Final Work of VS in 2018
Anti-scratch, Durable ‘All-Ceramic’ Planet Ocean ‘Deep Black’
After the further development of ceramic watchmaking technology for ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, Omega launched the ‘Deep Black’, whose watchcase is made of a whole piece of black ceramic. This is a pioneering move in the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean wristwatch. A new step has been taken in the process of ceramic timepiece creation. It’s the best choice for diving with a soft black rubber watchband . It is beloved of watch fans, and spot goods are yet to be available at some domestic counters until now.
There are also some remastering manufacturers that have launched the electroplating version of steel watchcase such as PVD/DLC very quickly (that is, steel watchcase plates a layer of black paint). As is known that no matter how good electroplating is, as long as time goes, there will be oxidative discoloration and other situations, and poor electroplating will even lead to block coating damage. And in daily use, due to sweat or daily scratching, coating damage maybe occur. For example, there will be the following condition.
But the all-ceramic watchcase launched by the Genuine omega and the VS can completely, yes, completely avoid the problems arisen from the electroplated watchcase. There will be no problems such as oxidation discoloration and sweat erosion of matte black ceramics with high hardness. It can also resist the normal daily scratching. There will be no scratch even if the metal screwdriver scratches back and forth on the watchcase. The daily maintenance only requires a wet towel for wiping, and then the watch will acquire a completely new outlook. So the VS’ ‘Deep Black’ version is anti-scratch, anti-ageing and anti-oxidation. For those watch friends who mind the watchcase scratches during use (it is normal to have scratches on the metal case during the use), this kind of Planet Ocean with all-ceramic watchcase will make you feel very comfortable. Always wipe it and it will look new.
You may ask one question for the content above: There are so many styles of good VS watches, in addition to the several styles of its ceramic watchcase. Why can this Planet Ocean ‘Deep Black’ become the final work of VS in 2018?
It is because that
First, there is a lot more to ‘Deep Black’ than ‘Ceramic Watchcase’. From the raw materials of ceramics, proportioning to firing process, all of them extremely resemble the original. Not only the whole watchcase pursues the appearance similarity but also the inner structure and fittings of the whole watchcase are remastered approaching infinitely close to 1:1. This ‘Deep Black’ watchcase boasts two pioneering novelties:
1. ‘Integrated Ceramic Watchcase’. Generally, the ceramic watchcases of the wristwatches in the past contained a metal inner tank connecting the whole watchcase to play a role of sealing and waterproofing. However, the watchcase of this ‘Deep Black’ is made of a whole piece of black ceramic. At the same time, it can also ensure that the wristwatch is waterproof and can be used for diving. Therefore, a new step has been taken in the process of ceramic watch production. Also, this is a pioneering move for Omega in the wristwatch and a new milestone for VS to elevate the manufacturing process and precision of remastering watch. In addition, it is worth mentioning that the back of the VS version of the ‘Deep Black’ is also the same as that of the quality goods, which also adopts matte black ceramics as its back. We do not have to worry about the fading problem of the back.
2. Omega’s new ceramic Naiad locking technology has obtained a patent, which can ensure that the engraved characters on the directional screw-in watch back remain in place at all times so as to give a view of the exquisite design of the watch back. The structure of VS is also completely consistent with that of the quality goods. What’s the use? In brief, as long as you buy the ‘Deep Black’ of the version of VS later, the font position on the bottom of each watch will be as straight as the following figure. You will not need to tangle the font on the bottom in an incorrect position.
Second, function of the movement. The dedicated 8906 movement of VS can be only able to achieve the same function with that of the quality goods, including GMT function. The appearance of the movement is infinitely close to that of the quality goods. The stability is also verified by time. The time is very stable, and the repair rate is very low.
Third, it has ceramic dial. The texture of copper paint dial is incomparable to that of the ceramic dial. Of course, the production of ceramic dial is difficult, meanwhile, it also has low rate of good products and high cost.
Fourth, its material of watch buckle is the same as that of the quality goods. Ceramic buckle surface + Titanium metal folding buckle. Even the material of button is ceramic. The texture of ordinary electroplated metal buckle is not as good as that of VS completely.
