From the simplest quartz watch to the most elaborate masterpiece of Swiss engineering, there’s no timepiece that doesn’t come with delicate detail and technical planning. Those details come from the interplay of delicate parts. But those who’ve never owned a watch before may not know the difference between a bezel and a hole in the wall.
When you’re looking to get into luxury timepiece culture, how can you figure out the terminology and parts utilized in the construction of atelier watches? Here at Golden Tree Jewellers, we’re interested in helping our customers understand what it is that makes a Swiss-quality watch something truly special.
The Watch Case and Bezel
It’s important to start with the case and bezel when discussing watches. Think of it this way: If a watch is a living thing, the case and bezel are the outer skin and clothes of a watch. They’re the first thing you see since they hold the movement and crystal in place. They’re the first level of artistry that an atelier invests in a timepiece, and even though materials like stainless steel and ceramic are used for their durability, modernist designers like SEVENFRIDAY watches often turn these materials into pieces comparable with a luxury car.
To continue the metaphor, the movement is the beating heart of the watch. Movements quite literally move the hands of the watch, and can come in a purely manual form, where a crown has to be turned; an automatic style that is powered by your own movement; and the quartz watch, where a battery powers the piece. For the first two styles, kinetic energy is gathered in a mainspring, which carefully meters out that energy to make the carefully arranged gears turn once per second. Usually, when you have a luxury atelier, like Longines watches, you’ll find more manual and automatic watches than alternatives.
The Dial (or Face)
Is there any more appropriate way to describe a face than with the term “face?” The face, or dial, of a watch is the broad surface on which the numerals and hands are exhibited. Many modern artists, like Rado watches, choose bold interplays of simply coloured dials and minimalist jewels used for the numerals. However, there are more elaborate styles, such as neoclassical serif numerals, the presence of gold (the soft metal is safe underneath the crystal), and absolute rainbows of gemstones.
You might be surprised to hear that in the case of watches, “complications” are a good thing! The complication is an additional feature that a designer can build into a luxury timepiece, giving it more functionality than merely telling time. When you visit the Golden Tree Jewellers watchmaker page, you can see the sheer diversity of complications that can be built into a traditional watch: From altimeters to moon phases to power reserves, many intriguing bits of technology can be sculpted from nothing more complex than interplays of gears and springs.
Learn More about the Parts of Your Watch with Golden Tree Jewellers
Of course, there's a myriad of other smaller details that go into watches, including the band, crown, lug, and aperture, but this is hopefully a good starting place for the beginner watch-lover! If you’d like to learn more about the watches we offer at Golden Tree Jewellers, give us a call at (604) 530-7221 or stop by our Langley, British Columbia showroom!