This isn't the first time (or certainly the last) where the watch industry has gotten their hands on an exotic material or compound that was originally used for military or space travel purposes and placed them in watches. This is only the latest application of the trend. The question for you should be, is this a good idea? Does the addition of components such as carbon fiber, or exotic metals really give you any benefit? There is no good answer as it really depends on the instance. Sometimes a new look, or slightly lighter watch is the result. More important is the way the watch makes you feel - knowing that your precious timepiece has some seriously special materials in it that only exist elsewhere in high performance machines that you'll never get a chance to own or operate. Biwi
is a plastics, rubber, and strap maker in Switzerland (they might do more things as well). They will begin using a material known as Kalrez
to make watch straps. What is Kalrez? It is an elastomer, which is basically a fancy plastic with some remarkable qualities, and flexibility like rubber. Kalrez is owned by DuPont chemicals and was originally developed for much more important purposes in aircraft. It can flex like rubber, but is not nearly as prone to deterioration as rubber (which comes from a plant as opposed to being a by product of oil refining). Kalrez is also extremely resistant to heat and cold, and highly anti corrosive (resistant to a ton of chemicals and harsh elements). Most important to luxury watches, the stuff costs a lot, about 6000 Swiss Franc per kilo. These qualities together make it prime for use in luxury watches that today often use rubber, but want something a bit (or a lot more) fancy. These new Kalrez watch straps from Biwi are the answer.
Ariel Adams publishes the popular watch review site