The Lab

The Beauty of ALW

Posted on April 24, 2014 by Morten Linde

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It may look unassuming, but this is an unseen beauty of one of our timepieces: an inner case made of a super material called ALW, a metal alloy developed for the aerospace industry and is exclusive to LW for use in timepieces.

ALW is half the weight of titanium and more than twice as hard as steel. To harden it even further, we put it through a special treatment that blasts 25 microns deep into the surface so as to permeate 2/3 of the material, forming an exceedingly hard structure of 5000HV that is practically non-scratchable. To put things in perspective, most PVD coatings employed in the Swiss watch industry deposit up to 5 microns to create a film of 1000 to 2000HV on the metal surface.

We have spent more than 2 years experimenting with this ultra high-performance material and designing its application in our timepieces. The results have been extraordinary, first with the launch in 2013 of the SpidoLite Tech, our then-lightest  model, at BaselWorld – the world’s biggest watch fair staged in Switzerland.

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Meanwhile, the R&D of ALW continued, pushing the surface treatment further to achieve several colour finishes, for instance. This has made things a lot more interesting than what we had last year for just the inner case.

The most fascinating of all is the colourless form, so we have crafted the whole Oktopus case in this ALW rendition. Not only has it created our lightest watch to date, it has a beautiful iridescent sheen that subtly reflects the colours of its surroundings.

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Its name is MoonLite, Oktopus MoonLite, a poetic reference to our in-house moonphase complication. We were very proud to reveal this series of 59 pieces to the world at this year’s BaselWorld.

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M. Linde