Yes, it was just used as a coating and most often found on the bright parts before the widespread use of chrome. Nickel has a lovely warm tone and not as shiny as chrome, and seemed to be used until the second world war. I just bought one of those new CV Heliars (yes I know, I know) for my Leicas that is finished in Nickel to give that "retro" look. Must admit that like Titanium it has a very nice look.