To create a fine Swiss timepiece, a number of components must be designed, created and assembled by a team of highly skilled watchmakers. Each watch model (or reference) will have a unique look and function and must be crafted using different components. The diagram below outlines the basic elements in fine watches to build an understanding of their technical makeup. Understanding the anatomy of luxury watches will help in selecting the style of Swiss watch that best suits you.
A small opening (also called a “window”) in the dial that displays certain information such as the date, day, month or moon-phase.
Small Sapphires or Rubies located on the movement that reduce friction by acting as bearings for gears in a mechanical watch.
Usually made of metal, the bezel is a ring around the crystal on the top portion of a watch that holds the glass or crystal in place.
Sometimes referred to as horns, lugs are projections on the watch case that are used to secure the strap or bracelet to the watch case.
The container that protects the watch movement. Cases are available in many shapes such as round, square, oval, tonneau and rectangular.
Acting like an engine, a movement is the inner mechanism of a watch that keeps time and powers the watch’s functions. [ Learn more about movements ] <– link to Watch Movements page
A button on the outside of the watch case that sets the time and date. On mechanical watches, it is also used to wind the mainspring.
Button(s) located outside the case that control specific functions of the watch. Pushers are most commonly found on watches with a chronograph.
Made of glass, plastic or synthetic Sapphire, the crystal is a transparent cover that protects the watch dial and reduces glare.
Attached to the watch movement, the rotor rotates freely to wind the mainspring and store power in automatic timepieces.
A plate with a metal base that is visible through a crystal and carries certain indication such as the hours, minutes and sometimes seconds.
A strip or band of leather or rubber that holds the watch to the wrist. It must be non-metal to be considered a strap; a metal version is called a bracelet.
Indicators that move over the dial to indicate hour, minute or second. Watches generally have three hands to show the hours, minutes and seconds.
A small dial placed inside the main dial that gives information not provided by the main dial such as a chronograph.