Stainless steel has long been ubiquitous in watches, with even high-end brands like Tag Heuer and Rolex, but it hasn’t always been the case. It wasn’t unitl the 1930’s that stainless steel started to find it’s way into watch production. Up until that time, existing production techniques found it too difficult to form the stainless steel into small and accurate enough parts due to the materials high hardness level. Instead manufacturers favoured softer materials such as gold and silver for the watch cases.
That changed as stainless steel began to increase in popularity in the 1930’s, and was seen as the new “wonder material” of the time, and combined with the worldwide effects of the 1929 Wall Street crash, which led to reduce global demand from watches made from precious metals.
Stainless steel was originally introduced to the Swiss watch industry in the 1920’s by Firth Steel Sales AG, and was originally branded ‘Staybrite Steel’, but received little interest at first. The soon changed, and today stainless steel is the most common metal used for watch cases due to its low cost, durability and anti-corrosion properties.
Pictured is a 1926 Rolex Oyster Mens Stainless Steel Watch - One of the Earliest Oysters Made.
That old Rolex Oyster looks incredible, and has stood the test of time … a quality shared by our Stainless Steel Worktops – which is why they all come with a 25 Year Warranty - perfect for Laboratories, commercial catering, and designer domestic kitchens.