In the watch world, watch crystal is a generic term for the transparent glass material that covers the watch face. It is like a transparent cover that protects parts of a watch such as watch dial, watch hand from dust, moisture and other natural disasters. The watch crystal on the market is not actually made of crystal, but a man-made material that resembles crystal. This blog aims to improve the watch collector’s overall understanding of watch crystals and how to replace a watch crystal.

Table of Contents

What is a watch crystal

    Watch crystal, also known as watch glass, refers to the clear glass material that covers the face or dial of a watch. Watch glass belong to watch case parts,protecting it from the elements and providing your watch with a polished look. Watch crystals are available in a variety of materials, each with their own unique properties and characteristics. Understanding the differences between these types is essential to choosing the right watch crystal for your watch.

what is a watch crystal

Watch crystal types

    There are 4 types of Watch glass,namely Acrylic crystal,plexiglass,Mineral crystal and Sapphire Crystal. Acrylic glass and plexi glass are a kind of plastic, so they are cheaper, transparent and lighter. Most watch manufacturers use these four types of crystal watch, and we will introduce these four types of watch glass one by one.

Acrylic crystal

    Acrylic crystal is a polymer consisting of polymethyl methacrylate. In the days before sapphire crystal was so common, Acrylic glass was one of the most common watch glasses because it had a degree of impact and shock protection.
     Even if the acrylic glass does take a strong hit, it will generally crack, but it will stay in place, protecting the dial and watch movement from further damage.
In the 1980s, even Rolex used acrylic glass. The reason why it was replaced by sapphire glass is because acrylic glass is more prone to scratches or scuffs, as well as poor light transmission, and the watch can look a little hazy. In addition to this, acrylic is less costly and is used on some vintage watches. Acrylic glass can withstand the pressure of a certain depth and is flexible, because some dive watch or military watch also use acrylic crystal glass. 

Acrylic crystal


   Plexiglass is a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) plastic material that is harder than acrylic glass, has better impact resistance, and costs less than acrylic crystal.
Plexiglass transmittance is over 92% or more, and acrylic transmittance is around 85%. So plexiglass clarity is higher.
   But plexiglass is easy to scratch but there is easy to polish. They are often used in sports watches due to their impact resistance and light weight.


Sapphire crystal

   Sapphire crystal is generally a synthetic sapphire material. Most of the luxury watches in the watch industry are equipped with Sapphire crystal because sapphire glass has the following advantages
    1. Hardness: the hardness of sapphire glass is 9, which is only second to the hardness of moissanite and diamond.
    2. Not easy to scratch, wear-resistant
    3. High clarity and good light transmission, which is conducive to improving visual recognition and making it easier to read the time. So generally high-end watches are favored to use sapphire glass. Sometimes the glass of mechanical watches is made of Sapphire crystal, even the back of watch is crystal sapphire.

what is the crystal on a watch

     Sapphire glass is expensive, because the hardness of sapphire glass is so high that it has to be cut and polished with diamond abrasives. This kind of abrasive is not only costly but also has a short service life, resulting in the high cost of crystal sapphire.

    In addition, although sapphire is wear-resistant, it will be broken when it encounters heavy pressure, water, and heavy fall. Once broken, it is easy to scratch the watch face and hand.Moreover, the cost of repair is high, and before replacing the Sapphire crystal glass, the watch maker has to check to make sure that no sapphire fragments are left inside the movement and other watch accessories.

What is an analog watch Sapphire crystal

Mineral crystal

   Mineral crystal is also known as Mineral glass, the main component is silicon dioxide.Mineral glass is the most common watch glass mainly used in some mid-range watches, has the following advantages:
Less fragile than sapphire glass
Lower cost

Resistant to heavy pressure, stronger impact resistance, able to withstand great depth and pressure. This is why Mineral glass is used in some diving watches.
Reflects less light than sapphire
   However, Mineral glass is more prone to scratches than crystal sapphire glass and is more difficult to polish. But it can be coated to increase the scratch resistance. Moreover, Mineral glass is usually coated with anti-reflective coating, which can help the wearer to read the time in poor light environment and reduce the burden on the eyes.

