for-watches/. As for Rolex being the first on record or the first to market their use of 904L, yes, they were first. Using raw 904L may require a difference process or different machinery. Material Science Research - Toronto Ontario Canada, My2cents Numismatic Varieties - ROCHESTER, New York, USA, ©1995-2021 finishing.com, Inc., Pine Beach, NJ, How Google uses data when you visit this site. I am unable to confirm that the PloProf was made of 904L steel. Q. But is 904L really that much better? Read more: 15 of the best steel road bikes and frames. If you need a product/service, please check these Directories: Jobshops Capital Equip. Rolex protective watch cases are back in stock >>. "background": "#fff", A. Hi Bill. I'm also a teacher, and would just like to know. })}); Not a lecture hall but a roundtable with a seat for you! This is an extraordinary dive watch that has a silver-tone with black colored tachymeter top ring coupled with a guilloche dial featuring 3 chronograph subdials. Do you want to know if a similar item becomes available? Omega Speedmaster: White Side of the Moon, Breitling A41322 Navitimer 50th Anniversary Watch HD Video Hands-On, Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167/1A-001 HD Video Hands-On. The 316L Stainless steel is far less scratch resistant than the 904L because it has a much higher Rockwell hardness. Comment below…. In our search for this answer, it became clear that pricing information on 316L is more readily available, as well as scrap prices and overall availability. A discussion started in 904L is an austenitic alloy designed for a middle to high level of corrosion resistance. Case 1:1 high quality 904L stainless steel. Glashutte Original Sport Evolution GMT Manual. 316L appears to be more widely used and readily available in various sizes and quantities. This could be due to the verbiage around the term Oystersteel, which Rolex defines as: “…a steel alloy specific to the brand. A. Rolex does deserve credit for being recognized as the first brand to make cases out of 904L steel, and this has lead many to think that 904L was a Rolex invention or a material exclusive to Rolex. The difference in price may not be significant to the amount needed to produce watches (compared to building material), which could also explain the below $2,000 USD price point of the new Ball Watch Roadmaster Icebreaker in 904L. 4. Good luck. 904L Revised May 2008 Page 1 of 2 www.atlassteels.com.au Grade 904L is a non-stabilised low carbon high alloy austenitic stainless steel. Crystal Rounded edge scratch-proof sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coated 2.5x cyclops (Swiss standard, double-sided, same as genuine) Dial Superlumed dial and hands in correct blue color. The 316L has less nickel in it and is far brighter in appearance and tends to stay that way. ©1995-2021 finishing.com, Inc., Pine Beach, NJ   -   About finishing.com   -  Privacy Policy I have worn a titanium one but the modern designs I like such as Diesel are made from stainless steel but I am not sure of how much nickel would be in them? } The industry standard stainless steel is 316L. AISI 316L Stainless Steel vs. Grade 2 Titanium. To say Rolex is serious about their 904L steel is an understatement. A. I believe Ball watch company also uses 904L steel in some of their RailRoad watches. It sure seems like it. } Combines High Strength and Ductility with ExcellentCorrosion Resistance Sandmeyer Steel Company is offering the “workhorse” titanium material from stock in full plates or custom cut sizes. Nickel can be an irritant to some. Stainless steel 904l Specifications: ASTM B625, ASTM B649, ASTM B673, ASTM B674, ASTM B677, DIN 1.4539, ASTM A213, ASTM A269, ASTM A312, BS EN 10216 pt.5. Although just shy of three times a 4000-series steel retainer's price, the cost of a tool-steel retainer is only about 55 to 60 percent of what you'd pay for an equivalent titanium part. Steel is magnetic and corrosive when compared to titanium … SS 904L Butt Weld Pipe Fittings, which is supplied in a range of different conditions / tempers depending on the level of strength required. Otherwise it's a difficult question because it's not 100% clear that nickel leaches out of stainless steel. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. Have you ever seen tiny rust spots around the edge of the case when you take the back off? … Subscribe to our world famous YouTube channel and turn on the notification bell! They can be machined using any standard methods.”. Bezel Uni-directional rotating black ceramic bezel. Can you help me with this as I am not sure if 316L would cause my allergy to come up? In addition to watches, this alloy is also commonly used in the food industry, the medical field, and a wide variety of water and marine applications. All information I have seen simply refers to the case as being made of stainless steel; I have seen no reference to grade. What is your experience with watches in 316L vs 904L? 904L steel vs. 316L in watchmaking industry. 