Many new materials have started to enter the world of modern watches; one of them is carbon composite in watchmaking. This material is starting to be widely used because it perfectly fits contemporary watch designs and functions. This material is capable of being both sexy and substantial for watches.
Carbon composite, which was first popular in the 1980s, is used for the chassis and components of Formula 1 racing cars. With its glossy black color and wave pattern, it gives racing cars a futuristic and sporty accent. More importantly, this material provides strength and has lightweight, which is very important for racing cars.
Carbon composite is nearly five times lighter than steel but twice as strong, and this advantage caught the attention of many watch brands out there. Experiments to use this material on watches began in the 1990s to add more value and functionality to the watch.
The first brand to use a carbon composite material was Audemars Piguet. They presented this material on the bezel and pusher in Royal Oak Offshore Limited Edition models, including the Royal Oak Offshore Juan Pablo Montoya released in the early 2000s.
After using carbon fiber became de rigueur for brands to inject distinct masculinity and technical tenacity into their watches, more brands began to explore the potential of materials beyond woven carbon fiber sheets.
In recent years, several brands have presented an extraordinary variety of carbon options such as forged carbon (molded carbon fiber), Carbon TPT (thin sheet carbon technology), carbon box (carbon compound made from carbon fiber rods and powder), carbon tech (thin sheets of carbon fiber compressed with high-end polymers).
The sleek woven pattern of the sheet of carbon fiber and the grain wood texture of carbon tech can contribute greatly to the aesthetics of a watch. Still, the lightweight, high density, and strength features of the carbon composite material tempt watchmakers the most.
More and more brands are increasingly choosing carbon composite materials to use in their watches, such as module guards, movement bridges, hairspring, and possibly many more parts that will later come with this material.