About 30 years ago, the forward-thinking brand Rado unveiled something revolutionary—a high-tech ceramic watch. It was touted as super-durable, thanks to material borrowed from the space industry: engineered ceramic, which was developed for use in space vessels, ceramic brake discs, and medical and electronic equipment.
Ceramic, mighty enough for armored vehicles, renders a watch scratchproof, so a 25-year-old timepiece still looks new today. The tough timepieces are also appealing for sport and dive pieces, as they withstand chemical erosion and possess anti-magnetic properties. The non-metallic solid material is created via extreme heating and cooling processes and can withstand temperatures beyond 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit. It is hard, durable, lightweight, and hypoallergenic.
“We have seen a rising popularity of ceramic watches in Las Vegas,” says Michael Sandler, Tourneau senior VP of merchandising and strategic planning. “Ceramic models are a really interesting form of modern luxury, lightweight and fresh in feel. They also possess a brilliance and sheen that is befitting of Las Vegas.”
The ceramic on a luxury watch is typically of a different caliber than that of its affordable fashion counterparts. Some companies fuse their ceramic with other products, such as steel for bracelets, or use thinner layers of ceramic on their pieces to keep costs down. All ceramic, however, has a shiny finish that makes it a pleasure to behold.
Several brands have developed ceramic watches in colors or offer precious metal or stone accents. Fendi’s Ceramic Chronograph comes in various hues including blue, white, brown, and black, while TechnoMarine offers its Cruise Ceramic in white or black with the option of rose gold or white diamonds on the bezel. Modus presents its fashion ceramics in black or white and offers rose gold-plated accents or the sparkle of crystals framing the face.
TechnoMarine’s Cruise Ceramic watch ($3,400) is a black ceramic three hand in a 36mm ceramic case, with a bezel set with 136 diamonds. Neiman Marcus, Fashion Show, 702-731-3636
This Fendi Ceramic Chrono ($1,495) is a stunning rich blue ceramic case and bracelet. It houses a Swiss-made chronograph movement with a big date and is water-resistant to 50 meters. Crystals, CityCenter, 702-262-5638
From Modus, this Black Ceramic bracelet and case watch ($375) features an ergonomically curved 44mm case set with crystals on the bezel. It offers calendar functions and a subseconds dial and houses a quartz movement and sapphire crystal. Damincci Jewelers, The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, 702-263-0990