For makers of luxury watches, steel was, historically, a bit of a sideline. When I first began traveling to Switzerland and visiting watch factories many years ago, I remember one industry lifer saying to me, “You know, when I was a kid, if someone was being driven in a limousine, the guy in the back was wearing gold, and it was a Patek, and the guy in the front was wearing steel, and it was a Rolex.” Steel was very occasionally used by top-tier haute horlogerie firms such as Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron Constantin, but it was unusual. These firms made fine watches designed for wealthy clients who wanted a Swiss watch that expressed all the conservative values of high-end Swiss watchmaking. As a rule, this meant gold, gold, platinum, and more gold. Steel was a utilitarian material – appreciated for its technical qualities but certainly not loved for its intrinsic beauty, and generally, it was considered beneath the dignity of a fine watchmaking house to clothe its timepieces in it.