904L is much more resistant to that. http://www.azom.com/details.asp?ArticleID=2382 Alloy 904L performs better than other austenitic stainless steels due to the higher alloying of nickel and molybdenum.” –source. window.cookieconsent.initialise({ Even the Wikipedia entry for 904L has been edited to include a Rolex mention (well done, Rolex! Pre-heat treatment and … 3. It has been application proved over many years and was originally developed to resist corrosion in dilute sulfuric acid. In metallurgical terms, inox steel is stainless steel. Rolex chose to use this variety of steel because it takes a higher polish than other grades of steel and provides greater corrosion resistance, though it does not machine as well and requires specialized equipment to be properly modified into the required shapes. Is 904L worth the extra cost? "button": { All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. From what we gathered, based on comparing roll, sheet and tubing prices on Alibaba, Amazon and eBay, the 904L prices were approximately 2-3 times greater than 316L. Titanium. Stainless steel 904l Formation. We’re watch enthusiasts, not metallurgists, but the chart below sums up the main property differences between 316L and 904L. A. Key products Outokumpu name Typical applications Product forms Ultra 904L A high-nickel and molybdenum austenitic stainless steel with very high corrosion resistance. Summary: 1. Another advantage that titanium has over steel is that it can be flexed or bowed repeatedly, and it is flexible enough to not to rupture like steel. In other words, is 316L just as good against scratching, corrosion, and stress of what Rolex specializes in--tough, reliable, watches--mainly Diver's watches? new LazyLoad(); “Steelinox” is simply the Rolex way to say it, duh! }); Equally important in terms of design, though, is its lightness. Its popularity in these areas comes from the properties which make it resistant to rust and corrosion. Any Way You Want It! Likewise, if you prefer a shinier finish on your steel watches, the higher chromium in 904L will likely be more attractive to you. The EcoDrive titanium watch by Citizen is one of the best titanium watches and is a top contender in this titanium vs. stainless steel watch comparison. Titanium watches are also far more durable. With its highly alloyed chemistry — 25% nickel and 4.5% molybdenum, 904L provides good chloride stress corrosion cracking resistance, pitting and general corrosion resistance superior to 316L … The grade is intended for use under severe corrosive conditions. Hot processing of Steel 904l is done from 2000oF to 2200oF. https://www.keepthetime.com/blog/316l-vs-904l-stainless-steel-in-watches "palette": { The biggest deciding factor could be if you have reactions to nickel touching your skin (although, technically 316L has nickel too, so titanium is probably the best choice for nickel allergies). Rolex was not the first watch brand to use 904L stainless steel. Titanium vs Stainless Steel . The PloProf was the first to be made from 904L (called Uranus steel back then), but Rolex was the first to take it to market. UNS NO8904, commonly known as 904L, is a low carbon high alloy austenitic stainless steel which is widely used in applications where the corrosion properties of … ALLOY 904L • UNS N08904 • WNR 1.4539. They won't mention that the acid that dissolves 316L will have melted your flesh long before. 904L is obtainable, but there is far less pricing information out there. There is so much misinformation being spread by other watch blogs and sellers on the topic of Rolex and their use of 904L. Was Rolex the first brand to use 904L? Steel is an alloy made out of iron and carbon. The same source also points out that 904L is non-magnetic in all conditions, an excellent quality to have when it comes these extremely sensitive little machines! 2003 but continuing through 2020. For example, an all satin Oyster bracelet is 10 times easier to brush out and brings back to like new condition than an Omega Seamaster bracelet with mixed satin/polished links. This low carbon version of Type 904 stainless steel also offers other benefits to users including: Non-magnetic; Stronger corrosion properties than Type 316L an 317L; Good … You may see some watch brands refer to 316L as surgical grade steel or marine grade steel. How Google uses data when you visit this site. Rolex and their use of 904L steel has largely gone unchallenged in the watch industry for decades. To appreciate the difficulty in guessing, consider that the more expensive 904L stainless is used in Rolex watches to increase corrosion resistance and decrease susceptibility to sweat, but it contains about 25% nickel rather than 8 to 10%. 304 304L Stainless Steel Instrumentation Tubing; 316 316L Stainless Steel Instrumentation Tubing; Stainless Ornamental Tubing. Consult'g, Train'g, Software Environmental Compliance. Alloy 904L (UNS N08904) is a superaustenitic stainless steel that is designed for moderate to high corrosion resistance in a wide range of process environments. Sandmeyer Steel Company has added titanium plate Grade 2/2H (UNS R50400) to North America's largestinventory of stainless steel and nickel alloy plate. A. Hi Jason. The combination of high chromium and nickel content, coupled with additions of molybdenum and copper, assure good to excellent corrosion resistance. Ultra 904L stainless steel Ultra 904L is a high-nickel and molybdenum austenitic stainless steel with very high corrosion resistance. Titanium SS904L 2205 Duplex Steel 6Mo (Super Austentic Stainless Steel) Alloy 400 SS316L (just as a convenient reference price) ... Incidentally - Rolex became, in 1985, the first watchmaking brand to use 904L steel due to it's corrosion resistance that … window.addEventListener("load", function(){ AISI 316L stainless steel belongs to the iron alloys classification, while grade 2 titanium belongs to the titanium alloys. Is 904L steel better than 316L steel? How can you tell the difference between 904L and 316? 