What Are The Different Parts Of A Watch

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Do you want to know about the different parts that make up a watch or a smartwatch, what they are called and what do they do?

You are at the right place! In this article, I will tell you about all the essential parts like the case, strap, chronograph, parts of a mechanical watch, parts of an automatic watch, parts of a smartwatch, parts of a watch with quartz movement, etc. And I will also tell you why they are there and what do they do.

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Infographic: Different Parts Of A Watch

parts of a watch infographic

Main Parts Of A Watch

A watch has an ‘n’ number of parts and the number of parts varies from watch to watch, but there are some parts that will be available on every watch. Let us have a look at these parts first and then we will dive deep into various other complicated parts.

Main Parts Of A Watch

1) Dial

The dial is the part inside the glass that has markings and hands on it and it actually shows us the time. It is the most important part of any watch that comes in many shapes and colors and it is a deal-breaker for almost everyone. A dial can either make a watch perfect or it can either make a watch an absolute worse.

2) Hands

Hands are the parts that show us the exact time. The minimum number of hands in a watch can be 2 (which shows the hours and minutes value) and the maximum can be many (including the sub-dial hands) depending on the number of extra features the watch has.

3) Glass/Crystal

Watch glass or crystal is the part that protects the dial and hands of a timepiece from the outside world.

4) Bezel

The bezel is the outer ring around the glass/crystal. It holds the glass/crystal in its place and also shows you some extra features like a tachymeter or a dive bezel. In luxury watches, the watch bezel is also used to hold gemstones or diamonds.

5) Case

The case is the part that holds all of the watch together. It contains the dial, inner parts of the machinery, glass, bezels, etc. It is generally made up of stainless steel but can also be made up of gold or platinum in luxury watches.

6) Crown

The crown is a small rotating part on the right side of the watch case. It is used to control the watch and is generally used to change the time, date, day, etc.

7) Lugs

Lugs are the extension of the case on two sides. They are used to connect the strap/bracelet to the watch.

8) Stap/Bracelet

The strap/bracelet is a part that makes the watch wearable. If it is made up of leather, nylon, silicone, or rubber then it is called a strap and if it is made up of metal then it is called a bracelet.

Parts Of Watch Strap/Bracelet

Let us now look at all the parts of a watch strap or bracelet.

Parts Of A Watch Strap

10) Band/Strap/Bracelet

The material from which the strap/bracelet is made up is very important. A strap can be made from skin leather of calfskin, alligator, crocodile, lizard, etc., and is not suitable for water-related activities. The band can be made up of silicon or rubber and the bracelet is usually made up of stainless steel but bracelets on luxury watches can be made up of gold, platinum, etc.

11) Adjustment Holes

The band and strap of the watch contain several holes for adjustment so that people with different wrist sizes can wear the watch comfortably.

12) Keepers

Keepers are the small loops on the strap that are used to keep the strap or band in place. There are usually two keepers in a watch, one is fixed and the other one is a free loop.

13) Lug Hole

Lug holes are used to insert small bars that attach the strap/band/bracelet to the watch.

14) Buckle/Deployment Clasp

The buckle is used for fastening the strap, band, or bracelet around your wrist and it holds the strap/bracelet together.

Different Additional Parts Of A Watch

Now let us look at some additional parts of a watch that may not be present in every watch.

15) Date Window

The date window is one of the most common features found on the watch these days. As the name suggests, a small cut-out window is present on the watch dial that displays the date of the month. Sometimes there may also be a cyclops over the date window to make the date look bigger.

16) Chronograph

Chronograph too is one of the most common features found on watches. It is basically a stopwatch embedded in a watch and helps you record the time. Let us look at the different chronograph watch parts:

Chronograph Watch Parts

a) Seconds Dial

A chronograph watch consists of a subdial to record elapsed seconds.

b) Minutes Dial

There is a subdial on a chronograph watch to record the elapsed minutes.

c) Hour Dial

A chronograph watch has a subdial to record the elapsed hours.

16) Calendar

Many watches come with a calendar feature that shows you the date of the month and day of the week. Showing the calendar can vary from watch to watch. There may be a cutout window on the dial to show the date and day or there can be subdials on the main dial to show the two or there can also be a cut-out window to show the date and a subdial to show the day.

In the calendar feature, the date needs to be corrected manually at the end of every month that has 30 days because it does not take into account the 30 days of the month.

