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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Oh, the sweet torment of research... :biggrin:

Some of you have seen me falling head over heals the Zenith Elite Ultra Thin in another forum...

Well, in the permanent quest of perfection [just another way of saying "still do not have the cash to spend, so I'm trying to keep me sane"], I have started investigating alternatives, like the oh-so-awesome-looking NOMOS Zurich.

One thing I notice on the website is that the movement is listed as "Movement: ε (epsilon)—manufactory caliber with automatic movement, black gold". I did some reading on Wikipedia to find out that this is a 75% gold alloy with 25% of something else (depending on color variation).

I am posting to hear your thoughts on some of these questions:

- Is black gold alloy tough enough to last decades (pass onto next generation)?

- If price of the Zenith and the Nomos were equal: which one would you pick? Why?

- If you had to pick a dress watch and you had the choice - with or without date?

Thanks for your feedback :thumbup:








 

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A situation I find myself in too.

I'm really interested in the Zenith Class Elite, and the Nomos Tangomat.

Zenith is easier to obtain, but I think Nomos might be my preference. I don't want someone to say "oh yeah, I have a Zenith TV" when they look at my watch, and I think Nomos is a little less known, and is such a sleek design.

I love them both and will love to see when you get one!
 

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- Is black gold alloy tough enough to last decades (pass onto next generation)?
- If price of the Zenith and the Nomos were equal: which one would you pick? Why?
- If you had to pick a dress watch and you had the choice - with or without date?
1)If I'm understanding Wiki properly, that alloy is only a surface treatment or coating, and would not alter the integrity of the metal underneath.

2)Zenith.
*They have a richer history.
*They have the El Primero movement which I worship (it was used for years in the Rolex Cosmograph until Rolex FINALLY developed and made its own).
*NOMOS's designs are a little too minimalistic for my personal taste.

3)The date feature is unnecessary for me. I have too hard a time trying to read those tiny little numerals. If they were bigger, like with A. Lange & Sohne, that would be different.
*I might go without one anyway. It's odd, but I do not yet own a post-1980s watch without the date feature ( my Masonic watch is late 70s).
 

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I prefer the thinness of the Zenith for a dress watch. I also like the subdial at 9:00. I do like the Tangomat series from Nomos quite a bit though and would like the Datum model as a casual watch. Balanced dial presentations are very important to me so if there has to be a date window I'd like it at 6 or 12. This seems to be more symmetrical with a subdial at 6:00.
 

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I like the zen quality of the Nomos, but I think they are only 35mm. That is too small I think. I'd like to see the sizes of these watches and look at the cases in real life. Putting them on is really the only final test.
 

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Keep in mind that all 18K gold is 75% gold by weight, whether it be yellow, pink, white, black, green, whatever. That has nothing to do with its durability. A pure gold watch would be incredibly soft and not durable.

As was pointed out, there are several ways to make black gold but they typically involve the production of a surface layer by oxidation or deposition. It's unclear to me how durable this surface would be and it likely depends on the manner in which the black colour is achieved.
 

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...how durable this surface would be and it likely depends on the manner in which the black colour is achieved.
How it's applied is just as important. I used to work with chemical vapor deposition coaters in the Thin Films Technology Division of Bausch & Lomb and I can tell you first-hand that film can be incredibly thin (remember mirrored Ray Bans?). You could rub off a coating of aluminum with a pencil eraser or fingernail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I received in the mail the paper catalogue which holds a little more info. It reads that the movement is "black gold-plated" :huh:

The way I read it - 1) not solid gold but plated and 2) the plating is black. Does this make any sense? :confused1:
 

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Purely as a descriptor for "black gold movement", yes it makes perfect sense.

What I'm having a hard time with is WHY Zenith (or anybody else for that matter) would use plating on a movement. Surely it can't be a superfluous sales gimmick!
 

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What I'm having a hard time with is WHY Zenith (or anybody else for that matter) would use plating on a movement. Surely it can't be a superfluous sales gimmick!
Many companies coat the bridges & plates of their movements for decoration and prevention of corrosion. Rhodium and gold are the most common metals applied, but even copper has been used (Omega).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Purely as a descriptor for "black gold movement", yes it makes perfect sense.

What I'm having a hard time with is WHY Zenith (or anybody else for that matter) would use plating on a movement. Surely it can't be a superfluous sales gimmick!
It is not Zenith - it was NOMOS who do this black gold plating... :huh:
 

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Many companies coat the bridges & plates of their movements for decoration and prevention of corrosion. Rhodium and gold are the most common metals applied, but even copper has been used (Omega).
I sit corrected. :blush:
For some reason, I forgot about bridges and was only thinking of parts with metal-to-metal contact.

My bad!
 
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