8 of the best titanium watches: Part 1 is large, indestructible and mind-bendingly light 8 of the best titanium watches: Part 1 is large, indestructible and mind-bendingly light

8 of the best titanium watches: Part 1 is large, indestructible and mind-bendingly light

Thor Svaboe

Titanium: the strong, ultralight metal of the future. Once exclusive to F1 parts and featherweight bike parts, the material is almost divisively light. Some people actually tell you that the light weight puts them off, as if a heavy watch is a sign of intrinsic value and quality. In the case (pun intended) of precious metals, yes, the heavy weight of a Submariner in solid gold does imbue it with an extra level of quality. But on an everyday watch or, even better, a diver’s watch? All positives in my book. How would sir like the intense legibility and strength of a 44mm+ diver’s tool with the lightness of a resin Casio? I’m exaggerating to make a point, but it’s still almost true, and from bargain microbrand to elegant dress watch in a Zaratsu suit, we have lined up a few of the best titanium watches for you right here.

Grand Seiko SLGA001 

best titanium watches

Okay, let’s just say it is huge and be done with it. Unashamedly so. A dark blue threatening behemoth. Nothing can hide the fact, except the raison d’être of this very story: titanium! In our video review here, Nick started by describing it as almost daunting, and the brilliance of titanium is why this is actually a very comfortable 46.8mm (yes) diver’s watch, every angular millimetre of this bad boy. Many of us have the notion of titanium watches as meaning all rounded-off corners and a smooth, grey boring surface treatment, for the simple reason that titanium is NOT easy to work with. Yet Grand Seiko are the masters of case and bracelet finishing and wield the magic of the Zaratsu polishing wheel like a magic wand once again. They manage to do razor-sharp angular facets and transitions, while making even tiny slivers of a case corner come ablaze with mirror-like reflections that frankly seem unnatural for titanium. It’s that good. And obviously, by nature of their 55 years of experience making diver’s watches, they sure understand ergonomics. Which is why I’m not telling you that this beast feels like a 40mm dress watch, but it sure doesn’t feel like the otherworldly weapon it looks like. This comes with the knock-out effect of the latest Grand Seiko Spring Drive calibre with a massive 5 days of power reserve. Go out and invest in that diver’s gear you’ve always wanted. Price: $16,500 AUD

Casio G-Shock GMW-B5000TB-1ER

Well, it’s a G-Shock, and very ordinary-looking, but that’s precisely the charm. The GMW-B5000TB-1ER looks like a run-of-the-mill black resin 5600 with some natty gold details, except for the very, very small text at 1 o’clock saying TITANIUM. Yes, this is yet another crafty full-metal G-Shock, but in all black, smooth titanium, saving a massive 57 grams from the steel version. And the linked titanium bracelet is unbelievably stealthy — until you touch one or put it on. As if the G-Shock wasn’t already indestructible, here it’s taken to another level, and with the retro-brilliance of not making it a flashy colour, camo-etched or with a slightly different shape and dial. No, this is pure OG-Shock (see what I did there?), remastered in stealthy battle armour. Price: $2499 AUD

Spirit of Big Bang Titanium

It might not be a surprise to find a Hublot in this story of high-tech metallurgy, as they are resolutely cutting-edge with hardly any material untried for their bold creations. And here we have the tonneau-shaped Spirit of Big Bang – a shape that has thoroughly grown on me since its inception – as a different shaped alternative to the now classic Big Bang. A wealth of interesting surface treatments ramps up the future-industrial vibe, with its brushed lower case and an exquisitely polished bevel along the side, and the recognisable layered sandwich-construction that hides a rather chunky watch. Not that you’d feel it, because the titanium and carbon fibre sure is light. The bezel is brushed, satin and indestructible-looking as usual, the titanium giving it a slightly darker weapons-grade air. Within the skeletonised HUB4700 movement that becomes the dial, there are delicate red flashes of minute hash marks, a rhomboid date window and a bold chronograph seconds hand. The reds are carried onto markings for the chrono sub-dials, and while maybe not the most perfectly legible chronograph, I have a deep affinity for the deep, intricate architecture of the openworked machine that is the Spirit of Big Bang series. Price: EUR 21,700

Boldr Venture

You might be looking at the world’s best-value titanium watch. WHAT? Some bold statement. In fact, this is no boldr (sorry!) than a simple statement of the facts, should you sum up the parts, starting with a titanium watch with 200m water resistance for under $300 USD including shipping. Boldr Supply Co. is an established microbrand with five watch lines, and a solid community following for their watches and accessories for the self-categorised “Urban Explorer”. In the Venture you get a silky blasted titanium case on a decent NATO strap in thick nylon, with titanium hardware to boot. The Venture has an automatic Seiko NH35 movement and is ready for the water with a useful 200m WR. Yet this gets even better. The crystal is sapphire with a decent AR coating. No downsides here, save for the fact that it’s a bit on the chubby side, but that only toughens up the image. A light, perfect field watch and a fit-and-forget perfect buddy for everyday wear. As a present for someone who is just learning to appreciate the wonderful world of horology, this sits on the verge of out-Seikoing Seiko. Price: $299 US 

Head to Part 2 right here.