How to replace a watch crystal

     When your watch crystal has a lot of scratches and you can’t read the time or the glass is broken, you need to REPLACE WATCH CRYSTAL.

     Step 1: prepare the tools, including new glass, tools to pry open the glass and the back cover.

    Step 2:Remove the back of the watch case.

   Step 3: Remove the broken watch crystal and note if there is any glass debris falling inside the dial or movement.

     Step 4: Clean the inside of the case or bezel.

   Step 5: Install the new glass using the base, making sure that the glass is not higher than the case.

     Step 6: Reinstall the base back into the watch.

    Step 7: Perform a water resistance test to ensure that the watch is waterproof. If you don’t have a specialized instrument, you can put the watch in water to see if water enters.

   Before replacing the watch crystal, please make sure you have enough experience and skills to avoid causing secondary damage to the watch. If you are not sure how to replace watch crystal, you can send it to a professional watch repair store for replacement.

Conclusion:What is a watch crystal

   In short, the watch crystal plays a vital role in protecting the inner workings of the timepiece and clearly displaying the dial. By understanding the differences between mineral, crystal sapphire, acrylic crystal and Plexiglas crystals, watch enthusiasts can make an informed decision when choosing a replacement crystal. Plexiglass is the most resistant to knocks and bumps, and is even better suited for certain styles of watches, but lacks in clarity and scratch resistance. Acrylic glass is similar to plexiglass and by then more expensive. Mineral glass, with additional treatments such as coating, can be used as an alternative to sapphire at a fraction of the cost of sapphire glass, but lacks in scratch resistance. In most cases, sapphire crystal is still the preferred choice for luxury brand watches due to the high clarity and scratch resistance of sapphire glass.

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    In the world of watches, two popular timepieces stand out: quartz vs mechanical watch. Both are highly prized for their superb craftsmanship and precision timekeeping. Watch enthusiasts can easily distinguish between the two. But when it comes to the watch terms automatic vs mechanical watch, there is some confusion or misunderstanding. This is because these mechanical and automatic watch movements look similar yet have some differences. Understanding the difference between mechanical vs automatic watch is one of the best ways to gain insight into watch movements. Simply put an automatic watch uses a self-winding mechanism that is powered by the movement of the wearer’s wrist and does not need to be wound manually. Mechanical watches, on the other hand, are timekeeping devices that use a mechanical movement to track the passage of time.They don’t require any electronics or batteries like quartz watches, but use a spring-powered mechanism.

Automatic watch

What is automatic watch

     An automatic watch, also known as a self-winding watch or simply an automatic watch, is a mechanical watch. When the wearer moves his wrist, the rotor connected to the movement will rotate with it, and the mainspring of that watch winds up, and the mainspring stores energy to provide power for the watch to drive the hands to move. So when the mainspring is fully wound, the watch will last for a long time before it needs to be wound again.for example, Miyota 9015 movement has a power reserve of about 40 hours.

   If your automatic watch has a sapphire glass caseback, you can always see the oscillation of the rotor.

How to wind an automatic watch

   Automatic watch may sound simple to operate, but automatic watches do not mean that they are fully automatic and do not need to be wound manually. When an automatic watch is not worn for a long time, restarting the watch also requires manual winding.and to wind an automatic watch needs to comply with certain rules and steps, otherwise it is easy to damage the movement mechanism of the automatic watch.

Step 1

    Take off the automatic watch. It is important not to wind the automatic watch while it is being worn, as this can confuse the watch mechanism.

Step 2

    Locate the crown, which is a small button located on the right side of the case. The first thing is to determine the style of the automatic watch.

    If it is a regular automatic watch, just pull out the crown to set the time and date. The crown generally has 3 positions. The first position is when the crown is in the normal position and the watch operates normally. The second position is when the crown is pulled halfway down and is used to set the time or date. The third position is where the crown is pulled out completely to set the time or date.

