best basic watch features

basic watch features explained

by Dylan Baker
Updated on

Do you want to learn about the different watch features?

Watch is one of those accessories that exist in our daily life without much thought to it.

If anyone were to ask us about the basic anatomy of a watch or some basic features, most of us would be left perplexed.

It becomes important to know about basic watch features so that when we do decide to purchase one, we are well aware of the watch features so that we can make an informed choice rather than just buying anything that randomly catches our eyes without much thought to it.

So let’s get started and talk about all the basic watch features that you must know from today onwards! 

Material of the Watch 

Stainless steel is the most commonly used material in watches. You’ll find this used in the majority of the budget and mid-range watches and even in some expensive watches. 

A watch made from titanium and the ceramic coating is considered to be superior and it is often very costly thus it is mostly used by luxury watch brands. 

In addition to titanium, ceramic and stainless steel, the coating of PVD is very essential to ensure that the color of the watch does not fade away. 

In the case of extremely cheap watches, there is no PVD coating, because of which the watch loses its color within a few months. 


Case of the Watch 

The main outer part of the watch that contains all the components inside it is the case of the watch. 

Most of the standard watches from renowned companies are made up of stainless steel and some expensive models use titanium.

Though many of the cheaper watches do use cases made from artificial mixtures of low-quality metals.


The outer ring structure surrounding the glass is known as the bezel of a watch. The bezel is responsible for holding the crystal or glass in place.

There are many different types of bezels used in watches which helps improve both the appearance and functionality of the watch

Some commonly used bezels types are:

  • GMT : It helps user to keep time in two different timezones. These are usually preferred by people who travel between different timezones frequently like pilots and businessmen.
  • Tachymeter: This is used for distance to speed conversion and vice versa. This is one of the most common type of scales and it is found in almost all chronograph watchse.
  • Count-down/ Count-up timer: A scale of 0 to 60 is featured on the countup bezel and in the countdown bezel this scale is reversed so it goes from 60 to 0. These are used to keep track of the elapsed time in case of count-up or time remaining in some event in case of coun-down bezels.
  • Compass: Many watches also feature a compass as a bezel which has different directions marked on it and it is used to find the precise directions.


It is the transparent cover through which we see the inside of the watch. This protects the inside components of a watch from damage.

It is surrounded by the case of the watch around its edges. 

The material used to make this is usually acrylic, crystal, or sapphire based on the cost and values of these. 

Sapphire Glass is of the highest quality that most high-end watch brands use. It has the highest resistance to scratches among all the different types of glasses which are used in watches.

Crystal and mineral glass are used as a substitute for sapphire glass in budget-friendly watches


The insides of a watch that is visible through the glass are known as the dial.

It is inside the crystal and it features all the markings for time, the logo, etc of the watch. 

The dial is the component that makes the watch presentable. It is a major part of the aesthetics of a watch.

The design of a dial is a personal preference but you should make sure that the text on the dial is easy to read.


Those tiny arrows that tick away representing seconds and minutes are known as the hands of the watch. These are quite simple to locate and identify to even further add any explanation too! 

Hour Markers 

Hour markers as the name implies are the markers of various hours present on the dial.

It can be of different types ranging from numbers to roman numerals and some watches just use simple lines or dots as hour markers.

Hour markers are very subjective some people need the numbered marks others are fine with any type.


As the name suggests, the metallic straps of the watch that goes around our wrist and ties it to our hands are the bracelet. 

This part has more to do with physical appearance and often comes up in different designs, styles, and metals.

It could be golden, silver, or a mixture of different alloys based on the range of price. 


The bracelet of a watch meets at a point where the two ends need to be locked together. This part is known as the clasp of the watch. It is made up of a metal that locks the two ends together. 


The watches which do not have metallic bracelets have straps made up of softer materials like leather or silicon. They are popular in fast fashion and come in various different colors apart from the classic brown or black strap. 

You can choose the strap material based on your requirements.

A leather strap is more suited for a formal watch and works great with a suit or any formal outfit.

Silicon straps on the other hand are better suited for casual looks or for people who are into sports. These are more comfortable and are a great option for daily wear.


Just like what a clasp is to a bracelet watch, a buckle is to a strap watch. The buckle helps in securing and locking the ends of the straps together. 

Water Resistance

You might have seen watches that are waterproof or water-resistant.

In reality, no watch is waterproof there is always a limit of water pressure that a watch handle.

If a watch is water-resistant that simply means that it won’t get affected by humidity or light splashes However these watches are not meant to be used underwater.

Watches have a water resistance rating represented in ATM which tells the amount of pressure they can handle. 1ATM means 10 meters

It’s good to have a water-resistant rating on your watch but you should avoid wearing your expensive time-piece to pool or shower.

Movement of the Watch 

The three kinds of movements in watches are quartz, mechanical and automatic. 

Mechanical: Mechanical movement is the oldest mechanism. It requires manual winding to work. It’s difficult to find mechanical watches these days but every serious collector will have multiple of these.

Automatic: This is a more modern and advanced mechanism.

Its functionality is very similar to the mechanical mechanism but the only difference is that you don’t have to wind it manually.

It winds itself when you move with the watch on your wrist. This is a very popular mechanism currently as it provides the classic movement with the convenience of self-winding.

Quartz: This is the simplest movement of the bunch. It has a battery powering a quartz crystal which moves the second hand. because of its simplicity, it is cheaper to produce thus you will find it in most budget watches.


It is a small knob placed outside the watch, it is in control of making various changes to the functions of a watch such as a date and time for the correct settings.

Crown can be rotated to adjust these various things and can even be taken out and altered if and when needed. 

Luminous Effect 

There are some watches that are created in a way that they glow in the dark.

The main purpose of the luminous effect is to provide light in darkness and places where you might need light to go through places. 

The most popular example of these types are the Timex Indiglo watches

The bottom line:

These were the basic watch features that are commonly found in watches that you should be aware of.

So from now on, you will be well informed about the basic watch feature in case anything happens to your watch, you will be able to quickly guess what is going on with your watch based on all the features you are acquainted with as of now!

Now that you know about the different watch features you should also check the top watch brands which will help you make the right purchase decision.

Photo of author

About the author

Dylan Baker

Dylan is a Men's fashion and image consultant, He is also the man behind Dapperclan. He is extremely passionate about fashion and wants to help men style and look better.


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