From being able to ask your jeweller for help with a watch repair or troubleshooting a problem, it’s always handy to know what the names are of the different parts of a watch.
In this blog post, we give you a whistle-stop tour of the parts of a watch, starting with the case.
Parts Of A Watch
We start with the case as it is the outer part of the watch, the housing if you like, which contains the movement, glass, dial, and hands, etc.
Often made in metal such as stainless steel or sometimes gold, it can also be made in plastic or even ceramic.
The bezel is the outer ring which surrounds the glass of your watch. It is sometimes functional and rotates (like on a diver’s watch) but normally it’s decorative. Sometimes it has markers on.
Depending on the watch and materials used, bezels are often made of stainless steel or ceramic.
When the bezel is functional, for instance on a diver’s watch, it rotates so that a diver can see the time elapsed from a point, for instance, when entering the water. This is obviously of prime importance for a diver.
You can read about how a functional bezel works in our blog here.
The Crystal Or Glass
This is the clear ‘front‘ of the watch through which you read the time. They are made of plastic, glass or sapphire crystal. Sapphire crystal is the best and is strongest and scratch-resistant although glass is more than adequate and used in most watches.
The Crown is the button, normally at the 3 o’clock position.
Underneath lies the stem which, when turned, changes by way of cogs inside the movement, the position of the hands and often the date and chronograph windows.
You can pull the crown out to stop the watch running, which will save the battery draining – although don’t leave a battery in your watch for too long (ie years) as it may leak.
Most watches have a push-pull crown although some water resistant and dive watches often have a screw-down crown to ensure tight-fitting to prevent moisture getting into the movement of the watch.
The dial, on which the hands are attached, can be plain, patterned or coloured.
A day and/or a date window (also called an aperture) may be cut into the dial. Sometimes chronograph sub-dials are also placed on the dial, with tiny hands to show the function they are displaying.
The patterning on a dial can produce some fantastic effects, and many patterns were traditionally hand-engraved including a SunRay or SunBurst dial.
Beautiful materials include Mother of Pearl which gives a very elegant look.
The indices on the watch dial are the numbers or markers showing the hour, from 1 to 12 o’clock position. Often displayed by an Arabic number or of a Roman numeral design. Sometimes there are batons, instead of numbers.
Every hour may be marked, or just the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock numbers.
Sub Dials, also called auxiliary dials, are small round dials set on the dial of the watch and show either days of the month (1-31); a 24-hour clock; days of the week; seconds or a stopwatch.
The hands are the pointers which mark the time and come in a number of styles. There is an hour hand, a minute hand and sometimes a hand for the seconds.
The lugs are the part of the watch at the top and bottom of the case in which the strap sits and attaches to the case. Sometimes the lugs are called horns.
The pusher or pushers is a button (or buttons), at one o’clock or four o’clock, either side of the crown, and sometimes additionally at eight o’clock and ten o’clock. When pressed these buttons control or reset another function of the watch, for instance, the stopwatch, if it has one.
Bracelet or Strap
Straps are leather or synthetic and fasten with a buckle. The strap or bracelet sits between the lugs. Extra-long leather straps are available if you have big wrists. A bracelet is a metal-linked, usually made in stainless steel, or ceramic-linked strap.
If the bracelet is too large, links can be removed by your local jewellery and extra links (if available) can be inserted.