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The 10 Best Titanium Watches You Can Buy Right Now

Lighter, tougher and hypoallergenic, titanium offers tons of benefits over stainless steel.

collage of three titanium watches
Courtesy

Though the use of titanium in wristwatches dates as far back as 1970 — the Citizen X8 is considered the first — it seems as though the material didn't really made strides in the industry until relatively recently. It’s a wonder that it took so long because, in almost all respects, the material is superior to stainless steel — the industry standard.

Titanium’s strength-to-weight ratio is nearly double that of stainless steel, the reason why it’s been a stalwart in aerospace engineering for decades. This means titanium watches are a fraction of the weight of a comparable stainless steel watch while remaining as strong, if not stronger. Titanium is also anti-magnetic and exceptionally heat-resistant.

Most importantly, though, is the fact that titanium is virtually impervious to corrosion. This means that it’s hypoallergenic. In the presence of oxygen, titanium develops a thin oxide film that prevents it from interacting with its surroundings (in this case, your skin). Many stainless steels, on the other hand, contain nickel, which is a deceptively common allergen; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 10 to 20 percent of the population can have reactions. This is the reason titanium is the metal of choice for medical implants and why many jewelers offer titanium jewelry as an alternative to folks who might react to the residual nickel in silver or gold.

If there is a downside to titanium, it’s that it has more of a tendency to show scratches, though most watchmakers use surface treatments to keep them clean-looking — and this essentially negates the only downside to titanium. In the end, the overwhelming upsides are worth it because the result is so damn comfortable, so much so that you can often forget you’re wearing a watch. That’s reason enough to have titanium in your collection, and these ten examples, in particular, are especially worth seeking out.

Titanium vs Steel: Can You Tell the Difference?

Yes, absolutely. Firstly, and most importantly, the weight in your hand and on your wrist will be noticeably distinct. Some people don't like the lighter feel as they associate it with something like plastic and that heavier things have greater value and strength — in fact, titanium is a more premium material than steel, and it's stronger, too.

close up of a titanium watch
Courtesy
close up of a titanium watch
Courtesy

It's a bit more subtle, but titanium also has a distinct visual quality, though this isn't often apparent in photos. It's hard to describe, but it's got a warmer hue but also tends to have a duller shine than steel — but you won't notice this if the titanium has been treated with the likes of a colored coating like DLC. Even more low-key is the texture of titanium on the skin which can be subtly silky.

Bertucci A-2T Classic Field Watch

Bertucci A-2T Classic Field Watch
amazon.com
$200.00

A quality watch at under $500 isn’t that rare of a find, but one featuring a case made from titanium is. Additionally, this Bertucci has a Japanese-made quartz movement running a lithium battery, which the brand says is good for a 10-year life. A thick leather strap is a nice touch, and the dial has plenty of lume for legibility, which makes it particularly perfect for outdoor excursions.

  • Movement: Quartz
  • Case Diameter: 40mm
  • Water Resistance: 100m

    Citizen Eco-Drive Paradigm

    Citizen Eco-Drive Paradigm
    amazon.com
    $450.00
    $315.47 (30% off)

    The Citizen Eco-Drive Paradigm has got some personality, but it's also practical and well-rounded. It’s water-resistant to 100 meters, has a contemporary watch design and, thanks to solar charging, never needs a battery replacement. Adding lighter and more-resilient titanium to the mix almost makes too much sense.

    • Movement: Citizen Eco-Drive quartz
    • Case Diameter: 41.5mm
    • Water Resistance: 100m

      Mido Ocean Star 200 Titanium

      Mido Ocean Star 200
      midowatches.com
      $1,040.00

      Mido's Ocean Star dive watch line comes in a bevy of variations, but the titanium variant undoubtedly kicks its value and wearing experience up a notch. It's not just the lightness on the wrist that turns heads, but Mido has also given it scratch-resistant and refined finishing with contrasting textures so you can really appreciate the material's warm hue.

