Your Guide to Understanding the Parts of a Watch

Ever wonder what makes a watch tick? These complex and fascinating machines are much more than what meets the eye.

Your Guide to Understanding the Parts of a Watch

Watches are objectively fabulous. Combining form and function into one stylish entity, they provide the perfect balance of business and pleasure for any occasion. Unlike other types of adornment, their inner workings make them an object of abstract wonder for many. Wonder no longer, however.

Just how exactly is a watch able to tell us the correct time of day, every day, without so much as a WiFi connection informing what its face conveys? Read on for a crash course in all of the important parts of a watch.

The Movement

The movement is constituted of the cogs and gears that turn the hands of the watch and keeps the piece in sync with what time of day it is. Think of it like a small engine moving things forward, connected to a rotor that keeps the mainspring wound and ready for action. Jewels are applied to specific parts of the movement as bearings that help reduce heat and friction, keeping things efficient and preventing damage. It is protected by the case, which is what is seen from the outside.



Parts of watches

The Face

The face of the clock on the watch itself will be where the hands, dial, hour, minute, and second markers, other complications such as subdials or windows expressing the date or phases of the moon, and usually a brand name and other embellishments can be found. The crystal is the transparent covering keeping everything in place and safe from damage. Surrounding the crystal is the bezel; this aspect can also bear time markings in addition to what the face holds. Pushers allow the wearer to interact with the watch meaningfully, generally in watches featuring a chronograph. The crown, located on the outside, is used to set the date and time and sometimes to wind the watch manually.

Connecting the Dots

The pieces keeping the clock itself attached to the watch’s strap are called lugs and will vary depending on the look the manufacturer goes for. The strap, obviously, is what keeps the watch on your person, and will vary wildly from brand to brand and piece to piece.

Continue Your Timepiece Education with Smyth Jewelers

One thing is for sure: we love talking shop with our fellow watch aficionados. There are plenty of more obscure parts of a watch to learn about, and we’re more than happy to share what we know with anybody with a bit of time to spare. For those already knee-deep in the world of timepieces, the list of services we provide proud owners goes down to the floor.


Check out all of our favorite watch and watch case styles from Wolf, Tag Heuer, Tissot, and more, just in time for autumn.

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