   If it is an automatic diving watches, the crown is usually screw down. In this case, the crown needs to be screwed in anti-clockwise 3 or 4 times until it pops out then continue to screw it in clockwise 30 times to charge it. Finally press down on the crown to restore it to its original position.

Step 3

   Turn the crown clockwise until you feel resistance and stop winding immediately. And the time must always be set forwards. This is because the watch moves the hands forwards to set the time.


    Do not set the date when the watch is close to 12 o’clock as this may damage the date wheel.

   If you have a screw down crown, be sure to screw the crown back into place. This is done by pushing the crown back into the winding position, pushing it in once more and then starting to turn it clockwise to lock it in place.

   The crown should still be turned very gently and winding should stop when resistance is felt.

   If the crown is pulled out completely, the hands may be inadvertently moved. If this happens, promptly move the hands forward and reset the time to reach the correct time again.

Mechanical watch

What is a mechanical watch

    Mechanical watches use a winding mechanism to measure time, with the mainspring winding to maintain power to power the balance wheel, and gearing to transmit power to move the hands forward at a constant rate. Quartz watches, on the other hand, are powered by batteries. Generally mechanical watches are also equipped with jewels, which are used to reduce friction inside the movement and extend the life of the watch movement parts. The jewels on the movement can be seen through the sapphire glass back.

How to wind mechanical watch

     For manual mechanical watches, winding is a necessity. The first step to wind is to remove the watch, hold it in your left hand and unscrew the crown with your right hand. Pull the crown to the first position and rotate the crown clockwise, turning 20 to 40 turns until resistance is felt representing the completion of winding.

Mechanical vs automatic watch

     Automatic mechanical movements and manual movements don’t have  battery Both mechanical and automatic watches are made up of a variety of important parts, including the mainspring, balance wheel, jewels, escapement and gears. These complex components work together to drive the hands and keep accurate time. There are also a variety of functions that can be found on automatic and mechanical watch, such as chronograph,GMT and tourbillons – enhancing the complexity of a mechanical watch.

Automatic vs mechanical watch

Watch movement parts

     In terms of movements with the same functions, automatic movements are more complex, have more accessories and are thicker than manual mechanical movements. It is important to note that automatic movements have one more rotating weight (rotor) than manual mechanical watch movements.

Power source

   As mentioned earlier, automatic movements have one more rotor than manual mechanical movements. An automatic watch relies on the movement of the wearer’s wrist to transfer energy to the mainspring to keep it wound, whereas a mechanical watch does not have an automatic rotor and needs to be wound manually.


   Both of these movements can have a high accuracy. but automatic movements have a higher accuracy because automatic watches can be kept running at full wind speed. Many high-end luxury watch brands prefer automatic movements due to the greater precision and convenience.


   Both of Mechanical watches require regular maintenance, including cleaning, lubrication and adjustment, usually once every 3 to 5 years. However, the movement of the wearer’s wrist facilitates the ability of an automatic movement watch to keep running smoothly, so a manual mechanical movement requires more maintenance.


  As mentioned earlier, automatic movements have more accessories and more complicated craftsmanship, so automatic movement watches are more expensive.

Power reserve

   Manual mechanical movements offer a longer power reserve. Typically, a fully wound automatic watch has a power reserve of 36 to 42 hours, however, a manually wound watch can have a power reserve of 48 to 15 days.

Mechanical vs automatic watch

Are automatic watch better than mechanical?

   Both automatic and mechanical movements can achieve a high degree of precision. In terms of ease of operation, automatic watches are more convenient. The manual mechanical movement is more appealing to watch enthusiasts or collectors who appreciate manual winding. Watchessy can provide customers with mechanical movements from Chinese Seagull, Japanese Miyota and TMI, as well as Swiss brands such as Ronda and Sellita, etc. We can choose the right movement according to customers’ budget.

Conclusion-Automatic vs mechanical watch

    In conclusion, both automatic watch vs mechanical have their unique attributes and charm. Automatic watches offer the convenience of self-winding, powered by the wearer’s motion, while mechanical watches embody traditional craftsmanship and require manual winding. Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to personal preference, style, and budget. Whether you opt for the precision of a mechanical watch or the effortless winding of an automatic watch, both exemplify the artistry and mastery of watchmaking.

