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News,Watchmaking

The Process Of Thermal Bluing

Oct 14, 2014

Blued screws

Blue is a shade synonymous with royalty. It has often been the preserve of luxurious items. Indeed, blued steel is indelibly linked with fine watchmaking. By bluing steel, the metal becomes resistant to corrosion. However, the most notable aspect of blued steel is the captivating hue the shade evinces.

Chemical bluing – often found in mass produced watches

An increasing number of watch brands choose to chemically treat screws to achieve a blue colour. The outcome is a homogenous shade of blue which is devoid of any personality. The screws subjected to this approach appear the same, adopting a predetermined shade and denoting their mass-produced origins.

garrick watchmakers watch movement

Thermal bluing by hand – the Garrick way

In line with the company’s no-compromise philosophy, Garrick thermally blue screws by hand, carefully subjecting the steel to high temperatures to achieve the most exquisite blue tone.

The process begins with screws being placed within a copper tray containing brass filings. The screws are heated to approximately 220°C and, courtesy of the brass filings, the temperature remains relatively constant.

During the bluing process, the time-served watchmaker has to allow for different depths of metal. Those areas which are thinner will adopt a bluish shade more readily than thicker sections. Consideration will also be given to the prevailing temperature of the room.

Thermal bluing requires a deft hand and is time-consuming, but the result is that each screw is bestowed with its own unique shade, featuring a fusion of blue and purple hues.

While each screw may appear the same, there will actually be a slight variation in shade, granting an individuality which distinguishes each component as handmade.

Garrick – the pursuit of excellence

Whilst hand-bluing screws is time-consuming, this British company feels it delivers a finer end result, granting greater enjoyment to a discerning clientele. It may take a little more effort to achieve, but the fastidious team of watchmakers at Garrick feel its customers deserve nothing less.

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