The Ultimate Guide to Watch Case Materials: Stainless Steel vs. Surgical Steel vs. Hardened Steel

When it comes to choosing a watch, the material of the case plays a crucial role in its durability, appearance, and overall quality. At Söner Watches, we pride ourselves on using the finest materials to ensure our timepieces stand the test of time. In this blog post, we'll delve into the differences between stainless steel, surgical steel, and hardened steel, and explain why our watches feature cases hardened to an impressive 800 Vickers (HV).

Stainless Steel: The Classic Choice

Stainless steel is one of the most commonly used materials in watchmaking. It's favored for its corrosion resistance, strength, and relatively affordable cost. Stainless steel is an alloy composed mainly of iron, chromium, and nickel, which gives it its rust-resistant properties.

Pros of Stainless Steel:

  • Corrosion Resistant: Chromium in stainless steel prevents rust and tarnish.
  • Durable: It offers good resistance to impact and wear.
  • Affordable: Generally less expensive than other high-end materials.

Cons of Stainless Steel:

  • Scratches: While durable, stainless steel can still get scratched over time.
  • Weight: It can be heavier compared to other materials.

Surgical Steel: A Step Up in Durability

Surgical steel, also known as 316L stainless steel, is an upgraded version of standard stainless steel. It's specifically formulated for medical applications, making it highly biocompatible and resistant to body fluids and sweat, which makes it an excellent choice for watch cases.

Pros of Surgical Steel:

  • Hypoallergenic: Reduced risk of causing skin irritation.
  • Enhanced Corrosion Resistance: Better suited for harsh environments.
  • High Durability: More resistant to scratches and dings compared to standard stainless steel.

Cons of Surgical Steel:

  • Cost: Slightly more expensive due to its superior properties.
  • Weight: Similar in weight to standard stainless steel, still on the heavier side.

Hardened Steel: The Pinnacle of Durability

Hardened steel, specifically steel hardened to 800 Vickers (HV), represents the ultimate in watch case durability. The Vickers hardness test measures the material's resistance to deformation. An 800 HV rating indicates a high level of hardness, ensuring exceptional resistance to scratches and impacts.

Understanding the Vickers Hardness Calculation

The Vickers hardness test measures a material's resistance to indentation. Here's a brief overview of how it works:

  1. Indentation Process: A diamond indenter, shaped like a pyramid, is pressed into the material's surface under a specific load.

  2. Measurement: The size of the indentation left on the material is measured using a microscope.

  3. Calculation: The Vickers hardness value (HV) is calculated by dividing the load by the surface area of the indentation. The formula is:

    The Ultimate Guide to Watch Case Steel Materials


    • FF is the applied load (in kgf).
    • dd is the average length of the diagonals of the indentation (in mm).

This method provides a precise measure of the material's hardness, with higher HV values indicating greater resistance to deformation and scratches. For example, an 800 HV rating signifies exceptional hardness, making the material highly durable and scratch-resistant.

Pros of Hardened Steel:

  • Superior Hardness: The 800 HV rating means it is significantly harder than standard and surgical steel.
  • Exceptional Scratch Resistance: Minimizes the appearance of scratches over time.
  • Increased Longevity: Enhanced durability ensures the watch case maintains its pristine appearance for longer.

Cons of Hardened Steel:

  • Cost: The hardening process increases production costs, making it more expensive.
  • Complexity: Requires specialized manufacturing techniques.

The 800HV Steel Case: Built to Last

Our watches feature cases hardened to an impressive 800 Vickers (HV), providing unmatched durability and scratch resistance. This level of hardness is achieved through advanced heat treatment processes, ensuring that your watch remains as pristine as the day you first wore it, even under the rigors of daily wear.

By choosing a watch with an 800HV hardened steel case, you're investing in a timepiece that not only looks stunning but also stands up to the challenges of everyday life. This makes our watches not just an accessory, but a long-lasting companion.


When it comes to selecting a watch, understanding the materials used in its construction is crucial. Stainless steel offers a reliable and affordable option, while surgical steel provides enhanced durability and hypoallergenic properties. However, for those seeking the ultimate in durability and scratch resistance, our 800HV hardened steel cases represent the pinnacle of watchmaking excellence.

Explore our collection today and experience the superior quality and craftsmanship of Söner Watches. Whether you're looking for a watch that can withstand the rigors of daily wear or a statement piece that exudes elegance and sophistication, we have the perfect timepiece for you.