Meteorite, as a dial material, has been used on and off since the 1980s, by brands as varied as Corum and Rolex, but it’s probably never going to become an especially common dial material, as it is quite difficult to work with. Meteorite dials are derived from iron-nickel meteorites, which in turn were formed very early in the history of the solar system, as the molten cores of proto-planetary bodies (iron, like all heavy elements, originates in the cores of very massive stars as a result of the fusion of lighter elements, which occurs as such stars burn through hydrogen). Every such meteorite has a different internal structure, and the distinctive elongated internal iron crystals are visible when the meteorite is sectioned – these are called Widmanstätten patterns, after Count Alois von Beckh Widmanstätten, who described them in 1808. However, they’re also called Thomson patterns, as it was the English scientist William Thomson who first described them in meteorites, four years earlier.