Your Watch Is Like a Car
There are lots of comparisons between cars and watches, but in identifying the basic parts of your watch I’d personally like to compare it to a car. Not just any car, it will have to be a coupe (just two doors) with the doors similar to the band of your watch and when you consider the smoothness and elegant way certain straps open, especially those with butterfly deployment clasps, those doors just have to be Lamborghini doors.
Just as all coupes come with 2 doors, watches have two straps, a 6 o’clock strap and a shorter 12o’clock strap. The case of the watch is like the body of the car. The case back, concealing the movement inside, is like the bonnet protecting the engine. The movement (typically the most expensive part of a watch) is like the engine of the car. The Dial of the watch displaying all the features of the watch is like the dashboard. The crown of the watch used in setting the watch is like the gear stick in a car. The Crystal covering the dial is like the windshield. And just as cars go from basic to super cool with all sorts complicated features, wristwatches too go from simple to having multiple complications.
Know Your Watch
- Bezel: The Bezel is the top ring on the case of a watch. Typically diver watches come with marked rotating bezels, this allows the diver time his duration under water with ease. For the everyday watch usage this function also comes in handy for timing basic things like parking time, travel time, a quick break and so much more.
- Case: The case of a watch houses the movement (mechanism) of the watch. It is the outer structure onto which all other component of any watch are built. In mid-range watches cases are made from stainless steel to prevent corrosion.
- Clasp: The clasp of a watch is what holds the straps of a watch together around your wrist. Leather watches tend to come with buckle clasps and in more premium leather watches you have fold-over deployment and butterfly deployment clasps just as in Bracelet watches.
- Case Back: Case backs protect the movement from damage. They are mostly screwed onto the rear of the case and come with notches at the edges in the event that it has to be taken off to service the watch. Some case backs are held in place by tiny screws. In certain instances (for watches that have little or no water resistance) they are simply clasped in place. Case backs are typically made of stainless steel.
- Crown: The crown essentially is used to set the time of a watch. For watches with date windows, the crown is also used to set the date. In such watches pulling the crown out one step sets the date while pulling the crown out fully (two steps) allows you set the time. Certain watches (with higher water resistance) have screw down crowns that have to be unscrewed before the watch can be set.
- Crystal: This is the transparent cover of a watch face, through which you can see the dial. Most watches come with hardened mineral glass crystal, while luxury watches tend to have sapphire crystal that offer the highest resistance to scratches.
- Dial: The watch dial is the face of the watch where you read time. The time and other functions of the watch are displayed on the dial. Watches with complications such as Chronograph, hour counter, am/pm counter, moon phase and all manner of multifunction watches have Sub-dials that display these additional readings.
- Date window: The date window also known as the aperture is the small opening on the dial of the watch showing the date. It typically sits between 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock. Some watches have day and date windows.
- Hands: The hands of the watch indicate the time. When setting watches that have date/day, you need to ensure you are correctly setting the time to am/pm as the case may be. The trick is to go past 12 first, if the date changes then you know it is am, if not it is pm. Once you get that you can then set the time correctly.
- Lug: The lugs are where the case of the watch connects to the strap or metal bracelet of the watch, by use of metal spring bars.
- Markers: The markers indicate the hours from 1 to 12. Some markers are in figures, some in roman numerals and some are simply hour point indicators. Markers make reading the time easier. In some watches the markers are luminous.
- Pushers: Pushers are additional buttons used to control the sub dials in multi-function / chronograph watches. In Chronograph watches usually the top pusher is the start/stop button, while the bottom pusher is the reset button.
- Scale: Some watches come with a tachymeter scale, this could be inscribed on the outer dial or on the bezel of the watch. It is used to determine speed based on travel time or to determine the distance travelled where speed is known.
- Strap: Bands of watches generally come in straps or bracelets. Strap watches are mostly leather, in recent times rubber and most recently canvas (fabric) straps have become more common. Bracelet watches have bands made of metal chain, usually made of stainless steel. Some bracelets are ion-plated to gold or black. Bracelet materials also vary from alloys, to titanium, to gold in certain watches.
By: O. O. A. Shitta.