Fifth, the watchband of VS is the same as that of the quality goods, which is all rubber watchband. The top textile processing of Omega’s genuine rubber watchband is very difficult. At present, there is no manufacturer in the market who can produce the remastering version of whole rubber according to the quality goods. All of them adopt opportunistic approaches, that is, the material of bottom is rubber and the material of the upper is cloth. It is not only that the texture is low-end, but there will be a bad smell as long as the upper cloth meets water or sweat. At any cost, VS has broken through the technical difficulties and developed the full-rubber watchband the same comfortable as that of the quality goods. You can not only wear comfortably, but also do not need to worry about the problems when the watchband comes across water no matter washing hands or dabbling and swimming.
At present, the level of most manufacturers in the remastering industry of wristwatch still stays in the details of the lines, shapes, false splints of movements compared with those of the quality goods. And they pay more attention to details of similarities comparing with the quality goods. The watchcase, watchband, buckle material, structure of ‘Deep Black’ of VS have been infinitely close to the quality goods, and even most of the parts are accurate enough to be interchangeable with quality goods. The function of the movement is completely consistent with the quality goods, and the movement appearance of the rear projection is also infinitely close. This watch can be said to have done as expected by most of the watch friends, the manufacturers spend more on doing better details to develop the texture of the quality goods. It has launched the process and manufacturing level of the remastering watch to a completely new level. ‘Deep Black’ is the final work of VS in 2018.
The chaos of the remastering market has caused a lot of watch friends to be cheated. Imitating something superior and the bragging campaign that reverses right and wrong have made people’s doubts and distrust more and more serious. However, we are sure that this work of VS will live up to all the expectations.
Question 1: This watch is of all-ceramic watchcase, will it be easily broken or fragile?
Now ceramic manufacturing technology is very mature. The watch will be stronger and more durable than you think.
When it comes to ceramics, we may firstly think of the dishes and bowls that we often come into contact with in our daily lives. Therefore, you will feel that ceramics are very delicate and fragile. Many customers also have had the same concerns about buying Pam441 and Pam438 of VS before. However, in fact, this kind of ceramic material is widely used and it is mature in the field of new materials. The ‘Deep Black’ is made of zirconia powder of high purity, which is several times harder than steel watchcase after two high temperatures sintering. After the watch of steel watchcase is used for a period of time, there will be many scratches on the watchcase. However, there will be no worry about this style of the ‘Deep Black’. And the quality goods dare to launch this style of ceramic watch, indicating that the normal daily use is sure to be no problem. And VS also introduced styles of Panerai 441 and 438 with ceramic watchcases for two or three years after a long test, so do not worry about this issue.
Now let’s explore the flow of manufacturing process of this style of VS’s integrated ceramic watchcase.
Raw material: zirconia powder：
The white powder is the raw material of ceramic watchcase called ‘zirconia’. The raw material of ‘Deep Black’ adopts this zirconia powder of high purity. What is high purity? In other words, the whiter, the better purity! The hardness of ceramics sintered at high temperature is higher.
It needs to add a certain proportion of binder into the raw material powder (experiment for up to half a year, to find out the proportion and formula) to agitate the ceramic paste into the machine for injection molding, and then to use hundreds of tons of hydraulic press to compress the molding. This process is very important. If the raw material powder has impurities, or the formula proportion of ceramic paste is not right, or the strength of compression and the length of time are different, all of them may result in a lot of sand holes and cracks in the sintering process of rough embryos, which directly become waste products. There are a lot of uncertainties that lead to a very high rate of bad products for ceramics. This is why though the Mi is strong, it has been unable to ship just after it has launched the Mi 5 which adopts ceramic rear shell.
(No production picture of factory’s pressed embryo. This picture is a network picture.)
In the next picture, the rough embryo comes out, and this time you can see the coarse embryo is white.
After injection, the first sintering at high temperature:
Ceramic rough embryo should go through the high temperature sintering of plasma in the smelting furnace of more than 1400 degrees Celsius, then the ceramics will shrink and harden.