17) Annual Calendar

The annual calendar feature shows you the date, day, and month of the year. Like the calendar feature, showing the annual calendar can vary from watch to watch. There may be subdials on the main dial to show you the annual calendar or there can be cut-out windows on the main dial or there can be a mix and match of the subdials and cutout windows to represent the annual calendar.

Unlike the calendar feature, the date needs to be corrected manually only once (at the end of the month of February) in the annual calendar watch.

18) Perpetual Calendar

Like the annual calendar feature, the perpetual calendar feature also shows you the date, day, and month but also takes into account 28 days of the month of February. It also keeps track of the leap year and as a result, you will only have to correct the date in a perpetual calendar only once in 100 years. Like the annual calendar showing the date, day and month can vary from watch to watch.

19) Dual Time

The dual time feature as the name suggests shows you the time of two time zones simultaneously. This feature is mainly preferred by people who travel a lot and move between different time zones. To show you the time of two zones there could be 2 dials (one bigger dial on the outer rim and a smaller dial on the inner rim with an extra hand) in a watch or there could be a small subdial.

20) Tachymeter

A tachymeter is used to measure the speed of an object (mainly the watch bearer’s) over a fixed distance. This feature is mainly used by people who are into car and bike racing. The tachymeter is kind of a round scale that has numbers printed on it representing the speed. It can be on the outer rim of the dial (inside the glass/crystal) or it can be on the bezel of the watch.

21) AM/PM or Sun/Moon Indicator

These two features are the same and are used to represent whether it is daytime or nighttime. It can either be represented on the bezel or by a cutout window that shows the AM/PM or the image of Sun/Moon to represent the day and night time.

22) GMT Time

GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time and is basically an international standard for time and all the clocks around the world are set according to it. Like the dual time feature, it is used to represent the time in two time zones but it shows the time of the second zone in 24 hour format. It is represented by an additional dial on the outer rim or by the bezel. There is an additional hand to point the time on the GMT dial or bezel.

23) Moon Phase

As the name suggests this feature shows you the different phases of the moon (Lunar cycle) and is represented by a cutout window on the main dial.

24) Power Reserve

This feature shows you the remaining battery of your watch. It is generally available on watches with mechanical (manual and automatic) movement and is represented by a small sub-dial in the main dial.

25) Battery EOL (End-of-Life) Indicator

This feature shows you that the battery of your watch is about to die and need to replace it soon. This feature is available on the watches with Quartz movement. To show you that the watch battery is about to end, the second hands start jumping 4 seconds at a time, instead of jumping from second to second. However, it does not mean that the watch is losing time and the watch will continue showing you the correct time, it is just an indicator for battery replacement.

Parts Of Watch Movement

Let us now have a look at the parts of a watch movement. These parts are not the same on every watch but vary according to the watch movement.

26) Jewel

There are multiple parts inside the watch case that keep the watch running. Generally, these watch parts are made up of brass or stainless steel. But in costly watches, some of these parts are made up of actual jewels to reduce the friction between parts and to increase the longevity of the watch. You cannot see these jewels at work until and unless your watch has a skeleton window or a see-through case back.

27) Rotor

Have you ever wondered how the automatic watch gets charged? The answer lies in the rotor. It is generally shaped like a semi-circle and is connected to the mainspring. When you move your hand the rotor rotates around and winds the mainspring which in turn keeps your watch running. If the watch has a skeleton window or a see-through case back you can see the rotor at work.

28) Shock Absorber/Incabloc

As the name suggests, this part is used to protect the watch from shocks. Because in our everyday life a watch has to bear various blows like accidental bumps, hard falls, and whatnot, and these can damage the inner movement of the watch and can make the watch useless. Incabloc is the most common and well-known shock absorption system in watches.

29) Caliber

Caliber was used to represent the size and position of a component but nowadays the caliber refers to the movement and manufacturer of a watch.

30) Gasket

Gaskets are basically the rings of rubber that are used to make the watch water-resistant. These are used wherever there is an opening in the watch like around the crown, crystal/glass, and case back.

31) Main/Base Plate

As the name suggests this is the main plate that is made up of metal and holds all the parts of the watch movement together.

32) Balance Wheel

The balance wheel is a part of a mechanical watch that rotates back and forth and helps in regulating the accuracy of time. Whenever the balance wheel swings it creates a beat and further causes the watch hands to move a point.

