In this KeepTheTime Quickie, we’re examining a meteorite dial watch. This beautiful slab of Gibeon Meteorite was on the dial of an Invicta diver. Say what you will about Invicta, but a PVD diver with a Sellita caliber SW200 Swiss automatic movement and a dial like this deserves a nod from even the snobiest of collectors!
At a wrist’s length away, a meteorite dial may come across as plain silver, but this video takes a macro look at what happens when you get up close with the sunlight hitting it.
The Gibeon meteorite collided with the earth in prehistoric times in Namibia, a country in Southern Africa. Pieces of the meteor were found within an area spanning 171 miles. The Nama people of that region used the material to make tools and weapons.
The pattern on the material is known as Widmanstätten pattern or Thomson structures. It is created by long nickel-iron crystals that took several million years to form. In order to reveal this pattern on a meteorite dial, the slice is cleaned and polished, then bathed in a solution of nitric acid or ferric chloride. Afterwards, the acid is neutralized and a light coat of oil is applied to help prevent corrosion.
Each pattern is different, allowing for a completely unique dial on every watch.
The watch shown here is an Invicta Ghost Diver, but other watch brands are known for using Gibeon meteorite dials. Most notable is Rolex, as well as Omega, Jaeger-LeCoutre, Romain Jerome, Corum, Bovet, etc. If you know of another brand that uses this material, please list it in the comments below.