IWC and its ceramics tradition

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01 March 2012

Ceramic is a material that is used wherever demands are high and top performance is required. The story behind the production of ceramic cases at IWC, which began some 26 years ago, is an interesting account of advanced research. In 1986, IWC unveiled its first high-tech case in zirconium dioxide (ZrO2). Zirconium dioxide, often referred to as zirconium oxide or, more simply, zirconia, is a special high-performance ceramic: in other words, a non-metallic, inorganic material that was originally developed for space travel. Back in those days, IWC was in search of the perfect black case as the next stage in the development of its “Da Vinci”, and discovered ceramic. The first Da Vinci in a ceramic case was presented in 1986, while its descendant, the Da Vinci Chronograph Ceramic presented in 2010, combines zirconium oxide, which is extremely scratch-resistant, non-magnetic and acid-proof, with grade 5 titanium, a material that has proven its worth in aircraft manufacture, amongst other things. The IWC ceramics story continues...

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