33) Balance Spring/Hairspring

Balance spring or hairspring is also a part of a mechanical watch that makes the balance wheel recoil. It also helps in regulating the time. Balance spring controls the frequency of oscillation of the balance wheel and thus regulates the rate of movement of the hands.

34) Mainspring

Mainspring is the main power source that powers the watch. It is like a metal ribbon that gets winded when you turn the crown to charge the watch (manual winding movement) or when you move your wrist (self-winding movement). When it gets unwinded slowly it powers the clock wheel and keeps the watch running until it needs to be winded again.

35) Escapement

The escapement is a mechanism in the mechanical movement that gives a little push to the balance wheel in its every swing, this maintains the rotation of the balance wheel which in turn keeps the watch running.

36) Bridge

The bridge is a part that is connected to the main plate and it forms the overall framework to house all the parts of a movement.

Parts Of A Smartwatch

Unlike traditional watches that can have more than 1700 parts inside them, smartwatches have a very limited number of parts that you can count on your hands. Let us see what these parts are what do they do.

Parts Of A Smartwatch

1) Screen/Display

One of the most important parts from a user’s perspective is the display of the smartwatch. It is the topmost part of the smartwatch that shows you information. The display of a smartwatch can be either LCD or LED. LED displays offer more vibrant and crisp colors as compared to LCD displays.

2) Case

The part that holds the display, buttons, strap and all the inner parts of the smartwatch is known as the case. It can be either made from hard plastic or stainless steel.

3) Buttons

While most smartwatches these days are controlled by touch, there are smartwatches that are controlled by buttons. These are normally placed on the sides of the case.

4) Band/Strap/Bracelet

Band or Strap or Bracelet is the part that helps you wear the smartwatch around your wrist. While most of the smartwatches come with a silicon or rubber band, there are some smartwatches on the market that come with a nylon strap or stainless steel bracelet.

5) Buckle

The buckle is the part that keeps the band tied around your wrist.

6) Wireless Chipset

Have you ever thought about how do smartwatches connect with your mobile or WiFi? It is because of a wireless chipset. Wireless chipset enables the smartwatch to connect to the internet or to your mobile wirelessly and opens you to the world of all the tasks that you could do with your smartwatches.

7) Sensors

Smartwatches are getting more popular because of their health assessment capabilities, but have you ever wondered how do they do it? The answer is sensors. A smartwatch has different kinds of sensors to measure and track different things like activity, heart rate, SpO2, sleep, and whatnot. If you are wondering how do sensors look like then you can have a look at the back of your watch.

8) Battery

Since a smartwatch is all electronics so it needs a battery to power it. It is rechargeable and is one of the deal-breaker features of a smartwatch. The bigger the battery means the longer your smartwatch will last on a charge which in turn means that you will not have to charge your smartwatch more frequently.

9) Processor

Have you ever wondered what makes a watch smart? It’s the processor of the smartwatch that processes a huge amount of data in just the blink of an eye. The processor is to a smartwatch is what a heart is to a human.

How Many Parts Does A Watch Have?

There are ‘n’ number of parts that make up a watch and the number of parts varies from watch to watch. Just to give you an example, a simple mechanical watch has approximately 130 parts and the number of parts increases as the complications in the watch increase. A Patek Phillippe watch with Caliber 89 has approximately 1700 parts. Can you imagine the amount of time it would have taken just to finish this one watch? If you can then tell us in the comments below!


What Are The Parts Of A Watch?

The number of parts varies from watch to watch. However, there are certain parts that every watch has and those are Dial, Case, Glass/Crystal, Hands, Bezel, Crown, Lugs, and Strap/Bracelet.

How Many Parts Of Smartwatch Are There?

A smartwatch has mainly 9 parts: Screen/Display, Case, Buttons, Band/Strap/Bracelet, Buckle, Wireless Chipset, Sensors, and Processor.

What Is The Crown Of A Watch?

The Crown is a small rotating part on the right side of the watch case. It is used to control the watch and is generally used to change the time, date, day, etc.

What Are Three Circles In A Watch?

A chronograph watch has 3 parts (subdials) that represent the elapsed seconds, minutes, and hours.

What Is The Bezel Of A Watch?

The bezel is the outer ring around the glass/crystal. It holds the glass/crystal in its place and also shows you some extra features. In luxury watches, the bezel is also used to hold gemstones or diamonds.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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