Head to Head: Seiko Titanium Case Grade 5 vs. Grade 2
When you hear the word Titanium, you would surely think of something premium, maybe even exclusive. This metal, or metal alloy is a celebrated one in the manufacturing industry, being the material of choice for products or structures that require more durability than steel can provide.
Before the 1970’s, Titanium was almost exclusively used for building airplanes and rocketships (we’re talking NASA) due to its strength and high heat resistance. Today, you will see this metal used in many other items, including but not limited to bicycles, surgeon tools, jewelry, and more.
One other industry that Titanium is slowly gaining traction in is the world of horology.
The First Titanium Watch
In the late 60’s, NASA started their Apollo missions, where they sent manned and unmanned rockets to the moon and around the Earth’s orbit. Stainless steel did not cut it for the creation of these rocket ships, which required a more durable material, and one that can withstand the extreme heats emitted by the boosters. What did they use? You guessed it - Titanium.
Source: The Market Herald
This is when Japanese watch brand Citizen took notice of the unique properties of this wonder metal and decided to create the world’s first watch made of this material: the Citizen X-8 Titanium Chronometer. It is not clear why this aspect of the watch has not been heavily advertised during the model’s debut, with Citizen opting to more prominently highlight the movement powering the watch.
The watch that started the Ti trend. Source: Gear Patrol
To be fair, the watch also featured the Citizen Calibre 0820, one of the world’s first battery-powered and highly-accurate movements. And yet, the Titanium make of the X-8 Chronometer is what makes it desirable to collectors today. With 99.6% purity, this piece is very hard to find in present times.
They say only 2,000 pieces were ever made, making this a very rare collectible.
Watch Brands Using Titanium Today
Needless to say, the use of Titanium has since progressed and is being utilised by more and more watch brands today. Here are some of the more notable ones:
Citizen Promaster Diver Titanium
Citizen still got it. Source: Teddy Baldassarre Reviews on Youtube
Being the pioneer in this category, it just makes sense that Citizen is a watch brand that would excel in making Titanium watches today. The Promaster Diver is a well-rounded timepiece with a friendly price tag. It is rated up to 200m and features solar charging, making it a very practical choice.
IWC Pilot's Mark XVIII Heritage Automatic
Source: Mania Decantar
Since Titanium was a primary material for constructing aircraft, having a matching watch is not out of the picture. The IWC Pilot’s Mark XVIII is a vintage-inspired piece with a simple and legible face with beige lume. While the case may not be rated for deep diving, you can be sure that it is durable, thanks to its Titanium make.
Grand Seiko Heritage Seasons SBGA413
A beautiful dial on a beautiful case. Source: Monochrome Watches
Not to be outdone and left behind, Seiko has produced many Titanium watches over the years, and one of the best looking ones is no doubt the SBGA413. The Sakura-blossom inspired dial is encased in a “High-Intensity Titanium case,” which is perfect if you have an exclusive cocktail party at 7 and an MMA fight at 8.
namokiMODS’s Titanium SKX Cases
If you’re one of the lucky few who were able to snag one of our limited edition Titanium SKX cases last year, you’ve had an idea of how good of a material it is, especially for divers watches. It just makes sense! And we’re proud to be the first ones to use it as a material for a Seiko modding case.
Our NMK910 Titanium Case from last year.
Some of the reasons why this metal is a great fit for divers watches:
- Resistant to rust and corrosion. These two are some of the main problems with any metallic item that is regularly submerged in water, even stainless steel.
- Scratch-resistant. No matter how careful we are, we will always be scratching our watches somewhere. It could be a door, a kitchen countertop, the car keys, or scuba-diving equipment. It helps with peace of mind knowing that your watch is protected from all these.
- Lightweight. One of the most appealing properties of Titanium is its lightness compared to stainless steel, with people even reporting that a Titanium watch almost feels weightless compared to its steel counterparts.
- Hypoallergenic. No matter what skin type you have, you will never get a rash or any allergies with a Titanium case, unlike stainless steel which contains nickel, a metal that many people are allergic to.
- Anti-magnetic. We all know how magnetism affects a watch movement and causes inaccuracy with time-keeping. Having magnetic resistance is a must-have.
- That premium look and finish that you just can’t get with regular 316L!
In our first edition, we opted to go with Grade 2 or pure Titanium. This version is ‘more pure’ Titanium which actually makes it easier to mold and therefore more accessible price-wise.
After gathering community feedback, we are launching more Titanium SKX cases very soon, and this time, we’re leveling up by using Grade 5 Titanium!
Grade 2 vs.Grade 5
There are few but very important differences between these 2 grades of Titanium. The first and most important one is their strength.
Grade 2 is a commercially pure Titanium, while Grade 5 is mixed with Aluminum and Vanadium. The latter can be more than 3 times stronger than the former, and is the most widely used grade of this metal/alloy. It can also withstand higher temperatures than Grade 2. It is also because of this strength that
Grade 5 has “self-healing” properties. If you get scuffs or scratches on your watch, they will slowly disappear as the unoxidized portions of Titanium will create a grey patina upon contact with air. A neat trick that Grade 2 versions cannot claim! This means no additional coating is needed when treating this metal.
Titanium Case Releases
Time to get hyped, because namokiMODS has releasing not one, but two new Titanium Seiko cases! Both Grade 5. Both awesome.
The first design is based on the classic SKX007 that we all know and love. If you've always liked the simple yet functional look of the 007 but always thought it felt a bit too bulky on the wrist, then modding one with a titanium case might be the answer for you! With almost half the weight of stainless steel, this feels incredibly lightweight on the wrist, not to mention the better durability and corrosion-resistance - perfect if you're planning on actually taking your watch for a dive.
The other case is based on the MM300 style Titanium case, which has a sleeker profile thanks to the contour of the lugs and the lack of protruding crown guards.
Both case bundles already include a matching crown and bezel for a uniform look, since Titanium has a distinct pattern that makes in instantly recognizable. For the caseback, you have a choice of getting one in Titanium as well. Since this material is hypoallergenic, it is a great choice if stainless steel gives you the itches. It is also still compatible with our other casebacks, if you prefer to use one with a sapphire display.
We hope you’re excited modfam! Happy modding!