When it comes to 904L stainless steel, the first thing that comes to mind is Rolex. Because in the industry, Rolex is the only company that uses 904L stainless steel for all steel models. Therefore, 904L stainless steel is also called "Rolex Steel." Come and bring everyone together today to explore Rolex's magical 904L stainless steel. There are too many rolex replicas on the market. Most of the materials are made of alloy materials, and some are made of stainless steel. However, the material used in the 904L is very small.
First, what is 904L stainless steel, what is special ?
Before we talk, let's first talk about ASTM.
ASTM is one of the oldest and largest non-profit standard academic teams in the United States, formerly known as the International Society for Testing and Materials (IATM). The agency's main tasks are to develop characteristics and performance standards, test methods and procedural standards in the fields of materials, products, systems, and services to promote the development and diffusion of relevant knowledge.
Stainless steel grades such as 304L, 316L, and 904L are developed by the ASTM Association and are currently the most versatile in the world.
Closer to home, the current use of 316L stainless steel is commonly used in the watch industry. 316L stainless steel, commonly known as "medical steel", is not only used for making cases,
but also for wearing close-fitting jewelry and medical scalpels due to its hypoallergenic properties. The 904L stainless steel is based on 316L stainless steel. In terms of composition, 904L stainless steel has 1.6 times more content of chromium, nickel and molybdenum than 316L stainless steel, while 904L stainless steel has more copper content. The result is that 904L stainless steel is more wear resistant, more corrosion resistant and heavier. However, there is not much difference in hardness. (The strength is almost 490MPa), so the statement that 904L stainless steel is stronger than 316L stainless steel is completely nonsense.
Second, why only Rolex completely uses 904L stainless steel ?
From the last century, Rolex has clearly defined the positioning of the product: high precision, solid and practical. 904L stainless steel is stronger than 316L stainless steel in corrosion resistance and wear resistance. The use of 904L stainless steel is fully in line with Rolex product positioning.
The cost of forging and processing 904L stainless steel is much more expensive than the cost of 316L stainless steel. The average brand doesn't have that much money even if it wants to use 904L stainless steel.
For a luxury watch with an annual output of nearly one million, it is not difficult to open several such alloy forging plants.
In order to guarantee the quality of the watch material, Rolex also has a factory specializing in the production of alloys for the watch case chain in Plane-Uuute, Switzerland. This manufacturing facility consists of a main building connected to six sub-buildings and is the largest manufacturer of Rolex.