How tough is enough?
This is Oystersteel, a high performance steel of grade 904L, produced for Rolex since 1985. A stainless alloy which, once polished, will retain its brilliance and beauty in all circumstances. Among 3,500 industrial grades, only it was worthy of our standards.
Rich in chromium and molybdenum, it is extremely resistant to impact and corrosion. Yet, at this stage, it is still not tough enough for us. Hence why we inspect it on a microscopic scale, from the shaping throughout the priming processes, so as to control and refine its microstructure prior to machining it. Improving the mechanical properties of the alloy along the way. Finally, we reveal its unique shine thanks to the know-how of our polishers. Only then can one call it “Oystersteel”. That being said, its greatest test is not our minute analysis of its structure, nor its polishing. The true challenge is the one which awaits it out in the world, facing the vagaries of everyday life as much as those of the most extreme conditions nature can muster.