Why Does Sapphire Crystal Matter in Watches?

Why Does Sapphire Crystal Matter in Watches?

If you've been on a Vaer product page, you've probably noticed us mention sapphire crystal. But what exactly is it?

In simple terms, it's a super dense, super scratch-proof type of glass. 

Unlike other watch crystal options like acrylic or mineral, which are very "soft", synthetic sapphire is an extremely hard material that achieves excellent resilience to marks or scratches. 

Watches are pretty expensive, so if you're spending a few hundred bucks, make sure you're getting something that still looks good a few years from now. Mineral crystal watches like the Timex Expedition won't. 

Just how tough is sapphire crystal? 

On a scale of mineral hardness, sapphire ranks second only to the diamond, the most scratch-resistant material on Earth. 

Isn't sapphire an extremely expensive gemstone?

Sapphires are generally known as rare gemstones that form naturally. But just like diamonds, sapphires can be made synthetically. The glass material is made from heating crystalline aluminum oxides to above 3,600 ºF.

The synthetic sapphire is then cut with diamond saws, ground down to size, polished, and coated with an anti-reflective finish. Our sapphire crystal is rated 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, compared to 5 for mineral glass, and 0.5 for acrylic (plastic). The only material that’s more scratch-resistant, would be diamond, which is rated 10/10. 

Aesthetics are one thing, but when you have a big scratch on your glass, the legibility of your dial is pretty much done for - especially when you're underwater. 

Why does scratch resistance matter?

For us, it's all about clarity, and keeping a clean, clear window into your dial. Just like a clean car windshield, keeping your watch scratch-free has a huge impact on performance and long-term enjoyment.

Do all Vaer watches use sapphire? Why does scratch resistance matter?

Yes, 100%. From our affordable S-series collection with its flat crystal to our Diver and GMT models with domed crystal and an exhibition caseback, every Vaer watch uses sapphire glass.

Is it possible to scratch sapphire crystal?

While sapphire is the most scratch resistant material used for watches, if you impact it hard enough, it can still scratch.

The ​sapphire crystal​ we use isn't proprietary or custom to Vaer - sapphire crystal is a compound, and the same crystal compound is used whether it's a crystal on your Vaer, your Garmin, or a Rolex/Tag/Breitling, etc. There aren't really any marketing gimmicks or buzzwords, it just is what it is.

Regardless of the watch brand housing the crystal, the right impact will cause wear on any watch. Sapphire crystal is simply the best out there, and we use real sapphire crystal, but it's not impervious to damage if impacted hard enough.

While we use anti-reflective coatings on all of watches, you'll often still notice a splash of sapphire blue reflecting through the glass of many Vaer watches (especially on our more domed dive watches). In our opinion, this color adds a great flair and signal of value to any watch. 



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