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Mineral crystal? Come on, it should be sapphire at this price!
Diving grade sapphire for 20 ATM at this price point? Not gonna happen. Seiko has even answered this before, to maintain the tolerances and ensure diving performance the sapphire thickness needed would be financially prohibitive in a watch at this pricepoint. The sapphire in a sub $1K 200+ meter water resistant watch would be it's weakest link and thier thicker hardlex has better shatter resistance.
There has been some debate about this because many people think that sapphire is a superior glass in all aspects. However, Hardlex is more suitable in some instances because it is less brittle than sapphire and it can be made thicker more easily.
at this price point for a diving watch?
most people buy these watch even dont care bout the water resistance. anti-scratch is the most important aspect for watch collector.
I thought exclusivity and rareness is the most important aspect for watch (or any other) collector? All collectors do is hoard stuff away is hermetically sealed, dust free, humidity controlled, temperature monitored glass boxes never to see light of day ever again? At least that has been my experience...
Maybe, but it is still a diving watch. Actually scratch that, this is still a Prospex watch, which has to measure up to the heritage of the name. Besides, changing the glass of a watch is easy peasy, but making it truly water resistant to more than 10 atm is a completely different beast if were talking about automatics.
One final thought, if subpar sapphire shatters you have to change the whole glass. If hardlex scratches you just polish it and voila just as brand new glass.
Actually, it has been stated by a Seiko representative in the past that sapphire is both harder and tougher than Hardlex at the same thickness; the only advantage Hardlex has is price, especially at higher thicknesses.
You can't polish Hardlex. Hardlex is basically toughened mineral glass. You're thinking acrylic.
On the polishing topic all three types (acrylic, hardlex/mineral crystal, and sapphire) can and have been polished. The issue is you need a diamond polisher. Some people have also had varying success using diamond paste polish, including the local horologist that works on my watches.
On the sapphire vs hardlex topic you're 100% correct, sapphire generally beats hardlex at the same thickness. The two main issues are: 1) making synthetic sapphire at the thickness and tolerances required for deep dive watches is already cost prohibitive on 1k timepieces, let alone a 300-700 dollar watch. 2) a watch that scratches means polishing or replacing the crystal, but a watch that shatters because they used too thin a sapphire means a totalled timepiece at worst, or a scratched dial at best.
In any case sapphire at this pricepoint is most definetely shitty and would not merit the prospex branding.