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Gone are the days when a watch company can claim to have made a cutting-edge timepiece simply by encasing it in titanium, ceramic or carbon fibre. Now, terms such as PEEK, ITR2, Quartz TPT and BMG Tech are being bandied about as the next big thing in luxury watchmaking. And it’s largely good news for collectors because who’s going to complain when brands are doing more to win them over – as opposed to less? The issue to ponder over is, what exactly do the new watch materials bring in terms of practical benefits? Here, we explore this aspect using exemplars from Richard Mille, Panerai, Hublot and Montblanc.