Many watches today are created using an unusual material: engineered ceramic. It should be noted, right out of the starting gate, that not all ceramics are created equal. Ceramic used in fashion watches is different from ceramic used in high-tech watches, and the amount of ceramic and durability of ceramic varies based on whether one is purchasing a lower-priced ceramic watch or a high-quality ceramic watch.
That said, ceramic is an interesting choice for watch bezels, bracelets and even cases because in its engineered format, it is a very lightweight, durable material. It is generally scratch resistant and can hold its own in extreme temperatures and weather conditions, including saltwater.
Engineered ceramic is generally a mix of oxides, carbides, nitrates and zirconium that — when blended and heated — join together to offer long-lasting ruggedness. On the flip side of the durability, ceramic also offers a high luster finish that makes it attractive and even elegant.
Engineered ceramic for watches first appeared in the mid 1980s — and that appearance is credited to watch brand, Rado. Since then, many brands have turned to the material and it has become so well researched that today ceramic is not just black or white. A host of warm colors, ranging from blue to gray, in all hues exists in the watch industry.