What has your experience been like with mineral crystals?

It seems nowadays(and for good reason) Sapphire crystal on a watch has been the go to for it's excellent scratch resistant properties. I was doing my usual spiel of looking at watches I cannot afford and I came across this little charming watch, the (Takes a deep breath)"Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Mechanical In White".

I looked at some videos and some online discussions on it and one of the most brought-up points about the watch is that it has a mineral crystal. Some were accusing Hamilton of "cheaping out" by using a "lower" grade crystal, others said looking through mineral glass gives a "warmer" look to the dial.

I would be very interested to know your thoughts and opinions on it, plus owners of mineral-crystal dial watches - how have they held up? Are they horrifically scratched up?

Cheers

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I have the original black-dial version, and I must say that both sides of the argument are right. Mineral does scratch up far easier than sapphire. Mineral does look clearer than sapphire. 

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Now - here's my take on this. I adored this watch the moment I put it on. All my reservations about mineral crystal went out of the window. Fortunately, I have a lifestyle that means I don't put my watches in too much danger, and I have beater watches for the tough jobs. And if something unexpected happens, I can always get the crystal replaced at the next service. But luckily for me, I've kept mine pretty scratch-free so far. 

I've never been swayed by peoples' opinions about my choices. They're my choices. In the end, its up to you. 

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Haven't really had much issue with my Seiko and Citizen watches with mineral crystal scratching.

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I got a Timex Marlin with a gorgeous domed mineral crystal. It was given to me a few months ago and it gets some scratches for sure but polywatch gets them out. It has a great look to it that I can’t get over. I still prefer sapphire on most of my purchases but I guess I see value in a nice mineral crystal too. 

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My ~25 year old Casio chrono got dragged across a brick wall or something half a dozen years ago. I was not as informed as I am now (pro-tip: a friggin round crystal can be replaced pretty cheaply) so I tried, based on my experience with the wonders of acrylic, evening it out with fine grade sandpaper. This just made more scratches. The whole face is littered with fine lines. But it fits in with the beating visible on the rest of the watch and it's sufficiently legible. I wore it yesterday. 

Oh, I didn't notice any real marring in the first ~20 years. Then again, I'm not some anal-retentive type that expects items to nevert show wear. My two Hardlexy watches are only a few years old and AFAIK they are unscratched. Both have case wear, so they haven't been perfectly coddled

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My 45-year-old Seiko is now on its (I think) fourth crystal due to scratching and (mostly) cracks.  That seems to be a weakness of box crystals; they don’t tolerate edge hits well.

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I wore my save the ocean turtle daily for 3-4 years before I got more into watches and the crystal still looks brand new.

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I have many watches with mineral crystals and I've never really had an issue.  If it does get scratched and it bothers me, I have the crystal replaced when the watch gets serviced.

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I've scratched the mineral crystal on every watch that has it. 

I'm pretty sure the Hamilton has an acrylic crystal, which can be polished. Mineral crystal can't be polished when it scratches. 

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KristianG

I've scratched the mineral crystal on every watch that has it. 

I'm pretty sure the Hamilton has an acrylic crystal, which can be polished. Mineral crystal can't be polished when it scratches. 

The spec on Hamilton's website listed the crystal as mineral.

Link here: https://www.hamiltonwatch.com/en-int/h76419941-khaki-aviation-pioneer-mechanical.html

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Bill_Martin

The spec on Hamilton's website listed the crystal as mineral.

Link here: https://www.hamiltonwatch.com/en-int/h76419941-khaki-aviation-pioneer-mechanical.html

I'd avoid it. 

There is no excuse for a $800+ watch to have a cheap crystal. 

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While I always prefer sapphire, a wise man once told me a simple truth: Gshock uses mineral crystal. 
 

Food for thought. 

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It’s a nice to have, but not a deal breaker for an affordable watch. Once you get in to the upper echelon it should be sapphire.

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Donster_125

While I always prefer sapphire, a wise man once told me a simple truth: Gshock uses mineral crystal. 
 

Food for thought. 

Mineral crystal doesn't shatter, but it scratches. In a $60 G-Shock it's excusable, in a dressy retro pilot's watch its cutting corners. 

Hamilton should have gone acrylic if they wanted a "warm" look. 

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Seiko's proprietary Hardlex crystals seem to hold up pretty well. I have an older Samurai with one and it doesn't have a scratch on it. That watch has taken a fair number of knocks, too. There is a noticeable difference in the clarity of the crystal versus my other watches that have sapphire though. Personally, that's the main reason why I prefer sapphire these days.

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I think these watches should absolutely have sapphire. There's no real aesthetic or practical benefit to mineral crystal truly... and at that price point I do think it's a shame. Citizen and Bulova do this regularly with watches priced at 300-700, cheaps out on the movement 

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TalkingDugong

They're alright. Just take care of your watch and you'll be with your crystal for quite sometime. 

Mind you, as someone who bumps, dings and drags their watches everywhere on account of being clumsy I wish there's something that have the best qualities of sapphire and acrylic/mineral crystals. No scratch and no cracks ho! 

Gies and sobs in the corner

I'm basically "Captain Clumsy" :P it's a good thing the watches I have have sapphire crystals and brushed steel cases - It hides the abuse better!