Though the use of titanium in wristwatches dates as far back as 1970 — its use in the Citizen X8 is considered the first — it seems as though the material hasn’t really made strides in the industry until recently. It’s a wonder why it took so long because, in almost all respects, the material is superior to stainless steel — the industry standard. Titanium’s strength-to-weight ratio is nearly double that of stainless steel, the reason why it’s been a stalwart in aerospace engineering for decades. This means titanium watches are a fraction of the weight of a comparable stainless steel watch while remaining as strong, if not stronger. Titanium is also anti-magnetic and exceptionally heat-resistant.

Most importantly, though, is the fact that titanium is virtually impervious to corrosion. This means, that it’s hypoallergenic. In the presence of oxygen, titanium develops a thin oxide film that prevents it from interacting with its surroundings (in this case, your skin). Many stainless steels, on the other hand, contain nickel, which is a deceptively common allergen; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 10 to 20 percent of the population can have reactions. This is the reason why titanium is the metal of choice for medical implants and why many jewelers offer titanium jewelry as an alternative to folks who might react to the residual nickel in silver or gold.

If there is a downside to titanium, it’s that it has more of a tendency to scratch, though most watchmakers use surface-hardening techniques and coatings to keep them from sustaining damage. In the end, the overwhelming upsides are worth it because the result is so damn comfortable, so much so that you can often forget you’re wearing a watch. That’s reason enough to have titanium in your collection, and these ten examples, in particular, are especially worth seeking out.

Bertucci A-2T Lithium

A quality watch at under $1200 isn’t that rare of a find, but one featuring a case made from titanium is. Additionally, this Bertucci has a Japanese-made quartz movement running a lithium battery, which the brand says is good for a 10-year life. A thick leather strap is a nice touch, and the dial has plenty of lume for legibility, which makes it particularly perfect for outdoor excursions.

Movement: Quartz
Case diameter: 40mm
Water resistance: 100m

Citizen Promaster Diver Titanium

The Citizen Promaster Diver is one of our favorite beater watches because it’s so practical and well-rounded. It’s water-resistant to 200 meters, has a classic dive watch design and, thanks to solar-charging, never needs a battery replacement. Adding lighter and more-resilient titanium to the mix almost makes too much sense.

Movement: Citizen Eco-Drive quartz
Case diameter: 44mm
Water resistance: 200m

Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto

Hamilton’s Khaki field watch line comes in a bevy of variations, but the titanium variant is undoubtedly a fan favorite. In addition to its titanium construction, Hamilton added a black PVD coating to the case, aiding in scratch resistance.

Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic
Case diameter: 42mm
cWater resistance: 100m

Seiko Presage SARX055

Though titanium seems reserved for tough field watches and divers, this beautiful Grand Seiko-esque dress watch wears the material fabulously. That’s thanks to a sharp, well-defined case design and an incredible dial, finished with small, imperfect engravings that give it the look of freshly-fallen snow or a crisp sheet of washi paper.

Movement: Seiko 6R15 automatic
Case diameter: 40.8mm
Water resistance: 100m

Stowa Aviator GMT

At well under $2,000 for a mechanical GMT, this Stowa is already a solid value for the money, but the addition of a burly titanium case is icing on the cake. And while this travel-ready timepiece is ostensibly billed as pilot’s watch, it’s good for a 200-meter swim, putting it firmly in dive-watch territory.

Movement: ETA 07.171 automatic
Case diameter: 45mm
Water resistance: 200m

Sinn T2 B

Do you need a watch that’s pressure-tested to 2,000 meters, or operable in temperatures ranging from -49 degrees to 176 drees Fahrenheit? Probably not, but it’s nice to know that the Sinn T2 is up for the challenge. With a 41mm cushion case manufactured by Sinn in-house from grade 5 titanium (a titanium alloy that’s significantly stronger than pure titanium), and featuring a locking and rotating bezel, it has to be one of the most over-engineered timepieces on this list.

Movement: ETA 2892-A2 automatic
Case diameter: 41mm
Water resistance: 2,000 meters

IWC Mark XVIII Heritage Titanium

The standard Mark XVIII — with its legible dial design, 40mm case and robust construction — is a perennial favorite at Gear Patrol, so it stands to reason a titanium iteration is also deserving of our love. The biggest departure, obviously, is the case but the dial now has a healthy smattering of beige-colored lume, which doubles down on the vintage-inspired aesthetic.

Movement: IWC 35111 automatic (Sellita SW300 base)
Case diameter: 40mm
case size: 60m

Tudor Pelagos

Though the titanium case (good for a 500-meter depth rating), blue dial and ceramic bezel are handsome, it’s the movement inside that makes Tudor’s titanium timpiece a standout. Inside the Pelagos ticks away an in-house automatic movement that meets the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute’s (COSC) stringent accuracy tests.

Movement: Tudor MT5612 automatic
Case diameter: 42mm
Water resistance: 500m

Zenith Defy Classic

The Defy Classic is the entry-level piece to Zenith’s geeky, tech-focused Defy Line. While the Classic lacks some of the high-beat wizardries of its costlier brethren, it makes up for it with a sleek, integrated case-and-bracelet design crafted entirely from titanium. The fact that it runs an in-house movement with a silicon escapement also helps.

Movement: Zenith Elite 670 SK automatic
Case diameter: At vero eos et accus
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Ressence Type 1

A high-tech material like Titanium Grade 5 is a very fitting choice for such a forward-thinking timepiece like the Ressence Type 1. It features a mechanical movement moving a set of orbiting discs that make up the dial, tracking seconds, minutes, hours and days of the week.

Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic base with Ressence ROCS 1 module
Case diameter: 42mm
Water resistance: 10m
The 25 Best Chrongoraphs You Can Buy in 2018

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This comprehensive guide to chronographs the covers history, important terms to know, and the 25 best chronographs you can buy in 2018. Read the Story

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