The watchcase has hardened after the first high temperature sintering. It feels just a bit like thick plastic. The material change is really wonderful.
In order to explain to everyone that there is no fading in the ceramic watchcase, we have specially found a knife for cutting fruit. Cut off some black powder vigorously on the watchcase ear, you can see that the powder and watchcase inside have been sintered from white to black at high temperature. Incidentally, the hardness of the ceramic watchcase of VSPam441 and ‘Deep Black’ is higher than that of most common metals. If you see the scratches, it may have been metal powder on the ceramic watchcase. So just use a wet towel or fine sandpaper to gently wipe it, it will be fine.
The second high temperature sintering
After hours of the second high temperature sintering of plasma, the watchcase becomes very hard. Then the fruit knife can’t hurt it. Factory technicians said that the hardness of ceramics should be several times that of common metals at this time. Knock on the watchcase body, there will be a melodious sound.
If you use a screwdriver to scratch the watchcase body, there will be a white scratch. However, as long as you wipe it with a finger, the white scratch will be gone.
Comparison before and after sintering:
The larger coarse embryo sintered into a solid ceramic at high plasma temperature. By continuous shrinkage and hardening, the volume of semi-finished products is at least one third less than before sintering. Bad products whose watchcases have sand holes or cracks will be directly abandoned, and good products will enter the next process.
Rough machining of NC machine:
After sintering, we should carry out rough machining of NC machine and remove the excess cloak and scrap.
Finishing in machining center:
For finishing in machining center, the watchcase body will be put into the fixed trough, for the pre-set drawing size is entered into the computer, and the CNC machine can automatically refine the structure without manual intervention.
Manual polishing and grinding treatment:
Polish the polished watchcase with a diamond band. After wire drawing and polishing of the sand brushing of the watchcase, the watchcase ear should also be polished to further improve the texture. Each step needs the fine grinding by skilled craftsmen. Every detail and every accessory are hard-won.
By putting watchcases of several different periods together, we can see the change of ceramic watchcase in the processing.
Ceramic buckle surface:
Ceramic accessories of VS ‘Deep Black’. It would be much easier to produce one of these ceramic accessories only. All of them are ceramic accessories. Meanwhile, during the sintering process, the volume will be reduced continuously, and eventually all ceramic accessories will be required to form a ceramic watchcase. The precision of each fitting must be very good so as to seal and be waterproof. There will be some uncontrollable factors during each production link for each accessory so that some defective bad products will be generated. To make sure that each component is perfect and the rate of good products is very low, this is the difficulty and charm of an integrated ceramic watchcase.
Conclusion: If you are willing to spend the mantissa of the quality goods or 3% to 4% of the original price to buy a watch which is of good appearance, good movement, good texture, and wearing feeling infinitely close to the quality goods, this ‘Deep Black’ of the final work of VS in 2018 is very cost-effective. With the full rubber watchband, you will feel very comfortable if you wear it in winter. Moreover, the waterproof performance of the ‘Deep Black’ of VS is the style that can really be worn in the water to swim which very few can do it in the remastering field. (Do tighten the bottom and the watch handle before launching. There is no problem to swim in the swimming pool with depth of 2m. )
The watchcase of the Planet Ocean is all made of black ceramic precisely with a diameter of 45.5 mm. The short ear allows it to fit into smaller wrists. So the wrist circumference is above 16.5cm or the wrist can be able to wear the AP and Panerai, then it can also be easy to wear this style.
Comparison between ‘Deep Black’ of VS and Quality Goods
The front of the ‘Deep Black’ of VS looks the same as that of the quality goods. If it is not marked, can you see it? It can be said that it has reached more than 98% of the degree of truthfulness.
Needle order. From top to bottom is the second hand, the minute hand and the hour hand seperately. The order of it is completely the same as that of the quality goods. Its needles can be interchanged with that of the quality goods. Glass permeability is also very high. Zr02 engraving is clearly visible on the surface of ceramics. The characters of it, which adopt ceramic material, are the same as that of the quality goods. Though the ceramics characters cost three times more than that of common copper, VS still adopts ceramic surface of high cost to ensure the brightness and smoothness of characters so as to explain the best remastering level perfectly.
