We started out with the Hard Black, 22 pieces (in 2 coloured dials, black and red) based on the Biformeter Elemental. Morten and I thought it would be a cool and fun one-off project. But when we launched it and it sold out in a couple of weeks, we realised that there was an interest for this type of treatment and of this quality – the Hard Black was close to 5000HV (vickers). Our DLC coating is performed by specialists who serve the weapon industry. And to compare, most of the DLC coatings done in Switzerland are about 2000-3500HV.
[Hard Black in action during high altitude sport]
We then launched a Hard Green, also 22 pieces (in black, silver, and red dials), the green DLC treatment was especially difficult to accomplish as the parts need to be taken out of the DLC chamber when the colour is uniform – almost impossible so each piece has a slightly different nuance and unique from the others. When we launched the Hard Black II we also launched the Hard Grey (exclusively for our partner in Naples, Florida – Exquisite Timepieces).
[Top: Hard Green / Bottom: Hard Grey for Exquisite Timepieces]
Since then nearly every watch we have launched has had a DLC’ed counterpart – SpidoLite, SpidoLite SA, Oktopus, SpidoSpeed and SpidoLite II. SpidoLite II is the first Spido to have an Anthracite DLC coating which has a grey shade that is almost-black.
A DLC coating process itself is industrial and of varying complexity and quality. Without disclosing too much, we employ a vacuum vapour deposition procedure as a pre-treatment to harden the steel, the parts of the cases then get hand-finished and put together. We will keep on exploring DLC going forward for our collections.