OceanicTime Archives


H2O Kalmar Prototypes Part.3 (Mokume Gane)

By TLex H2O Watch has in the Kalmar realized an incredible dive watch that is both fully customizable, and self-configurable by its wearer. Its case, which houses a Swiss mechanical movement and is water-resistant to 3000 meters, has been constructed from Grade 5 Titanium. G5 Titanium is not as widely used in dive watch construction as say 316-L Stainless steel, but has been adopted by numerous upper echelon dive watch makers as their case material of choice for many of their flagship divers models (Clerc, Girard-Perregaux, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Richard Mille are among them) not only for its remarkable properties of which it is: tough, lightweight, hypoallergenic and self healing, but because it can be such an attractive metal. Even so Titanium could not be considered a particularly exceptional or rare a material used in dive watch construction; so what would be?

How about Damascus steel, which H2O have used to construct a custom rotor for this experimental version of the Kalmar? If not, then most certainly, Mokume Gane (木目金), which translates from Japanese as ‘wood grain’ metal and is the product of a special process of bonding mixed-metals invented by Denbei Shoami in 17th-century Feudal Japan. Mokume Gane was used for sword fittings at a time when the decline of the katana industry had forced artisans to create purely decorative items. Achieving a successful lamination using traditional processes requires a highly skilled sword maker with a great deal of experience; in this instance a German knife maker of some repute, Uwe Suhrweier, who has partnered with H2O Watch for this and future projects.

H2O Watch (now pioneers in the use of exotic metals in dive watch construction) have realized a worldwide first using a unique combination of design and craftsmanship for the stunning H2O Kalmar Mokume Gane, which now joins the Titanium and Bead-blasted DLC versions. And owing to its handmade construction, where small imperfections are not uncommon, each and every watch created will become a rare gem. I should add that the production costs for Mokume Gane are unsurprisingly higher. This is because the material used to create Mokume Gane is approximately 60 times more expensive compared to stainless steel owing to a rejection rate that is around 50% higher. But what you’re left with is an exceptional dive watch that is both visually stunning and highly unique. Stay tuned for more . . .

© H2O Watch & OceanicTime

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