In order to understand how a watch is made, we need to know the components or parts that make up a watch. The actual names of these parts will allow you to identify them easier and this is especially useful when reading about watches or to participate in discussions about them. In this first part, we will give an overview as to what visible parts are the key elements of a watch.
- Case – The case of the watch is the protective material surrounding the internals of a watch. It is also required to hold together the dial and its respective components. Here, the shape, dimensions and size of the watch may reflect the type of watch it is. The case may be made of stainless steel, precious metals or even exotic materials. The case is attached to the band of the watch via its protruding lugs and spring bars.
- Dial – The dial is where all the time information is indicated on a watch. A dial is the most legible component of the watch and should present required time information to the owner in the most accurate way possible. Being the most visible also means that the dial is also mostly responsible for the outlook of the watch and its attractiveness.
- Crystal – this is the transparent protective cover for the dial and of course, has to be transparent. The crystal can be made using sapphire, mineral glass or plastic. Sometimes, the crystal has an anti-reflective coating to help reduce reflections and thus increase dial legibility.
- Hands – almost always a watch has three hands – one to indicate the current hour, one for the current minute and one for the running seconds. There may be other hands on the dial to indicate other information.
- Date window – this is also known as the date aperture. On watches that indicate the date, this is the window through which the current date (often in Arabic numerals) is shown.
- Crown – the crown is the part of the watch that allows for the watch to be adjusted. Often, the crown will enable one to adjust the time and also the date.
- Strap or bracelet – this is the band with which attaches the watch to your wrist. Here, a number of materials can be used to create this part. We have discussed this in a prior article. The strap also has a buckle or clasp that is often adjustable to allow the band to fit the wrist appropriately.
In the next part, we will discuss what the basic components that make up the movement (internals) of a watch are.
Credit: Picture from Laco