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  • Writer's pictureGWSC Team

Basic Parts of A Watch You Should Know

It’s back to basics with this article. Test your own knowledge as we take you through the fundamentals you need to know – for when you want to fix a specific part of your watch or just jazz it up.

1. Case

An outer covering to the watch. The case consists the middle, back and crystal. Commonly made out of steel, this part of the watch can also be made of other materials such as plastic, ceramic, titanium or gold – for the more luxurious watches.

2. Bezel

The rim or ring, around the crystal, on the front of the watch. Encompassing the crystal of the watch, this rim may come in different colors and designs, such as being decorated with dazzling diamonds. It can be "fixed" as part of the case or can be a turning bezel found usually in sporty or dive watches.

3. Crystal

Held in place by the bezel, the crystal which most people refer to as glass, can be made of either sapphire crystal (scratch proof), hard mineral crystal (resistant to scratches) or plexiglass (processed plastic material) The crystal protects the front and dial of the watch. It can be flat or domed, and shape in round, square, cushion etc., according to the design of the watch.

4. Dial

The dial is a disc or plate, usually made of brass, that displays the time of a watch. For an analog watch, the dial refers to the hour markers and hands. As for a digital watch, it refers to the numeric display of time.

5. Index

Indices are markings on the dial that indicate time. Indices can be printed on the dial (flushed with the surface) or applied (raised from the dial and attached individually).

6. Subdial/Chrono-counter

These are smaller displays on the dial that show additional information including the seconds, day, date, month or a chronograph.

7. Crown Usually found at the 3 o’clock position at the side of a watch case, the crown is the command centre of the watch that allows control over the various functions of the watch. It is commonly used to set the time and wind the mainspring of mechanical watches. 8. Chronopusher Like the crown, the pushers are usually found on the side of the watch case. While the crown controls main functions, the pushers are for more advanced adjustments such as starting and stopping time in a chronograph.

9. Hands

The hands of the watch (hour, minute and second) indicate time by pointing at the hour markers (the numeric labels on the watch face, usually 1 to 12).

10. Lugs

The lugs are small metal pieces that extend outwards of the watch case which help attach the watch case to the bracelet/strap. Some watches are designed with no visible lugs, also known as hidden lugs.

11. Bracelet

The metal band used to secure a watch to the wrist is known as bracelet. It is usually made of steel, gold, platinum, titanium or a combination of these metals. A bracelet is also typically fastened by a folding clasp or a deployant buckle.

12. Link

A bracelet is made up of links that can be removed to adjust the fit to the wrist.

Another term to familiarise yourself with is, movement. The movement of a watch refers to its engine. It is the powerhouse that drives a watch’s timekeeping function. Without the movement, a watch would not be able to function.

Equipped with the basic knowledge on watch parts, hopefully you are more assured in letting your service centre know what repairs you need for your watch or which watch parts you wish to enhance. At the very least, this knowledge will make you look more well-versed in conversations with other watch enthusiasts.

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