DLC coatings, also known as Diamond-Like Carbon coatings, are a popular choice for enhancing the durability and appearance of watches. These coatings are made from a thin layer of amorphous carbon that is applied to the surface of the watch, often using a process called Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD). The resulting coating is hard, smooth, and highly resistant to wear, making it an excellent choice for protecting the watch material from scratches, chips, and other types of damage. While DLC coatings increase durability, it is important to note that they do not make the watch indestructible.
Let's dive deeper into the world of DLC coatings.
Application of DLC Coatings
There are a few different methods that can be used to apply DLC coatings to watches. One common method is Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD), which involves vaporizing a thin layer of amorphous carbon and depositing it onto the surface of the watch. This method is highly accurate and can be used to apply coatings to specific areas of the watch or to the entire surface.
Another method for applying DLC coatings is Ion Beam Assisted Deposition (IBAD). This method involves using an ion beam to assist in the deposition of the carbon onto the watch surface. This method is typically used for thicker coatings or for applying coatings to more complex shapes.
Durability of DLC Coatings
One of the main benefits of DLC coatings for watches is their durability. The hard, smooth surface of the coating helps to prevent scratches and other types of damage, which can be especially useful for watches that are worn in rugged or outdoor environments. In addition, DLC coatings are highly resistant to corrosion, making them an excellent choice for watches that may be exposed to water or other harsh elements.
It's important to note that DLC coatings, while they increase durability of the watch material, do not make the watch indestructible. Damage of the coating is still possible when hit hard enough with a material of the same or greater hardness.
Appearance of DLC Coatings
Another benefit of DLC coatings is their appearance. These coatings can be applied in a range of colors, from black to silver, and can give the watch a sleek, modern look. In addition, DLC coatings can be highly reflective, which can help to make the watch more visible in low light conditions. Yet they can also be applied in a matte finish, allowing for a more minamilstic and modest impression.
For our first watch, Peacemaker, we've opted for a matte black DLC coating. The matte black finish was perfectly in tune with our minimalistic approach to the perfect everyday watch, dubbed 'The Watch You Are Missing'.
Quality of DLC Coatings
If you're considering a DLC coating for your watch, it's important to choose a reputable company with experience in applying these coatings. Look for a company that uses high-quality materials and has a proven track record of delivering excellent results. It's also a good idea to ask about the specific method that will be used to apply the coating, as well as the warranty or guarantee that is offered.
At pOrtahl we've worked together with our coating partner to design the optimal coating process. Our aim was to improve the quality of the coating and ensure an equal distribution of the coating molecules along the surface of the watch. After some reasearch and development and three prototypes later we have desinged a process where all parts of the watches are coated individually, allowing for an even coating on all sides.
Conclusion on DLC Coatings
In conclusion, DLC coatings offer a range of benefits for enhancing the durability and appearance of watches. These coatings are made from a thin layer of amorphous carbon that makes watches resistant to wear and corrosion. They come in reflective and matte finishes and can be applied in a wide range of colors. Black DLC coatings in particular can give a watch a sleek, modern look - as we've done with pOrtahl's Peacemaker watch.