In the world of watches, the bezel watch plays a crucial role in both function and aesthetics. Not only does the watch bezel add to the aesthetic appeal of a watch, but it also has various unique functions such as tachymeter,GMT, Dive, Compass, etc. Simply put, a bezel is a ring that surrounds the watch crystal to hold it in place, and is usually made of a material such as stainless steel or ceramic. The bezel is one of the most vital. In this blog, we will delve into what is a watch bezel, how to use a bezel on watch and how to remove it.

what is a watch bezel

Table of Contents

What is a watch bezel

     Protecting the core parts of a watch is the bezel’s most basic role. In the days of pocket watch, the bezel of watch was used to hold the protective watch glass in place. Sometimes, the bezel could be raised using a small hinge to set the time. In the wristwatch’s age, besides its role of holding the crystal in place, watchmakers developed more practical functions.

   Depending on the structural distinction of the case, the bezel is further differentiated between a real and a fake bezel. If the bezel is structurally separate, it is a real bezel. If the bezel is just a form and not structurally separated, it is called a fake bezel. Silver and gold or silver and rose gold or black and gold color watch are used for the real bezel.

Watch bezel types

If the bezel cannot be turned, it changes into a fixed bezel depending on whether it can be turned or the direction of rotation. A bezel that can only turn in one direction is known as a unidirectional rotating bezel. If it turns in both directions, then it is a bidirectional rotating bezel watch. For example, dive watches use unidirectional rotating bezel.

How to use bezel on watch?

Wondering how to use a watch bezel? It depends on the watch bezel types you use. Below we will outline the different watch bezel types and explain how to use the bezel on watch so that you can choose which one meets your requirements.

Plain bezel

    The watch bezel, one of the most important components of a watch, is the perfect stage for decoration. Adorning the bezel with jeweled diamonds, engraving it with a text, or enameling it with clear enamel, etc., enhances the watch’s charm. For example, This style below is diamond bezel watch. This kind of diamond bezel watch can be called a jewelry watch.

Diver bezel/Count-up bezel

   Diver watch bezel, also known as countdown bezel, are characterized by a unidirectional bezel that can only rotate counterclockwise, and a bezel with 0 to 60 tick marks, which are usually luminescent, and the 0 to 15 tick marks will be thick to remind the diver that he or she does not have a lot of time to go underwater. The bezel’s unidirectional rotation guarantees that if accidentally turned, the dive time will only reduce, ensuring sufficient oxygen for the diver to resurface.

GMT bezel

     GMT bezel usually has 24-hour markers that show the 24 hours of the day. The bezel is typically dual-colored and can be split into day and night. This way the GTM bezel can show the time in two time zones with just one watch. That’s why many pilots or people who have to travel a lot like to wear GMT watches.

Countdown Bezel

   Countdown bezel and count up bezel are very similar but they are different.They are similar in that they can be rotated and have the same 60-minute scale. The difference is that the Countdown bezel counts down from 60 to 0. we used them in sports watches and military watches to allow runners to calculate how far they have run. However, the countdown bezel is not suitable for diving watches because it rotates in both directions, which can lead to accidents when divers miscalculate the time.

Tachymeter bezel

     Tachymeter bezel is used to measure the speed of an object over a fixed distance and is mainly used in racing or motor sports. To measure speed, first set the second hand to 0, then press the chronograph button to start the timer. And at the end of the race, press the stopwatch button. By reading the bezel scale in line with the second hand, you can determine the precise speed.

Compass bezel

   The bezel compass shows cardinal directions (NESW) instead of numbers and people mainly use it for hiking and mountaineering. To use the compass, align the hour hand with the position of the sun, the point between the sun and the 12 o’clock position is south, then adjust the bezel of a watch so that south is in the correct position.

Decimal bezel

    Decimal bezels usually feature 100 increments divided into 10 sections for easy time conversion. Engineers use these watches. Events are timed with a chronograph and converted to decimal using a decimal scale, all made possible by a decimal bezel.  

     These 7 types of bezels are more common, there are also some rare bezels such as Yacht-Timer bezel, Telemeter bezel, Pulsometer bezel, Slide rule bezel, which I won’t go into details here.

How to remove watch bezel

      While removing a watch bezel is not a routine task for most watch enthusiasts, certain situations may call for it. Here’s a step-by-step guide to safely removing a watch bezel:

  1. Assess the Bezel Type: Determine the bezel’s removal method based on its design. Some bezels are secured using screws, while others may employ a snap-on or friction-fit mechanism.
  2. Gather the Tools: Depending on the bezel type, you may need specialized tools like a case knife or a bezel removal tool. Ensure you have the correct tools at hand to avoid damaging the watch or bezel.
  3. Remove the Bezel: First, place tape around the bezel to prevent scratching the case when prying the bezel off. Follow the instructions specific to your watch model. Carefully insert the tool between the bezel and the case, applying light pressure to loosen the bezel. Carefully go around the bezel until you can detach it.

Conclusion-What is a bezel on a watch?

Since the 1930s, the bezel watch has developed from a decorative element to an accessory that serves a variety of purposes. Most luxury watches now come with a bezel, but many people are unaware of its purpose. If you can use the bezel effectively, you can realize the full potential of your watch and enhance your knowledge of it.

FAQ-Bezel watch

Bezel watch price

    Bezel watch price is determined by several factors, including the bezel style, the brand, the materials used, the type of movement and additional features. Luxury brands such as Rolex and Omega have higher price points due to their reputation, craftsmanship and exclusivity. Ceramic bezels are in high demand because of their scratch-resistance and durability, resulting in higher prices compared to stainless steel or aluminum bezels. Cheap bezels are available for purchase for as little as $10, while luxury brand bezels can cost hundreds of dollars or more.

Aluminum vs ceramic bezel

Aluminum bezel

   The aluminum bezel is made of aluminum alloy. It is known for its lightweight, which makes it popular in the watch industry. Aluminum bezel is usually anodized to increase durability and resistance to scratches and corrosion. Aluminum bezels are available in a variety of colors for easy customization.
  The major advantage of aluminum bezels is their affordability. Compared to ceramic bezel, aluminum bezel is more cost-effective, making them available to a wider range of consumers. In addition, the lightweight nature of aluminum ensures that the overall weight of the watch remains comfortable on the wrist. The anodized coating also provides a protective layer that extends the life of the bezel.

Ceramic bezel

   Ceramic bezel is made from high-quality ceramic materials such as zirconia. Watch enthusiasts favor ceramic bezels for their superior hardness and scratch resistance. Ceramic bezels are available in a wide range of colors and finishes, offering a versatile and luxurious aesthetic.
   The chief advantage of ceramic bezel is their excellent scratch resistance. Unlike aluminum, ceramic bezel is highly resistant to scratches, ensuring a long-lasting original look. We know ceramic for its durability, making it the perfect choice for those seeking a bezel that will stand up to daily wear and tear. The luxurious look and feel of a ceramic bezel also adds a touch of elegance to any watch.

    To begin, turn the diver watch bezel counterclockwise so that the minute hand lines up with zero. For example, if you are going to dive for 20 minutes now, subtract 20 minutes from 60 minutes, leaving 40 minutes. Then, turn the bezel so that the minute hand aligns with the number 40. As time passes, the minute hand will move at the normal time. When the minute hand reaches the dive marker position (40 minutes), the diver must surface.

how to use dive watch bezel

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