SS304L and SS316L are very much similar in appearance. They both are austenitic, non-magnetic and non-harden-able by heat treatment. Their content is different.
· SS304 —→ Chromium - 18%, Nickel 8%
· SS316 —→ Chromium - 16%, Nickel 10% and Molybdenum 2%
Added Molybdenum in SS316 helps in corrosion resistance to chlorides such as sea water and de-icing salts. So 316L is more used for waterproof dive watches or higher end watches which can offer better salty-resistance and corrosion resistance.
Besides, SS316L is more expensive than SS304L wristwatches.
Some luxurious branded watches even use 904L stainless steel which is an updated grade compared to 316L stainless steel regarding to extra Chromium, Molybdenum, Nickel, and Copper which gives it improved resistance to acids.
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