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

what is a watch bezel

What is a watch bezel

     Protecting the core parts of a watch is the bezel’s most basic role. In the days of pocket watches, the bezel was used to hold the protective watch glass in place. In some cases, the bezel could be raised using a small hinge to set the time. In the age of the wristwatch, in addition to 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. On the other hand, if the bezel is just a form and not structurally separated, it is called a fake bezel. Generally speaking, silver and gold or  silver and rose gold or Black and gold color watch are used for the real bezel.

Depending on whether or not it can be turned or the direction of rotation, if the bezel cannot be turned, then it becomes a fixed bezel. If the bezel can only turn in one direction, then it is a unidirectional bezel. If it turns in both directions, then it is a bidirectional bezel. For example, dive watches generally use unidirectional bezels.

How to use bezel on watch?

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

Plain bezel

    The bezel, one of the most important components of a watch, is the perfect stage for decoration. For example, the bezel can be inlaid with jeweled diamonds, or engraved with a text, or enameled with clear enamel, etc., which adds to the charm of the watch.

Dive bezel/Count-up bezel

   Diving bezels, also known as countdown bezels, 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 particularly thick to remind the diver that he or she does not have a lot of time to go underwater. The unidirectional rotation of the bezel ensures that if the bezel is accidentally turned, the dive time will only become shorter so that the diver has enough oxygen to surface.

GMT bezel

     GMT bezels usually have 24-hour markers that show the 24 hours of the day. The bezel is usually two-colored and can be divided 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. They are generally used in sports watches and military watches to allow runners to calculate how far they have run in that time. 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 bezels are used to measure the speed of an object over a fixed distance and are mainly used on racing or motorsports. 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. The exact speed is obtained by reading the scale on the bezel that is coaxial with the second hand.

Compass bezel

   Compass bezel shows direction (NESW) rather than numbers and is primarily used 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 so that South is in the correct position.

Decimal bezel

    Decimal bezels typically have 100 increments on the bezel, divided into 10 sections, so that the time can be easily converted to decimal. These watches are generally used by engineers. With a decimal bezel, events are timed using a chronograph, and then the time of the event is converted to decimal using a decimal scale.  

     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 on 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 Necessary 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. Slowly work your way around the bezel until it can be completely removed.

Conclusion-What is the bezel of a watch

Since the 1930s, the bezel has evolved 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 utilize the bezel effectively, you can realize the full potential of your watch and enhance your knowledge of it.

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