Menu

Blued steel hand

The History of Blued Steel Hands

The tradition of bluing steel hands dates back to the 17th century, a time when watchmaking was still in its infancy. The process was originally developed as a means of preventing rust, as the blueing process creates a thin layer of magnetite (Fe3O4) on the surface of the steel, which serves as a barrier against corrosion.

Over time, however, the aesthetic appeal of blued steel hands began to be appreciated in its own right. The deep, rich blue of the hands contrasted beautifully with the typically white or silver dials of the time, creating a striking visual effect. As a result, blued steel hands became a popular feature of high-end timepieces, a trend that continues to this day.

The Process of Bluing Steel

The process of bluing steel is a delicate and time-consuming one, requiring a high degree of skill and precision. The steel hands are first shaped and polished, before being heated to a specific temperature. This is typically done using a flame, although other methods can also be used.

The temperature to which the steel is heated determines the color of the final product. A lower temperature results in a lighter blue, while a higher temperature produces a darker shade. The exact temperature and duration of heating are closely guarded secrets, known only to the master watchmakers who carry out the process.

Significance of Blued Steel Hands

Blued steel hands are more than just a stylistic choice. They are a testament to the skill of the watchmaker, a symbol of the time and effort that goes into the creation of each timepiece. The process of bluing steel is a delicate one, requiring a high degree of precision and control. A slight deviation in temperature or timing can result in a color that is off, or even ruin the hand entirely.

As such, the presence of blued steel hands on a watch is a clear indicator of quality. It shows that the watchmaker is willing to invest the time and effort required to create a truly exceptional timepiece, one that is not just functional, but also a work of art.

Blued Steel Hands in Swiss Watches

Switzerland has a long and storied history in the world of watchmaking, and blued steel hands are a common feature of Swiss-made watches. The Swiss are known for their attention to detail and commitment to quality, and this is clearly reflected in their use of blued steel hands.

Swiss watchmakers often use traditional methods to blue their steel hands, heating them over an open flame in a process known as flame-bluing. This method requires a high degree of skill and precision, as the temperature of the flame must be carefully controlled to achieve the desired shade of blue.

Role of Blued Steel Hands in Swiss Watchmaking

Blued steel hands play a significant role in Swiss watchmaking. They are a symbol of the Swiss commitment to quality and craftsmanship, a testament to the skill and precision of Swiss watchmakers. The process of bluing steel is a time-honored tradition in Switzerland, one that is passed down from generation to generation.

Moreover, blued steel hands are often used in Swiss watches as a means of enhancing readability. The contrast between the blue hands and the typically white or silver dial makes it easier to read the time, even in low light conditions. This is particularly important in mechanical watches, which rely on the movement of the hands to tell the time.

Swiss Brands Known for Blued Steel Hands

Many Swiss watch brands are known for their use of blued steel hands, including Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and Jaeger-LeCoultre. These brands are renowned for their commitment to quality and craftsmanship, and their watches often feature blued steel hands as a symbol of this commitment.

For example, Patek Philippe’s Calatrava collection often features blued steel hands, which contrast beautifully with the white or cream dials. Similarly, Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony collection features watches with blued steel hands, which add a touch of elegance and sophistication to the minimalist design.

Conclusion

Blued steel hands are a significant feature of luxury mechanical watches, particularly those of Swiss origin. They are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship that goes into the creation of each timepiece, a symbol of the time and effort invested in its creation. Whether used for their anti-corrosive properties, their aesthetic appeal, or their role in enhancing readability, blued steel hands are a hallmark of quality, a clear indicator of a watch’s pedigree.

So the next time you find yourself admiring a luxury mechanical watch, take a moment to appreciate the blued steel hands. They are not just a stylistic choice, but a testament to the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into the creation of each timepiece. A symbol of the heritage and tradition of watchmaking, they are a reminder of the skill and dedication that goes into the creation of every luxury mechanical watch.

Explore related watches

Discover the RESERVOIR watch collections concerned

Previous
Next

STAY UP TO DATE WITH RESERVOIR.

Be the first to hear about RESERVOIR’s exclusive events and new product releases.

By signing up to the RESERVOIR newsletter you are agreeing to allow us to email you and process of your personal data as described in the privacy policy.

Watches

Accessories

Watch Finder

Services

The brand

Stores

news

Delivery / Currency

Search

Need help ?

Call us

Visit Us

FAQ

Email Us

Media Editorial RESERVOIR Watch - Luxury Timepiece in Jet Black, Light Grey & Steel Grey

Watches

Media editorial of luxury RESERVOIR watch in shades of dark charcoal, light grey and medium grey.

