This article was contributed by Marco at Matt Baily, a Canadian watch retailer. My thanks to him. See the article below:
Perhaps your collection has reached its threshold but you still want to add to it, or maybe you want to find a watch that is unique without having to participate in the Only Watch auction this month. A solution to both these dilemmas is becoming more and more popular. Using one of several processes, you can change the color of your favorite watches to create brand new styles.
Although many treatments and colors are available, PVD is most often used to blacken watches. Physical vapor deposit (PVD) applies a thin layer of metallic particles to the watch surface to achieve the color change. Because the particles are so evenly distributed, the finish of your timepiece remains the same as before the process. In the past few years we noticed a few small companies emerging, who did nothing but blacken Rolex watches and resell them. We even spotted John Meyer wearing a PVDed GMT Master II on the cover of Guitar Magazine. This inspired us to offer this service to our clients and the results have been fantastic.
The reasons why people want to blacken their watches varies, but it usually comes down to being able to have a unique watch. People with large collections often alter watches that they have stopped wearing to revitalize them and bring back the joy of wearing them. Others envision what some of the watches we have in stock would look like in black and purchase them for that reason. Watches who's styles have faded into the fashion archives can be modernized with the treatment.
The demand is high enough that we had some of our stock PVDed. Brands have also realized the potential. More and more brands are offering color-coated watches in their line. However common the practice has become, it is always the watches least expected to profit from the PVD treatment that look the best. Some of the most stunning pieces that I witnessed were elegant and even made of gold or platinum.
Three models that we blackened are pictured here. One is a Bell & Ross Geneva 126 that shows how an elegant watch can also benefit from the PVD process. The Girard-Perregaux for Ferrari is an older model that had become less desirable because of its size and a higher demand for the Ferrari watches made by Panerai. The blackening process really revitalized the watch. The yellow and red elements on the dial stand out against the black case and bracelet. Corum's Admiral's Cup Competition 48 shows that other materials including titanium, gold, and platinum can also be PVD coated.
By Marco Gagliano who runs the Baily Blog on MattBaily.ca
[Ed. note] giving a watch a black color is very popular these days and a PVD application is a high quality way of doing so. It can be done to an existing watch, and can radically change the look without damaging it. Plus, PVD is hard to wear or damage off.