This video will explain how to use a bezel on a watch. The bezel of the watch is the outer ring that surrounds the crystal. On some watches, the bezel is merely decorative and does not add any practical purpose to the timepiece. But on other watches, the bezel is a fundamental component to the watch’s functionality. There are many different types of bezels and we will be explaining how to use some of the most popular ones found on watches today.

The count-up bezel, sometimes referred to as a timing bezel, is most frequently found on dive watches. Dive bezels are marked from zero to 60 and they serve to tell divers how long they have been underwater. To use a count-up bezel, rotate the bezel to align the zero marker with the minute hand. And then as time passes, you can read the elapsed minutes on the bezel. It is important to mention that modern dive watches have bezels that only rotate in one direction. This is a fail-safe method to prevent divers from underestimating immersion times.

The opposite of the count-up bezel is the countdown bezel, which has a scale that goes from 60 to zero. The countdown bezel is used to set the time remaining before the start of an event. To use a countdown bezel, rotate the bezel to align the time remaining with the minute hand. And when the minute hand reaches the zero marker on the bezel scale, the timer is done.

Most chronograph watches have tachymeter bezels that do not rotate. A tachymeter scale is used to measure units per hour. On a chronograph watch, the unit most frequently measured is speed. To use a tachymeter bezel to measure the speed of a moving car, first make sure the chronograph hand is set to zero. Then, once the car starts, activate the chronograph hand by pressing the pusher at 2 o’clock. Once the car has traveled exactly one mile, press the same pusher at 2 o’clock to stop the chronograph hand. Whatever number the chronograph hand points to on the bezel is how fast the car was traveling in miles per hour. For example, if the chronograph hand points to ninety, the car was traveling at 90 miles per hour.

The GMT bezel, sometimes called a 24-hour bezel, is a rotating bezel marked from zero to 24. The purpose of a GMT bezel is to allow the wearer to read two time zones simultaneously when used in conjunction with the GMT-hand on the dial. To use a GMT bezel, rotate the bezel to align the hour of the second time zone with the GMT hand. Now you can read local time on the dial via the traditional hour hand and a second time zone on the bezel via the GMT-hand. You can also use the GMT bezel an as A.M./P.M. indicator. To do that, simply rotate the GMT bezel to the neutral position where the zero marker sits at 12 o’clock. Then set the GMT hand to point to the 24-hour equivalent of the 12-hour time. For instance, if it is 3 pm, set the GMT hand to point to 15 hours on the GMT bezel. Now you know that it is 3 o’clock in the afternoon and not 3 o’clock in the morning.

The slide rule bezel is one of the most complex bezels you will find on a watch. A slide rule is a ruler with a sliding central strip, marked with logarithmic scales and used for making rapid calculations, especially multiplication and division. On a watch, the slide rule was modified to be circular with two matching logarithmic scales — one stationary and one on a rotating outer ring. A watch slide rule bezel can compute all types of complex navigational calculations such as airspeed, flight time, distance, fuel consumption and so on. To use a slide rule bezel to multiply two numbers, first locate the conversion factor number, which is typically the number 10 in red text. If you want to multiply 9 by 13 for example, line up the 10 conversion factor number on the outer scale with “9” on the inner scale. Then find “13” on the outer scale, look to the adjacent number on the inner scale, and that will give you the answer, which is 117.

Whenever possible, always refer to the official manufacturer’s instruction manual for more details on how to use your specific watch bezel.