Car

Watch - RESERVOIR

Aeronautic

Media: Luxury RESERVOIR watch with light grey, very dark grey and dark brown colour scheme.

Marine

Media RESERVOIR watch editorial in luxury colours of dark olive green, light grey, and light mint green.

Music

Watch - RESERVOIR

Comics by Reservoir

Dark olive green, light beige, and light blue-grey luxury RESERVOIR watch editorial media.

Partnership

You may also like

Accessories

Longbridge Vintage Car Watch with Jet Black, Light Grey, and Teal Blue Leather Strap

Straps

Media editorial of a luxurious RESERVOIR watch with a jet black and light greyish beige with light grey accents.

Watch winder

Car

Media of RESERVOIR watch in luxury editorial featuring dark olive green, light beige, and light grey shades.

GT Tour

Vintage luxury car with rpm counter and watch in light grey, dark black, and dark red.

Supercharged

British Mini Car in Contrasting Light Beige, Dark black and Dark Grey-Blue at Longbridge

Longbridge

356 Porsche Car with Light Grey, Dark black, and Medium black Watch

Kanister

Armani - Watch

390 FASTBACK

Analog watch - Watch

MONZA DESIGN

WW2 Battlefield Scene with GI in Car, Watch in Dark Olive Green and Light Grey-Brown.

Battlefield

Explore

You may also like

Aeronautic

Airfight Watch with Jet in Dark black, Light Grey, and Medium Grey

Airfight

Leather-clad WW1 Pilot wearing a black, light beige, and light grey watch in a biplane.

Black Sparrow

Explore

You may also like

Marine

Luxury Diver's Watch with Dark Navy and Light Grey-Blue Manometer.

Hydrosphere

RESERVOIR - Watch

Tiefenmesser

Explore

You may also like

Music

Luxury RESERVOIR watch media editorial with jet black, light grey, and dark greyish blue colors.

Sonomaster

Explore

You may also like

Comics by Reservoir

Comics featuring Blake and Mortimer in black, light grey and light blue-grey.

Blake et Mortimer

RESERVOIR - RESERVOIR watch RESERVOIR x POPEYE CRICKET

Popeye

Explore

You may also like

Partnership

Explore

You may also like

GT Tour

You may also like

Supercharged

You may also like

Longbridge

You may also like

kanister

You may also like

390 Fastback

You may also like

MONZA DESIGN

You may also like

Airfight

You may also like

Black Sparrow

You may also like

Hydrosphere

You may also like

Tiefenmesser

You may also like

Sonomaster

You may also like

Blake et Mortimer

You may also like

Popeye

You may also like

ABDULLA lUTFI

You may also like

Language
Delivery country & currency
  • Mauritius / USD ($)
  • Niger / USD ($)
  • Senegal / USD ($)
  • South Africa / USD ($)
  • Austria / EUR (€)
  • Belgium / EUR (€)
  • Bulgaria / EUR (€)
  • Switzerland / CHF (CHF)
  • Cyprus / EUR (€)
  • Czech Republic / EUR (€)
  • Germany / EUR (€)
  • Denmark / EUR (€)
  • Estonia / EUR (€)
  • Spain / EUR (€)
  • Finland / EUR (€)
  • France / EUR (€)
  • United Kingdom (UK) / GBP (£)
  • Greece / EUR (€)
  • Croatia / EUR (€)
  • Hungary / EUR (€)
  • Ireland / EUR (€)
  • Italy / EUR (€)
  • Lithuania / EUR (€)
  • Luxembourg / EUR (€)
  • Monaco / EUR (€)
  • Malta / EUR (€)
  • Netherlands / EUR (€)
  • Norway / EUR (€)
  • Poland / EUR (€)
  • Portugal / EUR (€)
  • Romania / EUR (€)
  • Sweden / EUR (€)
  • Slovenia / EUR (€)
  • Slovakia / EUR (€)
  • Turkey / USD ($)
  • Hong Kong / USD ($)
  • Indonesia / USD ($)
  • India / USD ($)
  • Japan / JPY (¥)
  • South Korea / USD ($)
  • Malaysia / USD ($)
  • Philippines / USD ($)
  • Singapore / USD ($)
  • Taiwan / USD ($)
  • Canada / USD ($)
  • Dominican Republic / USD ($)
  • Mexico / USD ($)
  • Panama / USD ($)
  • United States (US) / USD ($)
  • Australia / USD ($)
  • New Zealand / USD ($)
  • United Arab Emirates / USD ($)
  • Bahrain / USD ($)
  • Kuwait / USD ($)
  • Lebanon / USD ($)
  • Oman / USD ($)
  • Saudi Arabia / USD ($)