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Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date Black Dial Men's Watch 116610LN-0001
AED64,003
Free shipping
Professional dealer
671
US
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 310.60.42.50.01.001 New Red gold 42mm Manual winding
TOP
Omega Speedmaster 2021 MOONWATCH PROFESSIONAL CO‑AXIAL MASTER...
AED121,629
Professional dealer
882
JP
Montblanc 1858 125567 New Titanium 42mm Automatic
TOP
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Blue Dial 42mm Case Titanium Men's...
AED18,077
Professional dealer
726
US
Cartier Ballon Bleu 42mm W69012Z4 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Ballon Bleu Custom Full Diamonds Roman Dial 42mm XL
AED37,584
Professional dealer
75
US
Rolex Daytona 16528 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Daytona 16528 Zenith Pave Diamond & Emerald Dial W...
AED430,995
Professional dealer
20
MC
Rolex Day-Date 36 18038 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic UAE, Dubai
Rolex Day Date Onyx Dial Ref. 18038 Year 1986
AED131,809
Professional dealer
18
AE
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar 5396G-011 Unworn White gold 38mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar
AED150,113
Professional dealer
128
CH
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968A-001 New Steel 42.2mm Automatic UAE, Dubai
Patek Philippe Aquanaut
AED600,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
57
AE
Zenith El Primero Original 1969 03.2150.400 Very good Steel 38mm Automatic
Zenith El Primero Original 1969 Chronograph Automatik Stahl...
AED30,126
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso (submodel) 3958420 Very good Steel 49.7mm Manual winding UAE, Dubai
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Moon Stainless Steel
AED40,036
Private Seller
 
AE
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26320ST.OO.1220ST.02 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 41 mm Box and papers...
AED197,902
Professional dealer
896
AT
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PFC267-1200300-HA1441 New White gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 18k White Gold Auto 39mm Men's...
AED24,291
Professional dealer
1137
US
Rolex Daytona 116519 Very good White gold 40mm Automatic UAE, Dubai
Rolex Daytona Sodalite Dial Ref. 116519 Year 2004
AED199,597
Professional dealer
18
AE
Rolex Daytona 16520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Daytona 16520 Zenith Patrizzi W series 1995 Service...
AED197,906
Professional dealer
20
MC
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso (submodel) Q3002420 New Rose gold Manual winding
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Septantieme Limited Edition
AED96,965
Professional dealer
128
CH
Rolex Datejust 16234 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic UAE, Dubai
Rolex Datejust St/WG Ref. 16234 Year 1991
AED25,307
Professional dealer
18
AE
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1400G-010 New White gold Automatic UAE, Dubai
Patek Philippe Nautilus full diamond with baguette
AED2,250,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
57
AE
Rolex Day-Date 36 18238 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
Rolex Day-Date 36 'Tapestry Dial' 18K Gold Automatik Oyster...
AED95,215
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Tudor Pelagos 25600TN Very good Titanium 42mm Automatic UAE, Abu Dhabi
TOP
Tudor Pelagos
AED14,999
Private Seller
 
AE
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712G-001 Very good White gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus LC 100 Germany 18K white Gold Moon...
AED316,645
Professional dealer
896
AT
Rolex Day-Date 36 18078 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic UAE, Dubai
Rolex Day Date Bark Finish Silver Dial Ref. 18078 Year 1987...
AED65,905
Professional dealer
18
AE
Rolex Day-Date 36 18078 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Day Date 18078 rare 1988
AED92,356
Professional dealer
20
MC
Rolex Day-Date Oysterquartz 19019 Very good White gold 36mm Quartz UAE, Dubai
Rolex Oysterquartz Day Date Birch Wood Dial Ref. 19019 Year 1986
AED154,405
Professional dealer
18
AE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Eight Days Q1602420 Very good Rose gold 41.5mm Manual winding
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Eight Days
AED60,451
Professional dealer
128
CH
Rolex Day-Date 36 18238 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic UAE, Dubai
Rolex Day Date Fossil 'Jurassic Park' Ref. 18238 Year 1998...
AED165,703
Professional dealer
18
AE
Franck Muller Vanguard V 45 S6 SQT YACHTING ANC New Steel 45mm Manual winding UAE, Dubai
Franck Muller Vanguard Yachting Anchor Skeleton
AED85,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
57
AE
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT-Master II Batman Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster Perpetua...
AED68,387
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang 601.OM.0183.LR Very good Rose gold 51mm Automatic UAE, Dubai
TOP
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang
AED83,793
Private Seller
 
