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Anatomy of a watch

September 20, 2021 3 min read

Anatomy of a watch

The watch is one of the most practical, iconic and special pieces invented by men. Understanding the anatomy of a watch will give you awareness on the purpose of its parts, and allow you to find the specific model that meets your needs.

A watch by pieces

A watch is composed of 4 basic pieces: strap, case, face and crown.

parts

STRAP

The strap secures the watch to the wrist. Brands, in all their creativity, go beyond this mere necessity, and put more value into its design and endurance. There are straps for all tastes and needs, made of the most diverse materials, going from the simplest - such as plastic, rubber, velcro or nylon -, to those more resistant and complex - such as carbonox, titanium and stainless steel.

Straps are interchangeable, therefore almost any watch can be customized to your own style. Learn how to change the strap of your watch on our blog post.

Metallic straps can also be modified for comfort. Read our post on: How to adjust your watch band.

straps


CASE

The case keeps and protects all the internal movement of the watch. It is designed with resistant materials to provide safety and stability. The most common materials include: aluminium, bronze and precious metals; other more exotic are carbonox, PVD, titanium, diamond and fiberglass. The size, or more specifically, the height of the case depends on the type of movement, being quartz or automatic watches. Some watches have the back case covered in sapphire glass, making it possible to see the interior.

Briston Clubmaster Sport

Briston Clubmaster Sport has a square case


FACE

The face is the top part of the watch. Inside we can find the hands, the indexes and time functions. The design of it tends to be traditional, but some brands adventure towards original designs, with a variety of colors and even including the hands into the design.

Junghans Meister S Chronoscope

Junghans Meister S Chronoscope presents an original design


CROWN

The crown is responsible for adjusting the watch, its movement activates the internal gears, allowing it to adjust the time, date and wind up the watch. In some models you can find other buttons next to the crown. It is important to remember that there is only one crown which can be rotated with the thumb and index fingers. The rest are buttons with various functionalities, such as chronograph, depth and pressure measurement. These are actuated, not rotated.

Citizen Radio Controlled

Citizen Radio Controlled crown detail

 

MORE PARTS, MORE FUNCTIONS

Not all watches are the same and “extra” functions that have been added over the years have resulted in particular models.

Citizen, Ingersoll, Iron Annie

Citizen Radio Controlled, Ingersoll Jazz and Iron Annie Bauhaus


Bezel

The bezel is the numbered ring that holds the crystal of a watch to its case. It can be fixed or rotate, the latter being bidirectional (which rotates in two directions) or unidirectional (which rotates only clockwise). The bezel has diverse functions, but the primary one is to serve as a counter, to measure up to 60 minutes. Uni-directional bezels are often found on Diver watches and used to measure the time of oxygen available in the tank.


Citizen OF

Citizen OF bezel detail



Calendar

The calendar shows the date and often the day of the week and month. The date is set by winding the crown. Some watches include a "perpetual calendar", which means they update automatically on the last day of the month. There are also radio-controlled clocks, which are automatically synchronized through a signal emitted from a transmitting antenna, which consequently leads to the date being updated.

Citizen OF

Citizen OF with calendar feature


Measurment

Some models have measurements of the most diverse types, such as distance, pressure and depth, some even have a tachymeter or tachymeter scale on the face that measures the speed at which a vehicle or object is moving.

Junghans 1972 Solar Chronoscope

Junghans 1972 Solar Chronoscope with tachymeter


Watches have become tools, and keep evolving everyday. More functions, such as moon phase tracker, GMT or power reserve are created everyday and watchmakers never stop. That is why finding a perfect watch that suits should always be a possibility.

 


If you would like more information or assistance for completing your purchase, contact us or visit our store in Madrid, at Núñez de Balboa 90.
It would be a pleasure to assist you.


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