Titanium has been making its way to watch cases since the 1970s, when Citizen brought the first titanium watch to market. It’s since become an industry staple, with numerous brands offering titanium-cased options in their lineups. Titanium’s popularity stems from its unique properties—it’s lighter than stainless steel (making it attractive to use in larger case sizes), and it’s relatively anti-magnetic, hypoallergenic, and highly resistant to corrosion. All appealing characteristics for a watch case.
Generally, watches cased in titanium demand a higher price due to the additional work required to machine the alloy. Over time, however, prices for titanium watches have come down, and there are more affordable titanium options on the market today than ever before (click here to read our review of the Steinhart Ocean Titanium 500 Premium). Today, we’re turning your attention toward two successful (thus far) Kickstarter projects both using this material in their own interpretations of a modern dive watch.
The first is the H1 by Hamtun Watches out of the UK. Unlike many lower priced divers, the Hamtun doesn’t feature off-the-shelf parts, and is instead designed from the ground up to the brand’s specifications.
The satin-finished, grade 5 titanium case measures 41mm wide, 13mm thick, and 48mm lug-to-lug for an overall wearable size. The 120-click unidirectional bezel features a ceramic bezel insert with a matte finish (not unlike the bezel of the Tudor Pelagos) and big teeth for a sure grip. Right off four is a large screw down crown flanked by a set of prominent crown guards. The crystal is a double domed sapphire with AR on both sides for maximum legibility at all angles and lighting conditions. All in all, the case is sporty, masculine, and reasonably sized for a multitude of wrists.