How to Select the Luxury Watch [buyer’s Guide]

Watch 101: How to “speak watch”

Before we jump into the more exciting aspects of watches, you need to understand the basic components. If words like bezel, dial, crown, and lugs seem a bit foreign to you, we recommend starting here. Our diagram below will act as a key. The terms used here will be used to describe the watches featured in this article, helping you better “speak watch.” Watch designs change and vary based on their functionality.

A. Crown – That knob protruding from your case is dubbed the crown. It’s your watch’s command center, allowing you to set your watch’s time, day, month, etc.

B. Case – The case of the watch is its body. It houses the mechanism in the watch that allows it to function. Watch cases can be made of plastic, metal ceramic, gold, platinum, and silver. There are even instances in which cases are 3D printed.

C. Bezel – In its simplest form, the bezel is the outer ring of a watch, holding the case crystal in place. More complicated bezels can be functional, serving a specific purpose, like on a diver watch. Other bezels may be used for decorative purposes by adding precious stones to the component.

D. Crystal – Though not always made of “crystal,” this component protects the face of your watch while giving you a front-row view of the dial, hands, and hour markers.

E. Dial – Consisting of the hands, and hour marker of the watch, here the watch displays the time. More complicated watch dials might show you the month, the moon phase, or even an image of the night sky.

F. Hour Hand/Minute Hand – This part of the watch simply tells you the time. Depending on the make, model, brand, etc., the watch may not feature these at all.

G. Strap – Made from leather to ceramic, this part of your watch secures it to your wrist.

H. Movement/Case Back – Housed in the case, the movement of the watch is its engine, and just like cars, some engines are better than others. It powers the watch, dictating all its functions. You can usually get access or a glimpse of the movement via the case back.