316L is the most corrosion resistant of the common grades, which means it shouldn't be going into solution as soluble nickel, but it contains 8 to 10% nickel. That honour, as so many that Rolex claims for itself, goes to Omega. SPQR, can you cite a source for this information? It depends on the person wearing the watch, where they are wearing it and how they are wearing it. Unlike common allergies mine does not react to where the nickel has touched the skin, but builds up in my system and when it gets to a high level I break out in rashes on different parts of my body. The alloy contains high levels of chromium and nickel with additions of molybdenum and copper to provide added corrosion resistance. Properties with values for just one material (6, in this case) are not shown. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful. In recent years, stainless steel’s dominance in the arena of wristwatches has started to be challenged by an even stronger metal: titanium. Sorry, I don't know :-(. This could be due to the shinier finish 904L steel gives off, but also keep in mind that a watch’s ability to clean up nicely has almost everything to do with the design and flow of the finish. Buy steel because you want a bespoke frame or favour a smooth ride quality and don’t mind a bit of extra weight. This is why. It is known (at least on our side of the watch industry) that Rolex watches using 904L steel clean up nicely after being refinished. Starting in the early 2000’s Rolex use of 904L stainless steel transitioned from using the industry standard 316L stainless steel to 904L stainless steel.Rolex initially utilized 904L in the case only, but the newer sport watches utilize 904L in both the case and the bracelet. Their excellent anti-corrosion properties are comparable to those of precious metals. The answer to how to do welding of 904L stainless steel, is that all conventional methods can be used, to do the welding.Grade 904L rods and electrodes are used for the welding of 1.4539 Inox. Steel can shatter, whereas titanium can withstand high and low temperatures. elements_selector: "iframe" the only two benefits about titanium is the weight reduction and it dissipates heat like ceramic. Steel is stronger, but has a more fatigue life than titanium. The high nickel (25%) and molybdenum (4.5%) contents of 904L … Rolex masters in-house the entire manufacturing process for its 904L steel watch components.” –source. As you can see steel is very good, but where titanium actually pulls ahead is in terms of lightness (weight). How to do Welding of 904l Stainless Steel. Bonus: What is STEELINOX? Stainless Steel 904L Elbow is chromium – nickel stainless steel and with the addition of titanium, and is resistant to inter – granular corrosion. I… 904L is a high-alloy austenitic stainless steel with low carbon content. According to this site, 904L is no more difficult to work with than 316L: “Grade 904L stainless steels are high purity steels with low sulfur content. Rolex uses 904L primarily for marketing purposes - to differentiate their product. However, there is limited use with hydrochloric acids. Otherwise it's a difficult question because it's not 100% clear that nickel leaches out of stainless steel. It was originally developed for handling sulfuric acid at ambient temperatures, and is now used in a broad range of chemical industry applications. new LazyLoad({ Why did Rolex switch to 904L? Now, as brands scramble find any competitive edge in a saturated market, we’re seeing other watch companies start to jump on the 904L train. It also has a high resistance to pitting in chloride solutions, a high resistance to both crevice and stress corrosion cracking. "popup": { The addition of copper to this grade gives it greatly improved resistance to strong reducing acids, particularly sulphuric acid. Certainly titanium is the safest bet because it contains no nickel. This grade is most often used in plates, tubing, piping, and a range of other applications where a higher level of weldability and formability is important. Certainly titanium is the safest bet because it contains no nickel. SPQR is correct. It is said that Rolex has invested heavily in developing machines that allow them to work with 904L, this blurb on their site backs it up: “904L steels are commonly used in high-technology and in the aerospace and chemical industries. Their advertisements have go as far as calling it a precious metal. It is circa half the weight of steel for the same volume with a density of 4.5 g/cc vs 7.8 for steels. No. However, when it comes to manufacturing watch components, most factories are set-up for working with 316L steel. Oystersteel belongs to the 904L steel family, which is particularly resistant to corrosion and acquires an exceptional sheen when polished.” –source. The main advantage of 904L over 316L is its resistance to acids: & Install'n Chemicals & Consumables It offers a high ductility while still maintaining the necessary impact toughness. While many on Rolex forums claim that this is simply a way for Rolex to differentiate themselves from competitors, it should be noted that there are differences between the two. Is 904L easier to polish? This massive increase clearly demonstrates that WCD4™ is a far superior material for 904L. Manufacturing of a Rolex Oyster Case, using the 904L Steel. Q. I'm a co-moderator of a watch forum--watchuseek.com--we would like to know just exactly what would be the benefit of 904L steel in the everyday wear of a watch as opposed to 316L steel--as far as we know, only Rolex uses the 904L, and do you think they are overdoing it?