Tantalum

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Hublot Big Bang "Ice Bang" with bezel, numerals and indexes in tantalum
© Hublot
Seamaster Professional Chrono Diver by Omega with tantalum/rose gold/titanium case and strap
© Omega

Tantalum is a material.

The properties of Tantalum

The precious heavy metal tantalum is a chemical element and belongs to the so-called vanadium group. It was discovered in 1802 in Sweden by Anders Gustav Ekeberg. The name comes from the Greek mythology: Tantalus was the son of Zeus and father of Niobe.

Tantalum shines silver with intense blue cast. Its occurrence is even rarer than that of gold. It is sturdy, corrosion-resistant and completely hypoallergenic. Therefore, it is often used in medicine, for example, for surgical implants and in laboratory instruments. The main part of the annual world production volume of 1,400 t is used for very small capacitors with high capacity, such as those occuring in mobile phones, and also with lenses of cameras.

Tantalum in the watch area

Early uses in the watch area are: the luxury version of the Omega Seamaster Professional Chrono Diver of the 1990s with its combination of tantalum/rose gold/titanium, or the model 1910 Tantalum by Hublot in 2003.

Like platinum also tantalum is extremely difficult to work with because it is hard and has a very high melting point (3017°C). When processing large quantities of junk are produced that can not be reused. The milling tools can rarely be used more than once; the splinters can be removed only with difficulty.

2006 the material enters with generous presence at the model Big Bang "Ice Bang" by Hublot, whose name refers to the characteristic appearance of this metal. Then in 2007 Hublot with the Big Bang Tantalum Mat has dedicated a whole watch to this rare material.