      • Movement: ETA C07.621 automatic
      • Case Diameter: 42mm
      • Water Resistance: 200m

        Junghans Form A Titan

        Junghans Form A Titan
        junghanswatchesusa.net
        $1,150.00

        Though titanium might seem reserved for tool watches and divers or the like, this minimalist watch wears the material fabulously. This is thanks to German brand Junghans' typically Bauhaus design sense, which manifests here in a utilitarian but striking aesthetic with matte finishing, from the titanium case through the highly legible dials. (Multiple colors are available.)

        • Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic
        • Case Diameter: 40mm
        • Water Resistance: 100m

          Stowa Flieger GMT

          Stowa Flieger GMT
          stowa.de
          €1,870.00

          At well under $2,000 for a mechanical GMT, this Stowa is already a solid value for the money, but the addition of a burly titanium case is icing on the cake. And while this travel-ready timepiece is ostensibly billed as a pilot’s watch, it’s good for a 200-meter swim, putting it firmly in the dive-watch territory.

          • Movement: ETA 07.171 automatic
          • Case Diameter: 45mm
          • Water Resistance: 200m

            Longines Avigation BigEye

            Longines Avigation BigEye
            longines.com
            $3,375.00

            Do you like a general retro aesthetic but sometimes long for something different and fresh? The Longines BigEye offers all that in an updated form that takes the quirky asymmetric look of the brand's vintage chronograph and enlivens it with contemporary touches, such as a blue gradient dial and titanium case.

            • Movement: ETA A08.L01 automatic
            • Case Diameter: 41mm
            • Water Resistance: 30 meters

              IWC Pilot's Mark XVIII Heritage Automatic

              IWC Pilot's Mark XVIII Heritage Automatic
              mrporter.com
              $4,650.00

              The standard Mark XVIII — with its legible dial design, 40mm case and robust construction — is a perennial favorite at Gear Patrol, so it stands to reason a titanium iteration is also deserving of our love. The biggest departure, obviously, is the case, but the dial now has a healthy smattering of beige-colored lume, which doubles down on the vintage-inspired aesthetic.

              • Movement: IWC 35111 automatic (Sellita SW300 base)
              • Case Diameter: 40mm
              • Water Resistance: 60m

                Grand Seiko Heritage Seasons SBGA413

                Grand Seiko Heritage Seasons SBGA413
                grand-seiko.com
                $6,600.00

                Seeming to riff on the iconic "Snowflake," Grand Seiko has introduced watches with similar titanium construction, artfully textured dials and incredible Spring Drive movements inside. The Seasons Collection for the US market includes a couple such models, this particular example is based on Spring with a cherry-blossom pink dial which is actually even paler and more subtle in person.

                • Movement: Seiko Spring Drive 9R65 automatic
                • Case Diameter: 40mm
                • Water Resistance: 100m

                  Zenith Chronomaster Revival Safari

                  Zenith Chronomaster Revival Safari
                  zenith-watches.com
                  $9,000.00

                  The Chronomaster Revival is a line of chronograph watches based on the first models to introduce the brand's groundbreaking El Primero movement. While the Revival is based on a vintage watch and maintains its essential design and proportions, new versions have regularly added contemporary reinterpretations. This particular version has a titanium case and safari-themed colorway.

                  • Movement: Zenith El Primero automatic
                  • Case Diameter: 37mm
                  • Water Resistance: 50m

                    Ressence Type 8C

                    RessenceType 8C
                    hodinkee.com
                    $14,800.00

                    A high-tech material like Grade 5 Titanium is a very fitting choice for a forward-thinking timepiece like the Ressence Type 8. This watch features a mechanical movement with a set of orbiting discs that make up the minimalist dial tracking only hours and minutes but doing it in a more striking and original way than most watches.

                    • Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic base with Ressence ROCS 1 module
                    • Case diameter: 42mm
                    • Water resistance: 10m
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