PVD, IP, DLC, Did you know these?

PVD, IP, DLC, do you understand the terminology of watch case processing?

PVD, IP, and DLC are currently three popular case processing methods, which can not only make the watch more unique, and also the processing skills that play an extra role in improving surface hardness, strength and wear resistance.

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1、Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD)

PVD is the abbreviation of Physical Vapor Deposition, a modern plating technology, which is produced in a vacuum environment, the case workpiece is placed on the electrode, and the material to be plated is ionized by the gas discharge method,
after the acceleration of the electric field, the gaseous material to be plated and the reaction material in the ionization process will be deposited and attached to the surface of the case. The advantages of PVD technology are that no environmentally harmful pollutants are produced during the plating process, the color of the finished product can be maintained for a long time without being affected by sunlight and other related factors, and the corrosion resistance of the plated body is also strengthened; however, if the PVD case is scratched or hit by some extremely hard objects, the metal underneath may still be exposed. At present, most of the PVD cases in the watch industry are made of black color, which is popular for sports watches; at the same time, brands gradually develop more color options such as gold or rose gold for PVD technology in order to meet the demand of large markets (such as China), which makes the watch body usually made of stainless steel more attractive and becomes the main watch case processing technology in many mid-price band below or fashion brands.

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2、IP Ion Plating

IP is abbreviated from Ion Plating, which is actually a more detailed classification of PVD technology, and usually physical vapor deposition can be divided into vacuum vaporization, sputtering, and ion plating (IP) depending on the details of the production process. The main disadvantage is that the thickness of the plating is difficult to distribute evenly, but it can still make an immediate difference before and after plating, for example, the skin friendliness of IP plated cases is better than that of stainless steel alone, so it can reduce The skin friendliness of IP plated cases, for example, is better than that of stainless steel alone, thus reducing discomfort to the wearer. The proportion of Japanese watchmakers who use ion-plating technology is relatively high in the watch industry, as Swiss brands usually place less emphasis on the type of processing within PVD technology; however, whether it is PVD or IP technology, it is a quality way to enhance the charm of stainless steel watches for mid- and low-priced models.

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3、Damond-Like Carbon plating material

DLC means Diamond-Like Carbon. The part that needs special clarification is that it is not an electroplating technique, but actually a plated material in the process of PVD technology, different from titanium carbide or titanium oxide, which are commonly used in PVD plating, DLC is a kind of non-crystalline carbon element between diamond (with three-dimensional structure) and graphite (with flat Its characteristics include high hardness, high modulus of elasticity and low coefficient of friction, etc. Therefore, the watchmaker’s intention of using DLC as the plated material for PVD technology is obvious: to enhance the protection of the case in depth, and to achieve the effect close to diamond grade by a thin and light plating. Because of the carbon nature of the plated material, watches made with DLC PVD technology are always black in appearance, which is not as effective in enhancing the appearance of the timepiece as it is in improving its practicality. is often reflected in the cost and price of the watch.