Style Debate: The Black Ion Plated Watch

Style Debate:  The Black Ion Plated Watch
The Best Affordable Black Ion Plated Watches

First… what the hell does ion-plated mean anyway?  Turns out it’s a way to apply this easily recognizable finish to the metal of a stainless steel watch.  It’s supposed to wear better, be more durable, and give off that distinct “none more black” look.  From the oh so reliable wikipedia:

Ion plating is a physical vapor deposition (PVD) process that is sometimes called ion assisted deposition (IAD) or ion vapor deposition (IVD) and is a version of vacuum deposition.   Ion plating utilizes concurrent or periodic bombardment of the substrate and depositing film by atomic-sized energetic particles.

(Rubs eyes)… so basically elves come in with these magic particle guns and shoot a watch with beams of pure magic.  Sometimes they grab another device (looks a bit like a caulking gun) and shoot some more stuff on it.  And it ends up looking like the following watches.  But do they look good? More on that later.

Seiko SNN233 – $216.00 (reg. $278.00)

Would be at home on an aircraft instrument panel

Quartz and thus, at over $200, won’t satisfy the auto enthusiasts, but nails all the details.  Perfectly spaced links, flight dial details on the face, and has a case that pushes too big at almost 43mm.  Can be had for much cheaper via Amazon, but as of now it’s not fulfilled by Amazon or sold direct by them either.


Citizen AT0815-51E – $262.50

Where? The beef is here.

A little thick in the britches.  Just like the heavy kid in your 5th grade gym class.  Look at the pushers for crying out loud.  Quartz?  You bet.  But Eco-drive.  So it’ll never need a battery.  Just the sun.  Big as all get out 45mm with some nasty sharp hands.  Word is it has some shine to it and isn’t matte.


Seiko SNZJ67 – $174.45 (reg. $275ish)

As good as it gets for under $200

There’s not a damn thing wrong with the proportions, look, layout, or feel of this watch as it sits on your wrist.  Not necessarily ion plated, but the regular stainless versions look incredible.  Seiko 5 auto movement.


Golana AQ210-2 – $118.92

Rotatin bezel, inexpensive brand.

Golana appears to excel in making Swiss quartz (yes, quartz) affordable sport watches.  Nice digits on the face, thicker hands, and a coin edge bezel.  Just over $100 and sold direct by Amazon.


Torogen T10103 Brown Leather Strap – $149.00 ($265)

Ion plated case, leather for the strap.

Just because it’s ion plated doesn’t mean it has to have a stainless band.  Leather strap, flight instrument details, terrific brand.  Quartz but as tough as they come.  (Credit to zirnozz in the comments for finding the lower price)


Seiko SNZG57 World Time Watch – $159.03

Can tell you the time... in the middle of nowhere.

Nice blue accents.  The bezel is a world time function that lets you know what time it is in any given location… including… the Azores.  The AZORES.  The number of people who actually need to know what time it is on the Azores (who don’t live there) is probably far less than the total population of Sheboygan.  If you’re in the business of negotiating international treaties at locations that are beyond remote?  This is your watch apparently.


Citizen Canvas Strap BM8475 – $123.75

Powered by eco drive

The total wildcard.  Not a stainless or leather band, but instead canvas.  Deceptively large case.  Big fat hands.  Greenish dial.  A solid casual wear anywhere watch.

Your thoughts on the standard stainless-band black ion plated watch?  Too sporty?  Too rugged?  Just not versatile enough?  Or is it a genre that doesn’t get enough respect?  Leave it all in the comments below…