FULL METAL JACKET

It has a rep­u­ta­tion for har­di­ness over re­fine­ment, but even at the more rar­efied end of the mar­ket, steel is hav­ing a bit of a mo­ment. MH ex­plains why it’s not al­ways sen­si­ble to strive for gold

Mens Health (Australia) - - Watches -

When watches first mi­grated from pock­ets to wrists, a hard­wear­ing ma­te­rial was needed to pro­tect them from the knocks they were set to sus­tain. In 1913, Bri­tish met­al­lur­gist Harry Brearley of­fered a so­lu­tion in the form of an al­loy of iron, chromium and nickel that took the rough with the smooth. He called it rust­less steel. You will know it by a dif­fer­ent pre­fix: stain­less steel.

It was rev­o­lu­tion­ary. But while it had the tech­ni­cal chops, stain­less steel never gar­nered the pres­tige of pre­cious met­als such as gold. Cyn­ics might say that, in the in­creas­ingly un­set­tled world econ­omy, this is pre­cisely why there seems to be a flour­ish in steely wrist candy. But watch re­tailer Sandy Mad­hvani begs to dif­fer: “Yes, the prices are invit­ing, and yes, ex­change rates have as­sisted for­eign buy­ers,” he con­cedes. “But steel re­mains both con­stantly in de­mand and on trend, re­gard­less of the econ­omy. Cru­cially, man­u­fac­tur­ers have been work­ing to pro­duce iconic styles that will al­ways have a place in the watch world.”

So, for an af­ford­able time­piece that will weather the hands of time and tran­scend the va­garies of fash­ion, steel is the real deal.

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