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The anatomy of a wristwatch

Wristwatches have come a long way since they were first adapted from the clock, and the wide variety now available—ranging from vintage watches to the smartwatch—can throw the amateur in a tizzy. The Label breaks down the 9 parts of basic watch for you.
creating a classic wrist watch
#1 Case
This is the outer covering of the watch dial, which secures the watch’s movements. It can be made from a wide variety of metals ranging from stainless steel to platinum, and comes in various shapes, the most common ones being round, oval, square, rectangle and tonneau.
#2 Crystal
The glass-like covering that protects the dial of a watch is known as crystal. Depending upon the value of the watch, crystals are usually made of 3 kinds of materials:
Synthetic sapphire: This artificially created substance has the same chemical composition as genuine sapphire, but is manufactured at a fraction of the cost. Sapphire is among the hardest known materials, which makes this kind of crystal scratch-resistant and also expensive. Most premium Swiss watches have a synthetic sapphire crystal.
Mineral: Not as protective but significantly less expensive compared to the synthetic sapphire, this type of crystal is made of glass. It needs to be handled with utmost care as it offers little resistance against scratches and cannot be buffed.
Acrylic: Very similar to plastic, this is the most affordable of watch crystals and more durable than mineral as minor scratches from it can be easily buffed out.
watch dial the face of a watch
#3 Dial
The most prominent feature, the dial is also known as the face of a watch. It comes in a variety of materials and designs depending upon the watchmaker. The most common ways of marking the dial are Arabic numerals, Roman numerals, sticks and different combinations of the 3. Several dials come with sub-dials embedded within them that display additional complications like date and chronograph readouts. The sub-dial functions are usually controlled by a push button on the case.
#4 Hands
Apart from indicating the hours, minutes and seconds, the hands play a major part in defining the look of the watch, depending upon their style, colour, shape and size. An age-old yet still commonly used design is ‘blued steel’, for which the steel is heated at extremely high temperatures until the colour changes to a dark navy blue. It was first used by legendary horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet in the 19th century to make the hands more visible.
#5 Crown
The crown connects the internal movement of a watch to the outer case, enabling the user to wind it and adjust functions like date and time. Some crowns are of a screw-down nature, which can create a seal against the case to make it water-resistant.
#6 Bezel
A bezel is a ring snapped on to the case of the watch. Apart from securing the crystal in place and sometimes adding to the aesthetic value of the watch (a diamond-set bezel for instance), they are often used for tracking the diving time (diving bezel) and as a timed stopwatch (timing bezel).
classic leather straps wrist watch
#7 Strap
Made from a variety of materials such as leather, rubber, vinyl or canvas, the strap snuggly secures your watch on to your wrist with the help of a buckle. In several watches, especially delicate ones made for women, the strap is replaced by a metal bracelet which lends the watch a more pristine, vintage look.
#8 Buckle
The buckle too varies in design depending upon the watchmaker and comes in 2 common variants.
Ardillon buckle: Also known as tang buckle, this is the traditional buckle in which one end of the strap is slipped through and secured with a pin.
Deployment buckle: Also known as the deployant or fold-over clasp, it comes with interlocking metal pieces rather than strap holes and is considered safer than the traditional buckle as the watch straps still remain attached even if the buckle opens.
#9 Movement
Perhaps the most crucial part of a watch, the movement refers to the engine that drives the watch. Depending upon the make and functions of the watch, there are 4 main kinds of movements:
Manual: Hand-winding movement mostly found in collectible or vintage watches.
Automatic: Self-winding movement that requires winding before it is worn or if it has stopped.
Quartz: The most accurate type of movement that operates on battery.
Auto-quartz: A combination of automatic and quartz movements.
So, now that you know what goes into making a watch, we’re sure you’ll be wiser when it comes to picking one!

Written By : Neehar Mishra

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