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A watch movement is the engine of a watch that acts as the powerhouse to make the watch and its functions operate. – is a crucial component that determines its accuracy, reliability, and durability.  And when it comes to watch movements, few countries can match the reputation of Switzerland.Swiss movement means that the movement is made and inspected in Switzerland. More than 60% of the value manufactured movement components come from Switzerland.

Swiss movement watches are known for their precision, accuracy.In this blog post, we will explore parts of a watch movement,what is a Swiss movement watch, History of Swiss movement, advantage of Swiss movement watches.This guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of Swiss movement watches and their significance in the world of horology.

Table of Contents

What is a watch movement

what is a movement watch

   A  watch movement (also known as a “calibre”) is the engine of a watch that controls the motion of the watch hands and displays the time accurately. There are three main types of watch movements: quartz, mechanical, and automatic.

parts of a watch movement

The components of a watch movement are the individual parts that make up the mechanism that powers a watch.  There are four main parts of a watch movement: the power source, the regulator, the transmission, and the display.


The power source is the component that provides the energy to power the watch.  In quartz watches, the power source is a battery that powers a quartz crystal oscillator.  In mechanical and automatic watches, the power source is a mainspring that is wound by hand or by the movement of the wearer’s wrist.


The regulator is responsible for controlling the rate at which the power source is released, which determines the accuracy of the watch.  In quartz watches, the regulator is a circuit that controls the frequency of the quartz crystal oscillator.  In mechanical and automatic watches, the regulator is a system of gears and levers that control the speed at which the mainspring is unwound.


The transmission is the component that transfers the power from the power source to the display.  In quartz watches, the transmission is an electronic circuit that sends a signal to the display.  In mechanical and automatic watches, the transmission is a series of gears and wheels that convert the rotational energy of the mainspring into the motion of the hands.


    The display is the component that shows the time on the watch.  In analog watches, the display is a set of watch hands that indicate the hours, minutes, and sometimes seconds.  In digital watches, the display is a digital readout that shows the time in numerals.  Some watches also have additional displays, such as date or chronograph functions, which are powered by additional components within the watch movement..

parts of a watch movement

What is Swiss movement watch

 Swiss movement watch can be defined as a watch that has a movement mechanism that meets the criteria for the “Swiss Made” label set by the Swiss Federal Council.  This includes the requirement that the movement is assembled in Switzerland and undergoes full quality control inspection by the manufacturer in Switzerland.More than 50% of the movement parts are made in Switzerland and that at least 60% of the value of the watch’s movement components (not the entire watch) is derived from Swiss-made components.

It is easy for many watch enthusiasts to confuse Swiss movement watches with Swiss made watches. They are not the same. According to Swiss law, a Swiss-made watch needs to fulfill the conditions that the movement is a Swiss movement, the watch is assembled, and the final inspection of the watch is carried out in Switzerland. A Swiss made watch is equipped with a Swiss movement. However, a watch with a Swiss movement is not necessarily called a Swiss made watch.

what is swiss movement

What is Swiss quartz movement

Instead of mechanical moving gears, wheels, and other components, a Swiss “quartz” watch is one that is powered by a quartz movement, complete with electronic circuit board, synthetic quartz crystal, and battery.

Swiss quartz movements were hit by the Japanese watch brand Seiko around the 1970s, creating the so-called quartz crisis. In the following year, many historic Swiss mechanical watch brands fell by the wayside. Eventually it was ETA that developed an inexpensive Swiss quartz movement and started using it in Swatch’s plastic watches, laying the groundwork for Swiss quartz watches to regain their footing. Most Swiss brands followed with their own quartz watches.
     Today, the accuracy of Swiss quartz movements is comparable to that of Japanese quartz movements, with the difference being only one of origin. Now not only do the top watch brands produce their own Swiss quartz movements to meet their own brand needs, but there are also many Swiss quartz movement manufacturers such as Sellita, ETA, and Ronda that supply Swiss quartz movements to small and medium sized watch manufacturers or brands.

