DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) and PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coatings are quickly becoming a highly sought-after and rare customization on Rolex watches. Let's take a look what all of these abbreviations mean and why we want these blacked out watches so badly.
A diamond is one of the hardest known materials. This hardness is due to the arrangement carbon atoms in the diamonds crystal structure. Carbon based coatings, aka DLC Coatings, combine the properties of the diamond and graphite carbon with other materials through a physical vapor deposition process onto the stainless steel of the luxury watch. These DLC coatings can have Hardness Levels (HV) as high as 2500-3500HV. Also, the carbon in the coating creates the black / dark grey color which it's so famous for.
Physical vapor deposition, or PVD, is the process for applying non carbon based coatings onto the metal of the watch. These PVD coatings contain other materials and elements which also can have high hardness but don't quite reach the hardness levels of a carbon based DLC coatings. The process essentially deposits a thin layer of film onto the metal, usually 2 to 4 microns thick (similar to the DLC coating as well).
After the coatings are complete and deposited onto the Rolex, you are left with a beautiful layer of deep black / grey color which adds extra protection through added hardness. This layer is not going to protect your watch against high impacts. It adds to the scratch resistance of your timepiece and creates a rare impressive looking custom luxury experience.