AE
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 26378IO.OO.A001KE.01 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore The Legacy Rose Gold...
AED145,131
Professional dealer
896
AT
Rolex Daytona 16518 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic UAE, Dubai
Rolex Daytona Inverted 6 Ref. 16518 Year 1994 (with Certificate)
AED131,809
Professional dealer
18
AE
Patek Philippe Complications (submodel) 5015J-001 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Complications 5015J-001 Moonphase Power reserve
AED78,723
Professional dealer
20
MC
Rolex Day-Date 36 18039 Very good White gold 36mm Automatic UAE, Dubai
Rolex Day Date White Gold Birch Wood Dial Ref. 18039 Year 1983
AED179,261
Professional dealer
18
AE
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 2304.30.00 Unworn Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra
AED20,286
Professional dealer
128
CH
Rolex Submariner Date 16610 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic UAE, Dubai
Rolex Submariner Tritium Dial Ref. 16610 Year 1991 (with...
AED50,728
Professional dealer
18
AE

Sapphire Crystal Watches: Highly Scratch-Resistant

Watch glass made of sapphire crystal began dominating the industry in the 1980s. This material is especially hard and, therefore, scratch-resistant. What's more, sapphire glass lets in plenty of light, thus improving the watch's readability.


4 Reasons to Buy a Watch with Sapphire Crystal

  • Sapphire is especially scratch-resistant
  • Lets in plenty of light
  • Something for every budget
  • Coveted collector's item: Classic vintage Rolex and Omega watches

Almost as Tough as Diamond

Most modern luxury watch manufacturers include sapphire crystal watch glass as a standard feature of their timepieces. The reason is clear: Sapphire is the world's third hardest mineral, behind only diamond and moissanite. As a result, it is extremely scratch-resistant. Moreover, it lets in more light than quartz, mineral, or acrylic glass, making it even easier to tell the time.

While sapphire is a naturally occurring mineral, the sapphire crystal used in watch glass is a synthetic material. Some people even refer to this colorless crystal as "sapphire glass" because it is so transparent.

The watch industry began churning out large numbers of watches with sapphire crystal in the 1980s. Before then, mineral or acrylic glass was the material of choice. Today, many manufacturers also use sapphire crystal for their case backs. There are even a handful of companies producing entire cases out of this clear material.


How much do watches with sapphire crystal cost?

Model Reference number Price (approx.)
Hublot Big Bang Unico Blue Sapphire 411.JL.4809.RT 63,500 USD
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 5015 1130 52A 11,000 USD
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 1530 9,400 USD
Breitling Navitimer A23322 4,700 USD
Oris Divers Sixty-Dive 01 733 7720 4055-07 5 21 02 1,600 USD
Mido Ocean Star Captain V M026.430.47.061.00 1,000 USD
Laco Augsburg 42 861688 380 USD
Casio Collection BEM-111D-1AVEF 70 USD

Vintage Classics with Sapphire Crystal

Since sapphire crystal wasn't a common watch feature until the early 1980s, there are very few vintage watches with this material. However, there are a few notable models. Rolex was one of the first companies to recognize sapphire's potential and use it in series production. The Rolex Date ref. 1530 and its successor, the Datejust ref. 1630, were among the first timepieces to utilize this scratch-resistant watch glass. Both watches emerged in the early 1970s and are extremely rare today. A stainless steel ref. 1530 costs around 9,300 USD, while the two-tone Datejust ref. 1630 demands about 5,400 USD.

The Submariner ref. 16800 from the late 70s was Rolex's first sports watch to feature sapphire crystal. Like all Submariners, the 16800 is a highly coveted collector's item. However, at only 9,200 USD, it is relatively affordable compared to other Submariner models.

Omega began experimenting with sapphire crystal all the way back in 1932. This resulted in watches like the Omega Marine ref. CK 679, which sells for as little as 2,600 USD today. However, Omega wouldn't use sapphire glass for timepieces in series production until the late 1970s, starting with the Seamaster 120 ref. ST 166.0250. This diving watch is water-resistant to 120 m (12 bar, 394 ft) and changes hands for roughly 3,900 USD in good condition.

There are no vintage examples of the fan-favorite Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch with sapphire crystal. In fact, Omega outfitted this timepiece exclusively with synthetic Hesalite glass until the turn of the millennium. The reason is that this watch was part of NASA's official equipment and the space agency insisted on Hesalite since it doesn't splinter upon impact. However, Omega did introduce a few models with sapphire glass case backs in the 1980s, including the limited edition Apollo XI ref. BA345.0802. You can call this watch your own for some 33,500 USD.