Comparison of watch Crown:
The watch crown at 10 PT and 3 PT are black ceramic with bright texture, engraved with helium discharge logo of ‘HE’ and signature resistor logo of Omega.
Comparison between watchcase ear and side:
Lines of the side watchcase ears are very close to that of quality goods. Details of VS are extremely as good as that of the quality goods including the tape cover. The ceramic wire drawing of vertical sand brushing makes the texture of watch a bit fine. We are used to drawing on fine steel wire, and the fine drawing on ceramics is rare.
Comparison between ring and tooth band:
A groundbreaking breakthrough in Naiad technology for bottom structure:
The distance between the scales is clear visible from the scale of flared end. The design of the tooth band around the rim is also special. The side spacing and depth of the tooth band are very close. The craftsmanship of VS is well placed.
Many people don’t know what Naiad technology is. It is that when the bottom cover is locked, the letters on the bottom cover are always in the same place. And twisting the bottom cover is more concise and convenient.
It seems that it is a very simple improvement of design function, however, if you want to achieve it, it is not easy.
Because the inner side of the watchcase is difficult to process, it is necessary not only to be able to lock the bottom cover in one step like the quality goods, but also to ensure 100% waterproofing. At the same time, this style is also made of ceramic material, which is much more difficult to process than that of metal material, and the scrap rate is also extremely high. From the grinding process to the final test of waterproof, if there are more than 60% of the accessories’ accuracy is not enough, it cannot achieve sealing and waterproof, and then accessories are scrapped.
After half a year, technical personnel continue to try and to overcome the difficulties! Finally, VS insists on remastering by the rate of 1:1 according to the structure of the quality goods, and then there is the structure of Naiad’s watch watchcase which is consistent with that of the quality goods today. (See the figure that the position of the Deep Black is the same as that of the quality goods.)
Comparison of back transparency:
Compared with quality goods, the similarity of the integrated movement of VS is up to 98%. And the screw’s hole position, gem position, function are the same, it has been recognized by the market as a stable, reliable proprietary movement.
Some watch friends have proposed that the balance of VS movement adds quick-and-slow needle, that is, time error regulator.
In fact, from the technical point of view, it has been able to achieve the same single needle as the quality goods. However, the remastering watch is just the remastering watch. Its pursuit is to let a lot of people who love watch spend a small amount of money to experience the satisfaction and enjoyment brought by the remastering watch which is infinitely close to the quality goods, nor to mix the spurious with the genuine without bottom line, or to take the remastering watch as the quality goods to cheat. Extremes meet.
Comparison of watch buckle:
The structure of the watch buckle of VS is the same as that of the quality goods, which can be interchanged with the quality goods. It adopts the ceramic titanium metal folding buckle structure, even the button is ceramic.
Rubber Strap comparison:
VS adopts the integrated rubber tape of natural textile Rubber Strap. The cost of mold opening is as high as USD 15000. In order to achieve conformity with the quality goods, VS is at any cost. That is just the soul of this wristwatch. The watchband is the full rubber watchband, which is different from that with cloth as surface and rubber as bottom in the market. The watchband of VS is consistent with the full rubber watchband of quality goods. Whether consideration from wearing comfort, or daily dabbling, the full rubber watchband of VS can give you very good experience.
The VS luminosity has also long been recognized by watch friends. For a long time, VS has adopted imported Swiss super luminosity. Therefore, in the dark, except the minute needle and the bright pearl are green at night, the other hands and scales show blue luminosity. Both brightness and durability are infinitely close to that of the quality goods.
Glass hardness test:
The surface glass of ‘Deep Black’ of VS adopts the arched two-sided anti-reflective abrasion resistant sapphire glass. Through the gem test, it reaches class 9 of the Morse hardness (the diamond class is 10). It has quite cost a lot.
written by Mr.Mark
22 December 2018