Watches On The Outside


There are many details and terms about wristwatches you’ll want to be familiar with whether you are selecting a timepiece for yourself or as a gift.

Watch Case – The case houses the mechanism and integral movement inside a timepiece along with the watch dial above it. Cases come in many sizes and shapes from petite and slender to bold and oversized…round, oval, square, rectangular and Tonneau. Stainless steel, ceramic, titanium, 14K and 18K gold are among the popular material choices for watch cases.

Strap/Bracelet – the strap or bracelet secure the case to the wrist and comfortably fit around the wrist. Straps come in a variety of materials from leather, rubber and silicone to canvas. Bracelets are crafted in materials ranging from stainless steel, titanium and ceramic to 14K and 18K gold. Many bracelets feature multiple links which can be adjusted to fits contours of the wrists. Others are woven mesh designs.            

Lugs – The lugs are the portion of a case usually located  at the top and bottom sides that attach the case either to the bracelet or strap. 

Crystal – The watch crystal is the clear protective glass above the dial that lets you precisely see the hands, hour markers and other watch functions. The crystal also safeguards the dial from water entering the case. Watch crystals range from standard mineral to scratch-resistant Sapphire and Sapphitek models, many of which may also be glare-resistant.

Bezel – The bezel on a watch is the round shaped ring, square or rectangular shaped foundation surrounding the dial. Bezels are usually crafted in material similar to the case and bracelet. Many watch bezels are stationary. Others have unidirectional or bidirectional rotating functions. Bezels on dress and fashion watches feature sparkling inlaid diamond, gemstone or crystal accents.

Dial – The dial or face of a watch displays the time. Traditional analog dials feature two hands and hour marker indices. Many analog models also have a sweeping second hand function. More modern designs feature just two hands, no second hand movement and limited or no hour indicators. Date window apertures are featured on many dials. Some dials have skeleton windows or backgrounds that let you see the movement inside. Digital dials feature LED indicators of the time. Many offer other functions including day, date, elapsed time and world time indicators.

Subdial – The subdial is an independent window on the dial of a watch. Many analog watches have small-second subdials. Chronograph and multi-function dials have subdial windows featuring elapsed time second, minute, hour functions to date and month indicators. 

Crown – The crown is usually positioned on either the left or right side of the case. It serves to adjust the time on a watch as well as the date functions. The crown on a mechanical timepiece requires winding almost on a daily basis to keep the watch running smoothly. Locking and screw-down crowns protect the interior of the watch from allowing water to enter through the case.

Push-Pieces – Push-Pieces are located adjacent to the watch crown and are usually positioned on each side of the crown. They serve to stop, start or adjust the secondary time functions on a chronograph or multi-function watch.

Tachymeter – A tachymeter is presented on a stationary bezel ring or the outside exterior of a watch dial. It serves to measure distance based on speed and is featured on many racing inspired timepieces. 

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