Watch Basics

Elements on a Watch

This guide will be helpful when looking at watch specifications and being able to understand what part of the watch it is being referred to. There are several different parts on a watch and can get even more complicated depending on the watch.

This guide will be helpful when looking at watch specifications and being able to understand what part of the watch it is being referred to. There are several different parts on a watch and can get even more complicated depending on the watch.


This is the point in which the strap is placed in between. Knowing the width from lug to lug is used to know how wide the strap of the watch needs to be. As watches can vary in lug width meaning only that size of straps will fit for that watch.


This is the layer that surrounds the watch. These can come in a variety of different styles or even just plain. Some can be rotating dials which are often found in diving watches.


This is where usually it is either a date display indicator or a seconds display. It is inside the watch dial usually as a smaller different dial. As mentioned before, mostly used for secondary functions, such as a seconds display.


The crystal of the watch, is the glass that is on the watch face that protects everything inside. The crystal of the watch will often be described as plastic/acrylic, mineral and sapphire. Depending on the type of crystal is usually a good indicator of how scratch resistant it is. For more information about types of crystals and their pros and cons click here.


The dial is the face of the watch. These are often again up to the discretion of the manufacturer. It can be all shades of colours, to having certain textures present on the dial. This can change the look of the watch entirely and is often a key decision maker for a person buying a watch. The design of the dial will largely depend on the style of the watch, for more information about watch styles click here.


The case of the watch refers to the housing of the watch. The case of the watch can be any sort of material depending on the manufacturer. From plastic to stainless steel to gold or platinum. This is also usually a good indicator as to how the watch would feel on your wrist as well as the durability and look of the watch.


The crown of the watch is the small knob that is on the side of the watch. That can be either pulled out or screwed out, often used to set the time and depending on the watch also change the date.

For manual and automatic watches, the crown will also be used to wind the watch so that it can be powered. Usually done by unscrewing or pulling out the crown and then turning the crown clockwise.


This is usually referred to the hour and minute hands. As these can come in various different shapes and designs. The second hand if present on the watch will also have their own unique style.

Hour Marker/Watch Indices

Pretty much as the title suggests how the hours are indicated on the dial of the watch. It could be as simple as just a square block, to Roman numerals to Arabic numerals. Even could be diamonds placed instead of numbers, or even round circles. It really depends on the watch and what the manufacturer has decided to display on the watch.


This is what goes around your wrist to hold the watch in place. The strap or bracelet of the watch can be distinct to the watch such as the Jubilee bracelet for a Rolex. To just the more common straps being either stainless steel or leather straps. The straps are usually interchangeable and can be up to what the owner prefers. The only thing to note would be to notice how wide the lug width is so that you can purchase a strap that fits perfectly, this is usually indicated by millimetres. For more information about the major types of straps and bracelets click here.


This is the back of the watch, which usually will have information as to the model number, the type of crystal, how water-resistant the watch is and even model numbers. Or it could be as simple as just the logo of the manufacturer. The caseback of the watch can also have what is known as an exhibition window. This is where it will have a clear glass, most likely made of mineral or sapphire. Which allows the owner of the watch to see the movement of the watch.


The buckle of the watch can be as simple as a normal buckle, to a type of clasp. Leather straps usually come in a buckle, but it can also be changed to a deployant buckle. This makes the leather strap act more as a bracelet clasp. This is usually the preferred choice if the owner is trying not to crease and damage the leather of the watch.

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