This guide will explain some of the most common terminologies used when discussing watches.
The dial of a watch, sometimes referred to as the face of the watch, is the part that has the timekeeping hands or digital display. The dial of an analog watch often has hour markers, which can be numbers, sticks, shapes, or even gems. Some watch dials are very simple with just a set of hour, minute, and seconds hands, while others can be much more intricate, displaying a wide range of functions.
The crystal of a watch is the piece of glass that sits on top of the dial to protect it. Older vintage watches typically had an acrylic crystal. Modern luxury watches often have a sapphire crystal, which is prized for its resistance to scratching.
The bezel of a watch is the ring that surrounds the dial and holds down the crystal. Watch bezels can range in style and functionality. Sometimes they are simply decorative with smooth or textured finishes. Sometimes they are functional, marked with scales. And sometimes they can rotate. A diving bezel, for example, is marked to 60 minutes and rotates in one direction to allow divers to track how long they have been underwater.
The movement of a watch is essentially the engine inside that powers and regulates the timepiece. There are two main types of watch movements: a quartz movement, which gets its power from a battery, and a mechanical movement, which gets its power from a wound-up mainspring. Furthermore, there are two types of mechanical movements: a manually-wound movement, which requires the wearer to hand-wind it regularly, and a self-winding movement, which automatically winds itself as long as it is worn.
The winding crown of a watch is a little knob usually located on the right-hand side of the watch. The winding crown is used to wind up the movement inside the watch. The winding crown is also used to set the time and date on a watch. Some winding crowns are push-pull ones while some are screw-down ones.
The case of a watch is the main part of the timepiece that houses the dial, bezel, movement, and winding crown of a watch. Watch cases can come in a range of shapes such as round, square, rectangular, cushion, and others. Watch cases can also be crafted in a wide assortment of metals like stainless steel, gold, platinum, titanium, ceramic, and more.
The caseback of a watch is the back side of the timepiece, on the opposite side of the dial. The caseback protects the movement of the watch. Casebacks can be snap on ones or screw-down ones. Some casebacks are also fitted with a crystal to allow a view of the movement inside the watch. There are also hunter-style casebacks, which have a hinged metal cover that can be opened to see the crystal window.
The lugs of the watch are the four parts that protrude from the top and bottom of the watch case to hold the bracelet or strap.
The watch bracelet, strap, or band, is the component that wraps around the wrist to keep the watch case in place. Watch bracelets are often made in metal and these days, we are seeing more and more ceramic bracelets. Watch straps can be made in many different types of materials. The most popular watch strap materials include leather, fabric, and rubber.
The clasp or buckle is how a bracelet or strap closes to fasten around a wrist. There are many different types of bracelet clasps and buckles. They can range from simple tang buckles to complex deployant folding clasps fitted with extension systems.
A watch complication is any function that goes beyond telling the time, such as date, day, month, moon phase, chronograph, dual time zone, GMT hand, and so on. A watch that combines many complications is sometimes called a Grand Complication.
The pushers of a watch are buttons that often protrude from a watch case that serve to activate or set different types of functions on more complicated watches. For example, there are chronograph pushers, calendar pushers, moon phase pushers, dual-time pushers, and others.