Retro Watches with Sapphire Crystal

Since vintage models with sapphire crystal are so rare, modern takes on classic vintage timepieces make great alternatives. For example, Breitling has been crafting their iconic Navitimer pilot's watch with sapphire crystal since the late 1990s. Depending on the model and its condition, Navitimer prices range from 2,200 to 39,000 USD.

Storied Swiss watch manufacturer Blancpain has been equipping their classic Fifty Fathoms diving watch with sapphire crystal for years. New editions of the Fifty Fathoms Barakuda and Fifty Fathoms Automatique even feature a sapphire crystal bezel inlay in addition to their sapphire crystal watch glass and case backs. These attractive timepieces change hands for about 11,000 USD.

TAG Heuer also has a long history with sapphire crystal in their Carrera and Monaco collections. This material appears on their Heritage models, such as the Monaco Calibre 11, as well as their classic Carrera Calibre 1887. The latter gets its name from the in-house caliber 1887. You can purchase a mint-condition Monaco Calibre 11 with the blue "Steve McQueen design" for around 4,300 USD. Pre-owned pieces tend to cost a few hundred dollars less. If you prefer the Carrera Calibre 1887, be sure to have between 2,600 and 3,500 USD on hand.


Affordable Sapphire Glass Watches

Sapphire crystal watch glass is also a common feature on affordable watches. For example, Casio, Orient, and Victorinox all produce quartz watches with sapphire crystal for around 110 USD. Fans of mechanical watches will find pieces from Tissot, Laco, and Citizen beginning around 330 USD.

Most modern watches worth 1,100 USD or more will come with sapphire crystal. You'll find some exceptions among historically accurate re-releases, such as the Sinn 103 St pilot's chronograph with acrylic glass. This model sells for roughly 1,800 USD new and 1,600 USD pre-owned.


Watches Made of Solid Sapphire

Companies like Hublot, Richard Mille, MB&F, and Cabestan take the concept of a sapphire crystal watch to the next level. Each offers timepieces with cases made of solid sapphire crystal. Most of these models lack a traditional dial, offering an unobstructed view of the heavily skeletonized movement within.

Hublot has the widest variety of sapphire crystal watches. This Swiss luxury watch manufacturer crafts several Big Bang editions out of blue, green, yellow, purple, or clear sapphire crystal. Plan to spend between 43,000 and 80,000 USD on the Big Bang Unico Sapphire chronograph. There's also the Big Bang Tourbillon Power Reserve 5 Days Sapphire in blue or purple. This watch is limited to a run of 30 pieces and requires an investment of over 177,000 USD.

For something even more exclusive, you should turn to Richard Mille. Mille's RM 56-01 tourbillon watch boasts a sapphire crystal base plate for its movement in addition to its solid sapphire case. As a result, the gears, springs, and axles all appear to be floating in midair. Only five copies exist of this timepiece, which sells for an astronomical 2.2 million USD.


What are sapphire and sapphire crystal?

Sapphire is an especially hard mineral, with a rating of 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. This places it just behind diamond and moissanite. The world's largest natural sapphire deposits are found in Sri Lanka, India, Australia, Nigeria, Madagascar, and the USA. While blue sapphires are perhaps the most famous, sapphires can come in any color but red.

However, the sapphire crystal used in watches is synthetic. It's created by melting aluminum oxide powder at 3,722°F (2,050°C) and forming it into a pear-shaped crystal between 1.1 and 1.6 inches (3 and 4 cm) wide. This material is then cut, sanded, and polished using a diamond angle grinder. The final watch glass receives a special anti-reflective coating, usually in the form of a blue-tinged film applied to the crystal. Older watches tend to only have this coating on the crystal's inner side since previous coating methods were highly susceptible to scratches. However, this is no longer a problem in modern watchmaking, and most sapphire crystal watch glass has this coating on both sides.

The main advantage of sapphire crystal is its scratch resistance. However, its hardness also makes it susceptible to hard impacts. Unlike plastic-based watch glass, sapphire crystal watch glass is known to splinter. Furthermore, soft materials like aluminum can leave behind unattractive streaks on the crystal. Luckily, you can easily remove these streaks using a normal pencil eraser.

If you're not sure whether or not your watch has sapphire crystal, there's an easy way to find out: Put a drop of water on the crystal and lift the case at a slight angle. The water will move relatively slowly across sapphire crystal and leave no streaks behind.