For further information on the difference between quartz vs automatic watches, click here for our related article.

Swiss automatic movement

Swiss automatic movement means that the movement is assembled in Switzerland and inspected by the Swiss manufacturer, and that the Swiss-made movement components represent 50% of the total value of the watch, without taking into account assembly costs.
  In addition, the automatic movement is entirely mechanical, with no electronics or batteries, etc. Unlike the Winding Mechanical movement, the automatic watch movement has a metal weight-rotor on the back, so it can be wound by the movement of the wrist without having to be wound manually.

what is swiss movement

Swiss mechanical movement

A Swiss mechanical movement is a type of watch movement that uses a spring-driven mechanism to power the watch.  It is known for its precision, craftsmanship, and attention to detail, and is widely regarded as one of the best types of watch movements in the world.

Swiss movement History

    Swiss watch movements have a rich history dating back to the 16th century, when Huguenot refugees brought their skills to Geneva, Switzerland.  Over the years, Swiss watchmakers have become known for their precision, innovation, and dedication to quality craftsmanship.  In the early 20th century, Swiss watch movements faced competition from cheaper and more accurate American-made watches, but Swiss manufacturers adapted by focusing on high-end luxury timepieces.  In the 1970s, Swiss watch movements faced new competition from Japan quartz watches, but the industry rebounded by producing high-end luxury mechanical movements.

Swiss watch movements manufacturer or brand






Patek Philippe

Audemars Piguet





  As for the future of Swiss watch movements, the industry is facing new challenges from smartwatches and other wearable technology.  However, many Swiss watchmakers are adapting by creating their own smartwatches or by focusing on producing high-end luxury mechanical movements that offer features and craftsmanship that cannot be replicated by technology.Additionally, some Swiss watchmakers are exploring the use of new materials, such as silicon, to improve the accuracy and reliability of their movements.Overall, the future of Swiss watch movements looks promising, as many watch enthusiasts still appreciate the tradition, history, and quality of mechanical watch movements.

Advantage of Swiss movement watches

Precision: Swiss watch movements are known for their precision and accuracy, thanks to the country’s long tradition of watchmaking and high standards for quality control.

Craftsmanship: Swiss watchmakers are renowned for their attention to detail and commitment to craftsmanship, resulting in timepieces that are both functional and beautiful.

Durability: Swiss movt watch are designed to be durable and reliable, using high-quality materials and rigorous testing processes to ensure longevity.

Prestige: Swiss movement watch are associated with prestige and luxury, with many of the world’s most prestigious watch brands being Swiss-based.

Innovation: Swiss watch movement manufacturers are constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries of watchmaking, resulting in new technologies and features that enhance the functionality and desirability of their watches.

 Conclusion About Swiss Watch Movements

    In conclusion Swiss watch movements are good because Swiss watch movement are the industry standard.They are known for their precision, craftsmanship, and durability and quality.It’s worth noting that Japanese movement are just as good, and they’re loved by a wide range of consumers for their accuracy, practicality and affordability. Watchessy offer a range of high-quality Swiss and Japan watch movements.


 Swiss movement vs automatic

    This refers to the difference between Swiss automatic vs Japan automatic movement. In the case of movements with the same function, the Swiss movement 2824-2 vs Miyota 8215 for example, Miyota 8215 movement is made up of 21 jewels, has a frequency of 6 beats per second, and a power reserve of 42 hours, whereas ETA’s caliber 2824-2 is made up of 25 jewels, and has a frequency of 4 beats per second. The power reserve is 38 hours.
   In addition,Swiss automatic movement does not stop for a moment due to the movement of the wrist like the Japan automatic movement.
   Overall if you are on a budget, Swiss movement is a better choice. If you are looking for an affordable automatic movement, then the Japan automatic movement is a good choice.

 Swiss quartz movement vs automatic

     Swiss quartz movement is powered by a battery. The Swiss automatic movement is powered by the movement of the wrist, because the automatic movement has a metal weight called a rotor behind it, which rotates to wind the watch with the movement of the wrist.

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